The Art of Manliness set out a list of 50 of the best books for boys to read. As an experiment, (being female and a biblioslut) I decided to find out how many of them I’d read over the years or while I was a kid. Bold means I’ve read it. Italics means it’s on my to read list. Please feel free to play along on your own blog. Leave me a comment so I can come take a look.
1. Hatchet by Gary Paulson – I know this cover so well that I’m sure I read it, but I cannot remember it for the life of me.
2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
3. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
4. The American Boy’s Handy Book by Daniel C. Beard
5. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – Hate, hate, hate, hate, I cannot explain the loathing I have for this book *and* the movie it inspired.
6. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – Mark Twain is a genius. If you haven’t read this book, go get it from the library or a used book store immediately.
7. The Last Mission by Harry Mazer
8. The First Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook – The Girl Scout handbook was originally pretty kick ass too. Does it count that I read that one?
9. Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane – I think I read this book and immediately managed to blank it from my mind out of self-defense. Stephen Crane is *not* one of my favorite authors
10. Watership Down by Richard Adams
11. The Johnny Dixon Series by John Bellairs – I loved this series and spent several years (after Harry Potter came out and reminded me of them) attempting to find it again. I still don’t think I’ve found them all again.
12. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – Huck Finn is better, but this book would be good for a younger reader.
13. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis – For love of the Lion’s mane, read these in the original order starting with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!
14. Canoeing with the Cree by Arnold Sevareid
15. The Giver by Lois Lowry
16. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
17. Heat by Mike Lupica
18. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
19. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
20. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
21. Holes by Louis Sachar
22. The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B White
23. The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
24. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
25. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
– Worth the read. One of the few classics I think everyone should read.
26. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
27. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
28. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
29. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
30. Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
31. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
32. The Blue Star by Tony Earley
33. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
34. The Cay by Theodore Taylor
35. Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien – Does having read this multiple times make up for not reading Kipling?
36. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden
37. The Little Britches Series by Ralph Moody
38. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
39. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
40. The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman
41. The Hardy Boys Series – Frank and Joe are so much better than Nancy
42. The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
43. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
44. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker
45. That Was Then, This is Now by S.E. Hinton
46. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
47. Heart of a Champion by Carl Deuker
48. Blue Skin of the Sea by Graham Salisbury
49. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
50. The Art of Manliness by Brett and Kate McKay
Overall? I’d say it’s a fair list for a normal kid. Me? I was reading adult books by fourth grade. I also cannot believe that The Dark Is Rising series wasn’t mentioned. It’s right up there with Narnia and LOTR. And it features a man protagonist! Black Stallion (*gag*) made the list, why not Susan Cooper. A lot of these books were being read in the regular English classes while I was in GT. That’s probably why I missed them. *shrugs* I’m not feeling any big loss.