There are lots of websites that recommend books for boys — some more helpful, thorough, and regularly updated than others. Here are some I periodically check to see if there’s something new out there to suggest ordering for our library.
Books 4 Boys from Penguin Publishing
Books 4 Boys is sponsored by the Penguin group of publishers, and so naturally highlights only their titles. However, they publish a lot of great children’s books, and the site is particularly well-organized. You can search by age/grade level, author, series, or theme/genre (sci-fi, fantasy, sports, adventure, etc). Since it’s the publisher’s own site, you’ll find lots of extras, too, like author interviews, teacher and parent resources that go along with the books, and links to videos.
Guys Read from author Jon Scieszka
Author Jon Scieszka is a man-on-a-mission to promote reading among boys, and he’s done his share of writing some very funny guy-friendly stuff. Guys Read is not about promoting Scieszka, though. You will find his books listed, plus lots of other good choices. It’s not quite as informative as Books 4 Boys, but if you click on “Books for Guys” on the left below the header, you’ll get to a page of themes like “Outer Space” “Cars, Trucks, Etc.” “For Little Guys”. Click each for more extensive book lists. You won’t find reviews or plot descriptions, but you do get the genre, length, and reading level of each.
But honestly, my favorite part of the site is simply reloading the homepage over and over to see the header image change. Try it — it’s totally cool!
Great Books for Boys is part of the Kidsreads site, which has quite a few helpful tools, reviews, and series lists. This list focuses on newer novels, particularly series, and includes plot summaries as well as links to reviews and/or Amazon for most titles.
I also really like the Cool & New and Coming Soon pages on this site. While not exhaustive, they highlight popular authors and series for which new books have just come out or are going to be published in the next couple of months. Sometimes I’ll discover that the latest in a popular series is coming out next month, prompting us to get it ordered for the library.
Not specifically a recommendation site, Juvenile Series & Sequels is simply a very thorough catalog of all children’s/young adult book series. You can search by author, book title, series title, or subject. If you’ve ever wanted to know if you’ve read ALL the Hardy Boys books (190 of them — I don’t think so!) or what’s #9 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series (Halt’s Peril), this site is very helpful. (I use it frequently at the library.)
And don’t forget to check this librarian’s best online friend, Amazon.com. If it’s been published and is still available somewhere, anywhere, new or used, chances are you’ll find it on Amazon. You’ll find plot summaries and often lots of reader reviews. And if you want to know, for example, when Christopher Paolini is EVER going to get around to publishing the fourth and final volume of the Eragon series, you can find that on Amazon as well. (November 8, 2011, if you must know.)