At the 2017 IAHE Home Educators’ Convention, speaker Martin Cothran, shared book recommendations for boys. The complete list is included here.

Books are listed in general order of age level.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle (as well as other Eric Carle books)
  • Big Red Barn, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Drummer Hoff, by Barbara Emberley
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (as well as Katy and the Big Snow), by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Billy and Blaze, by C. W. Anderson
  • One Was Johnny (as well as Chicken Soup with Rice), by Maurice Sendak
  • The Monkey and the Crocodile (and anything else by this author), by Paul Galdone
  • The Gingerbread Boy, by Paul Galdone
  • Tikki Tikki Tembo, Arlene Mosel
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff, by Paul Galdone
  • The Little Drummer Boy, by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Andy and the Lion, by James Daugherty
  • The House that Jack Built, a Little Golden Book
  • Katy and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton
  • The Ox-Cart Man, by Donald Hall
  • Curious George, by H. A. Rey 
  • Animal Folk Tales of America, by Tony Palazzo
  • The Biggest Bear, by Lynd Ward
  • Chanticleer and the Fox, by Barbara Cooney
  • Paul Revere’s Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 
  • Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus, by Peter Sis
  • Little Babaji, by Helen Bannerman
  • The Five Chinese Brothers, by Claire Huchet Bishop
  • Wee Gillis, by Munro Leaf
  • “Casey at the Bat,” Ill. Christopher Bing
  • The Big Snow, by Berta and Elmer Hader
  • The Wingdingdilly (as well as Cowardly ClydeCyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent, The Caboose Who Got Loose, etc.), by Bill Peet
  • Johnny Appleseed, by Reeve Lindbergh
  • They were Strong and Good, by Robert Lawson
  • The Frog and Toad Books, by Arnold Lobel
  • Fly High, Fly Low, by Don Freeman (and other books by Don Freeman)
  • Choo Choo: The Story of a Little Engine who Ran Away, by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books, by Kay Winters and Nancy Carpenter
  • A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus, by David Adler
  • The Little Island
  • Little Toot, by Hardie Gramatky
  • Norman the Doorman, by Don Freeman (as well as other books by Don Freeman)
  • The Star Spangled Banner, Ill. Peter Spier
  • Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling
  • American Tall Tales, by Mary Pope Osborne
  • D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths, by Ingri and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire
  • The Big Wave, by Pearl S. Buck
  • Call it Courage, by Armstrong Sperry   
  • The American Boy’s Handy Book, by Daniel C. Beard
  • The Jack Tales (as well as The Grandfather Tales), by Richard Chase
  • Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight
  • Homer Price (as well as One Morning in Maine), by Robert McCloskey
  • The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley
  • Adventures of Pinnocchio, by Carlos Collidi
  • Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome
  • The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Graham
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  • Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
  • Rufus M (and the rest of the “Moffats” books), by Eleanor Estes
  • Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson
  • The Mark of Zorro (and the rest of the “Zorro” series), by Johnston McCulley
  • Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  • Rolf and the Viking Bow, by Allen French
  • Farmer Boy (and the rest of the “Little House” books), by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Tarzan of the Apes (the rest of the “Tarzan” series and the “Pellucidor” series), by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Adam of the Road, by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • The Song of the River, by Billy C. Clark (along with Riverboy, Useless DogMoon-Eyed Hound, The Trail of the Hunter’s Horn, Goodbye Kate, and The Champion of Sourwood Mountain)
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • Bud and Me: The True Story of the Abernathy Boys, by Alta Abernathy
  • Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • The Aeneid for Boys and Girls, by Joseph Church
  • The Tripod Trilogy (The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire), by John Christopher
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis
  • Paddle to the Sea, by Holling Clancy Holling (and other Holling Clancy Holling books)Brighty of the Grand Canyon, The Bronze Bow, by
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse, by Marguerite Henry (as well as all other books by Henry)
  • Mr. Revere and I, by Robert Lawson (also Ben and Me)
  • The Prisoner of Zenda, by Anthony Hope
  • Encyclopedia Brown, Donald J. Sobol
