Monday, June 22, 2015

15 of My Boys' Favorite Books

 All three of my boys have very different interests but they've all found books that they can fall in love with regardless of their interests.


My oldest is obsessed with anything having to do with construction equipment, cars, trucks, and motors.

My middle son loves everything having to do with animals and nature.

My youngest son loves superheros and action/ adventure things.

Luckily they are all open to any suggestions I have about books we use for read alouds or for listening to books on CD in the car.  

They are all welcome to suggest books to listen to at any time and we try to pick a wide range of topics.

The only rule we have is that the majority of people must enjoy the story by the time we're a good 4 or so chapters into the book.  If no one is enjoying the story we'll stop it and pick a new book.  If only one person is enjoying the book the book goes into their bins for them to read (or listen to) on their own time.

We've had many enjoyable books and have only stopped reading/ listening to maybe three books over the course of the last three years.

That said we've had books & series that my boys connected with on such a level that they began talking about the main characters as if they were best friends in real life.

For me, that is the epitome of a favorite book.

In no particular order these are the books (though in most cases the series) that my boys have all fallen in love with:

1.  My Weird School (which goes on to My Weirder School & even my Weirdest School):  We found these easy to read chapter books by Dan Gutman quite by accident one day and my boys thought they were hilarious!  The titles are silly: Mr. Granite is From Another Planet, Mrs. Lily is Silly!, etc.  The stories get even sillier than the titles suggest.
2. Harry Potter:  We've read all the books and watched all the movies numerous times.  My boys enjoyed this series so much we planned our vacation around it last year making sure to spend two days in Universal Studios just so we could check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My boys talk about Harry, Hermione and Ron as if they too went to school with them.  They run around our yard casting spells and we were all sad to finish the series, feeling like we were saying good-bye to an old friend. 
 

3. Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus-- I put these two series together as one because once you fall in love in love with Percy and Annabeth you'll want to hear more about their adventures with fellow demi- gods Jason, Leo, Piper, Frank, & Hazel.  My middle son, in particular felt the need to immerse himself in learning all about Greek and Roman mythology.  This was another extreme favorite book series and one we were able to bring to life through a family vacation.  When travelling to Tennessee last year we just had to check out the Athena Parthenon replica in Nashville.  Mentioned in both the book & the movie they were dying to see it in real life.   



4. Wonderstruck & The Invention of Hugo Cabret:  I decided to lump these two stand- alone books together because I truly feel that if you enjoy one of them you'll enjoy the other.  They are both by Brian Selznick and while they are large, thick, intimidating looking volumes; the illustrations are amazing and plentiful.  Half of Wonderstruck is told through pictures and half is written stories.  They are like nothing else we've ever read and we just loved them. 



5. The Magic Tree House series-- listening to Jack and Annie travelling all over the world and all through time using their magic tree house was lots of fun.  It also got my boys interested in many areas of history and familiarized them with many famous historical figures.  The books are simple, short chapter books with lots of pictures so they aren't intimidating for young kids to read alone but the boys just love listening to the books on CD.
6. The Candymakers--  This was a fun story about four kids who were participating in a candy making contest; better yet one of the characters was homeschooled.  All the descriptions made us anxious to see candy makers at work in real life!  


The Candymakers by [Mass, Wendy]

7. Science Fair-- We loved this funny story about a school science fair where the main character is simultaneously fighting off terrorists and crazed star wars fans Wookiee & Darth.  With so many unexpected twists and turns we were laughing even as we were kept on the edge of our seats wanting to know what would happen next.  

Science Fair by [Barry, Dave]

8. The Fast and the Furriest--  Cromwell was just an ordinary, lazy, dog living with an ordinary, if slightly, lazy owner until the day that Cromwell watched a dog show on TV.  He came alive and brought his best human companion along with him.  They struggle to become star athletes and overcome all the obstacles in their path along the way.  It was an adorable story.  

The Fast and the Furriest by [Behrens, Andy]

9. Boxcar Children Series-- We have listened to just about every book on CD we can lay our hands on and own many, many, of the books ourselves.  We just recently watched the Boxcar Children movie and rediscovered our love of Benny, Violet, Jessie & Henry.  They have such wonderful adventures and find such delight in living life.  


10. Odd & The Frost Giants-- We read this book as part of our Norse Mythology study and my boys were just enraptured with this tale of the boy Odd, who stumbles upon some forest creature friends.  Odd ends up following Odin, Lotke, & Thor to the land of the gods and helped save the world.  
Odd and the Frost Giants by [Gaiman, Neil]

11. Dragon in the Sock Drawer--  While this book is part of a series we really only enjoyed this, the very firs book in the series.  Two kids discover that the rock they found is really a dragon egg and when the dragon hatches they have to figure out how to raise him, how to keep him from being discovered, and how to stop the evil bad- guys from stealing the dragon away.  It was cute and touching and  who can resist a baby dragon?

Dragon Keepers #1: The Dragon in the Sock Drawer by [Klimo, Kate]

12. Around The World in 80 Days--  We loved listening to Phileas Fogg make good on his bet of making it around the world in 80 days.  We got to learn a lot about geography, math, and persevering to reach one's goals.  We followed up the book with a viewing of the movie and compared the two; all agreeing that the book was better.  


13. The Indian in the Cupboard series-- We listened to all 4 books; The Indian in the Cupboard, The Return of the Indian, The Secret of the Indian, & The Mystery of the Cupboard.  It's such a delightful story in which toys magically come to life with the help of a cupboard.  Friendship develop and their lives start to intertwine.  

The Indian in the Cupboard by [Banks, Lynne Reid]

14. Dragon Rider-- A lonely boy named Ben sets out on a journey to help the lone dragon Firedrake find the land where dragons can live in peace.  Hunted by bad guys, helped by fantastic creature friends along the way and a few miss turns this story was packed with all sorts of mystery, wonder, and friendship.  

Dragon Rider by [Funke, Cornelia]

15. The Kane Chronicles-- My boys loved these stories on Egyptian Mythology.  By the same author as Percy Jackson, we decided we had nothing to loose in listening to his latest book series.  We enjoyed listening to Sadie and Carter encounter Egyptian Gods, learn Egyptian Myths and help save the world.  


Linking up with: What to Read Wednesday,
My Full Heart: Junior High Junction

8 comments :

  1. What a great list of books!! My daughter loves the Percy Jackson series, as well! We all enjoyed the Indian in the Cupboard series. Thanks for linking up, and for these great book ideas!

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    1. Thanks! I'm working on a post about some books that just Ian enjoys. Realized I too don't often take the time to think of just him and homeschooling middle school.

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  2. Love this list. I have four boys and many of those you listed are favorites! Have you encountered Brian Jacques Redwall series? Also Ginger Pye series and The Borrowers. These were big hits with my two oldest!

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    1. We'll have to try those! Thanks for the suggestions. :)

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  3. Thanks for the suggestions. While I'm not a fan of all of these books, the Indian in the Cupboard series is on our list. I'd never heard of some of the Dragon books, but they sound good, too. My son really likes the Heroes in Training books, which are quite similar to Percy Jackson but targeted at a younger audience.

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    1. We'll have to check those Hero in Training books out. My middle son, in particular, is obsessed with anything having to do with Greek & Roman mythology and these look like he could easily read them on his own.

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  4. What a great list of books. My daughter might enjoy some of these and our family has also done a couple of these series and loved them. Thanks for the listing.

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