In the recent survey, one reader commented that she’d enjoy seeing more book recommendations for elementary boys. I know first-hand how difficult it is to keep voracious younger readers in books! So much that is targeted to them is simply junk, and so much of the good stuff really is best saved for a more mature reader. So, I asked my oldest if he’d like writing a blog post about his favorite books, and he was excited to do so.

I know every family has different standards when it comes to choosing books for their kids, and so I should mention ours up front. I do not preread everything my children read. I keep up with book lists from all over, and I tend toward the more permissive side of content. You will never see Captain Underpants in our home, but I don’t mind if the boys pick The Aeneid off the shelf. (Yes, my 8-year-old did once. He said he liked it, but he only got a few pages in and put it back). Fairy tales and legends have a huge spot on our shelf, because I think encountering concepts like consequences of choices, death, and love, are best encountered first in the realm of Otherness rather than Nitty-Gritty Reality. Plus, I trust G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein on the matter far more than any modern sociologist or blogger, and they were all for Myth as the best early teacher. However, I do not (yet) have any sensitive readers, so I haven’t had to filter for that or adjust for that. If you have sensitive readers, please preread first, especially my boys’ recommendations.

That said, here’s Hans’ list. I asked for a top 5 or 10 list, with 2-3 sentences recommending the book. He picked 5, to my not-surprise. I did not edit his writing, as the first entry should make clear.

A 10-year-old boy's top five book recommendations of 2013

Top Five Books of 2013

by Hans Winckler, 10 years old

  1. The Dangerous Book for Boys – This books is a type of school book but much, much funner. It has historical stories, instructions for building things of wood such as tree houses and workbenches. I think it is a book for 8+.
  2. The Call of the Wild – A story of a sled dog’s life, this book tells of the Alaskan gold rush and of the dangers of the North. It also shows the morale of a team of sled dogs under cruel owners and good owners. You can get it with other short stories. I think it is a book for 8+ or very good readers.
  3. The Archives of Anthropos series – This is a book of war against good and evil. There is always something unique in these fascinating books. It has magicians and wizards like fairy tales, but it is much better.
  4. If You Had a Horse – This book’s heroes are horses, and almost all can talk to their masters. It takes from Norse myths, Arabian Nights, and many other tales.
  5. The Childcraft series – Written in the 80’s, these books are a bit behind the times, but their stories are still very fun to read. The books are based on different topics, such as about us, mathematics, and crafts.

I hope you enjoy these books I have recommended to you!

Let me know if you enjoyed this post and I’ll make them a more regular feature!


  1. Loved this post. I have an 11 year old boy doing AO year 5. I will look into some of these recommendations. Thank You so much.

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