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Popular Books For 10 Year Old Boys

Updated on January 26, 2012
Cirque Du Freak, by master of horror Darren Shan
Cirque Du Freak, by master of horror Darren Shan

Are you looking for a book for a ten year old boy? Perhaps you are considering a book as a gift for a young relative, or maybe you are hoping to inspire your own son. A love of reading, once developed, can last a lifetime. Children who are good at reading often advance more quickly in other subjects too.

This article details popular books loved by ten to eleven year old boys. As parent to a ten year old boy myself, I write from my own experience. Therefore, not all popular books will be included - emphasis will be placed upon the ones in our house that are read time and time again. My son is a good reader - certainly above average. He is moving into the genre of young adult because he often finds these books more exciting. My son is a typical boy - he likes action and adventure and most of his favorite books portray this type of theme to some extent. He likes a bit of horror and gore (not to my taste, but it sucks him into the pages) and he likes funny as well.

Just recently, I attended an open afternoon at my son's school. Parents were invited to look at the work the children had completed so far this term. Interestingly, there was a wall display featuring a separate tag written by each pupil. The display was entitled 'Our Favorite Authors'.

Visit any bookstore and you will find a plethora of novels aimed at children in both the 9-12 range and the young adult range. It can seem rather daunting if you don't know exactly what you are looking for. But on this wall display of favorite authors at school, there were literally only three picked out by the entire class of boys.

Only Three Authors Chosen by a Whole Class of 10 - 11 Year Old Boys

So, what were the three authors chosen by an entire class of 10 - 11 year old boys? In no particular order, the prizes go to Jeff Kinney (author of the hugely successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid series), Darren Shan (the real Master of Horror) and Derek Landy (creator of the masterpiece that is Skulduggery Pleasant). Of course, there are many books by other authors that are loved by boys - Holes by Louis Sachar was a book read and enjoyed by my son at Christmas. But when a ten year old boy has to pick just one author, the aforementioned were the clearcut winners.

The overall winner in the class was Darren Shan, but I must say there are a lot of advanced readers in the group. Shan writes, in the most part, for older children and teens, and so a child with a reading age that is below average might struggle. Jeff Kinney makes for a lighter read, and a funny one at that. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is suitable for any boy who likes a laugh. Of course, the books are probably even more popular now that the screen hit of the same name has been released. Skulduggery Pleasant books make for an imaginative and unique read.

Cirque Du Freak (the Saga of Darren Shan) by Darren Shan

Cirque Du Freak (The Saga of Darren Shan) is a twelve part series which lures young readers into the dark existence of vampires. Darren becomes a half vampire when his friend is saved, and the books portray the boy's struggles and tribulations as he comes to terms with his own vampire identity and that of the vampire clan. The first three books in the series have been made into a popular movie - the Vampire's Assistant. Shan's saga is both imaginative and macabre.

The Living Nightmare is the first book in the series - and the beginning of Darren's descent into vampirism. The young Shan and his friend sneak out to a freak show at night.....and it all escalates from there.

This is a series which, in our house, has been read again and again. My son's teacher even bought this series out of his own pocket for the boys at school, to inspire an enthusiam of reading. Other books by Darren Shan include the Demonata series, and the Saga of Larten Crepsely (a character who first appears at the freak show in the Cirque Du Freak (Saga of Darren Shan) series. Whilst Cirque Du Freak is probably written for adequate readers of around 11+, the Demonata is geared towards slightly older children, although my own son has read all of these and loves them.

Darren Shan lives in Ireland, although his books are international.

Skulduggery Pleasant Book 3 - The Faceless Ones
Skulduggery Pleasant Book 3 - The Faceless Ones

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

The series of Skulduggery Pleasant is based on a detective who is already dead. Skulduggery is not only a detective, but a magician as well. He is somewhat unscrupulous and of course, as mentioned, he is not even alive but a rather absurd walking skeleton in an overcoat, scarf, hat and sunglasses.

Skulduggery is a master of tricks and magic, who comes to the aid of 12 year old Stephanie following the suspicious death of her uncle. In a battle to outwit villain Serpine, the series of Skulduggery Pleasant combines fantasy adventure, combat, violence and magic, along with a bit of humor to add a lighter touch.

A great series of books which my son found completely addictive. Author Derek Landy lives in Ireland.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

American author Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series has been a resounding success among the 9-12 year old age group. The series focuses on the character of Greg Heffley, and his journey into adolescence, as well as his experiences at a new school. The books are written in diary format with cartoon-like illustrations - it is a lighter read than the other two series detailed on this page and so can be enjoyed even by boys who find reading difficult or a chore.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is humorous, heavily based on school life and issues with friendship, popularity, bullying, girls and being cool. Then, of course, there is the curse of the moldy cheese..... This is a fabulous series - beware, however, that good readers will flip through the books in one sitting. Now that the movie of the same name has been released, the books are sure to be even more popular.

My son has all of these books, and I can verify that they are books that can be read again and again. In fact, Diary of a Wimpy Kid could be the most read books in our entire household. Because they are lighthearted comedy books, and do not indulge in heavy plot or suspense, it doesn't matter so much if you have read them all before. Currently, The Ugly Truth is Kinney's most recent book - can't wait for the next one!


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