I received a request via email for a list of book suggestions for nine year old boys. So I immediately turned to my resident expert, Karate Kid, and asked him for ideas. All the books he named were series books, and I remembered that nine year olds in general, girls and boys, tend to like series. Actually, adults do, too. Isn’t it nice to find a dependable author that you know you will enjoy? Taking a chance is sometimes fun, but a series is comfortable. So, here are nine series for nine year old boys, with thanks to Karate Kid for many of the suggestions:
1. The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon. Oldies but goodies. Brothers Frank and Joe have some “swell” adventures, and it’s all good clean fun.
2. Geronimo Stilton All the books are said to be written by Geronimo Stilton himself, a mouse journalist who has adventures and solves mysteries. My urchins are eating them up, but I think they’re a little cheesy —just like that joke. These books were originally written in Italian and translated into English (and many other languages). They’re best-sellers in Italy and across Europe. Maybe that’s why I find them weird.
Scholastic Publishers’ Geronimo Stilton site
3. Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erikson. I’m much more a fan of Hank the Cowdog, maybe because he and I share a Western (Texas) heritage. I’m from West Texas; author John Erikson lives in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo. I think Hank the Cowdog is funny, and there are now 48 books in the series, enough to keep any nine year old busy until his tenth birthday.
Hank the Cowdog’s Official Website
4. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I really like the Boxcar children, four orphan siblings who, in the first book, live on their own in an old abandoned boxcar. I remember thinking that it would such an adventure to live in the woods in a boxcar and have to figure out how to take care of my younger sister.
5. Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole. The Magic School Bus books are a bit busy, but a great introduction to an assortment of science topics. Ms. Frizzle is the kind of teacher I would like to be.
Scholastic’s Magic School Bus website.
6. Childhood of Famous Americans by various authors. If you can find the old hardback, usually ex-library, editions of these biographies, they’re worth collecting, not for monetary reasons, but because they were and are good reads. The books were somewhat fictionalized, and they focus mainly on the childhood years of the famous figures who are te subjects of each book, but again they’re just good books. Especially the older ones, and the ones written by Augusta Stevenson.
A chronological listing of the books in the series.
7. Magic Treehouse by Mary Pope Osborne. Jack and Annie via their “magic treehouse”, travel back in time and meet famous people and observe or participate in world-changing events. They also work with historical figures to solve a mystery.
8. Tin-Tin by Herge. Karate Kid also devours these comic book adventures from the 1930′s. Tintin is a Belgian reporter whose adventures take him around the world.
9. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol. Leroy Brown, better known to his friends and family as Encyclopedia, is the brains behind the solution of many a mystery in Idaville. He helps his father the police chief solve his cases, and when he’s not reading the encyclopedia, he solves mysteries for his friends for a nickel a case. Or maybe it’s a quarter. No matter, it’s a good deal because Encyclopedia Brown always gets his man.
Although I could have listed more, I limited myself to nine. So, what series of books would you recommend to a nine year old boy?