Top 1o Books for Boys Grades 4-6

I asked my 5th (Ben) and 6th (Max) grade boys what their top ten series were last year and this year. This is not a mom-pick list. I would pick books like Hatchet or Where the Red Fern Grows. My boys are looking for humor, unique story lines, complexity, and violence. While I wish that weren't the case, I like all the books they have chosen. I make it a point to read their books so we can talk about them. Authors that treat kids as serious readers, or at least serious about humor, land a place on their list.

#10 Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been a goto book for boys since the second grade, but Greg Heffley has grown up with these boys and still remains hilariously irreverent and fun to follow.

Ben - Funny since the 2nd grade

Max - Greg is a jerk, but he cracks me up.

#9 A Series of Unfortunate Events

A Series of Unfortunate Events is dark. Orphans have to survive constant attacks by Count Olaf who wants their fortune. It has a unique feel that is all its own and the way it teaches vocabulary is impressive. The series builds clues as it goes and is one the boys read for years.

Max - Mysterious

Ben - Secret organizations. Kids like that.

#8 Septimus Heap Angie Saga

Septimus Heap saga develops a world that is so detailed you get lost in it. We started these as a family and the boys finished the series on their own. 

#7 Harry Potter

The later books in the Harry Potter series are complex and dark enough to compel older readers.

Ben - Every one of my friends likes these books.

#6 Artemis Fowl

Artemis is a smart aleck that uses his intelligence for crime. This unique series has you pulling for the bad guy as he becomes entangled with the underground world of fairies. Can they outsmart this wise guy?

Max - You wouldn't think boys would like a series with fairies, but this one is like a kid-sized James Bond meets the fairy world.

#5 Maze Runner Series

Maze runner is YA at it's best. Compelling characters, a unique world, and action-filled story. Maze runner will have you page flipping with a flashlight in bed. 

Max - I read this series because I liked Hunger Games. It's very similar.

#4 Fabelhaven

Fablehaven is a new spin on fairytale story telling. The author blends reality and fantasy with an authentic voice. Two siblings have to find out the secrets of their grandparents' world of monsters and protect the real world from what lurks in the shadows of Fablehaven. 

Ben - You want to know what happens next.

Max - Original. Not many series like this one.

#3 Spiderwick

You can begin enjoying the Spiderwick stories in about the second grade, but they continue to grab your attention even into the 4th and 5th grade. The creatures are phenomenal and the characters are believable.

Ben - Mysterious. This is my favorite series of all time. 

# 2 Percy Jackson - Heroes of Olympus

Greek mythology for the modern kid. Great way to become familiar with all the Greek heroes and villains while falling in love with a character strong enough to carry this story through five books.

Max - Exciting adventures. Teaches you about Greek mythology too.

#1 Chaos Walking Trilogy

This is one the parents will like as much as the kids. This strange world of shocking secrets where everyone can hear your thoughts pulls you in on an epic adventure.

Max - My new favorite author. Shocking. For older kids.