  • Poor Richard, by James Daugherty
  • Beowulf the Warrior,
  • True Grit, by Charles Portis
  • The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • King Solomon’s Mines (as well as Allen Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, Morningstar, She Who Must Be ObeyedPeople of the Mist, Red EveMontezuma’s Daughter, Nada the Lily, and many other books by this author), by H. Rider Haggard
  • So Dear to My Heart (also Rascal), by Sterling North
  • Scarlet Pimpernel (El Dorado, and the entire “Scarlet Pimpernel” series), by Baroness Orczy
  • The Kid from Tomkinsville (and anything else written by this author), by John Tunis
  • Uncle Remus, by Joel Chandler Harris
  • Stars in My Crown, by Joe David Brown
  • The Lays of Ancient Rome, by Lord Macauley
  • The Coral Island, by R. M. Ballantyne
  • Little Britches (along with The Home Ranch, and The Fields of Home)
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (as well as Mysterious Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in 80 Days), Jules Verne
  • The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  • Shane, by Jack Schaeffer
  • Francie on the Run (and all other books by this author), by Hilda Von Stockum
  • Men of Iron (As well as The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, and anything else written by the same author), by Howard Pyle
  • The War of the Worlds (as well as The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man), by H. G. Wells
  • The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be (and Lost in the BarrensOwls in the Family, and Never Cry Wolf), by Farley Mowat
  • Fallon, by Louis L’Amour (along with Last Stand at Papago Wells, and The Sackett Brand and many other books by this author)
  • The Jungle Book (as well as Kim, and Captains Courageous), by Rudyard Kipling
  • Treasure Island (as well as The Black Arrow, Kidnapped, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr Hyde, “The Sire de Maletroit’s Door”), by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (as well as all the other Scarlet Pimpernel novels), by Baroness Orczy
  • Benjamin Franklin, by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire
  • Gay Neck: The Story of a Pigeon, Dahn Gopal Mukerji
  • Mr. Revere and I, by Robert Lawson
  • The Children’s Story, by James Clavell
  • The Man-Eaters of Kumoan, by Jim Corbett
  • Tom Sawyer, (as well as Huckleberry Finn), by Mark Twain
  • Wilderness Trek, by Zane Grey
  • Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, by Jean Lee Latham
  • Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff (as well as many other books by this author)
  • Poor Richard, by James Daugherty
  • he Wonder Book (as well as its equally good sequel, The Tanglewood Tales), by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Mutiny on the Bounty, Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
  • King Solomon’s Mines (as well as Alan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, Morningstar, Red Dawn, People of the Mist), by H. Rider Haggard
  • The Chosen, Chaim Potok
  • Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Dafoe
  • Old Squire’s Farm (and Skating on Ice, its sequel), by C. A. Stephens
  • The Good Master (also The Singing Tree, and any other book by this author), by Kate Seredy
  • A Walk Across America, by Peter Jenkins
  • The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, by John Fox, Jr.
  • Captain Blood (as well as Scaramouche and many other books by this author), by Raphael Sabatini
  • The Heroes, by Charles Kingsley
  • A Texas Ranger, by N. A. Jennings
  • Gods, Graves, and Scholars, by C. W. Ceram
  • The Cat of Bubastes (as well as many others by the same author), by G. A. Henty
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (the rest of this series is also excellent, but Commodore Hornblower has some slightly inappropriate content; also The Sky and the Forest), by C. S. Forester
  • The Book of the Dun Cow, by Walter Wangerin
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
  • West With the Night, by Beryl Markham
  • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization, by Lars Brownsworth
  • Penrod (as well as Penrod and Sam, a sequel), by Booth Tarkington
  • The Sea Wolves: A History of the Vikings, by Lars Brownsworth
  • Lord of the Rings (as well as The Hobbit), by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany, 1944-1945, by Stephen E. Ambrose
  • The Worm Oroborous, by E. R. Eddison
  • 1776, by Richard McCollough
  • The Once and Future King (also The Goshawk), by T.H. White
  • The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down, by Colin Woodard
  • Oliver (as well as Dombey and Son, Great Expectations, Tale of Two Cities, and every other book by Dickens), by Charles Dickens
  • Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, by Simon Winchester
  • The Count of Monte Christo, by Alexander Dumas
  • The Great Seige, by Ernle Bradford
  • Beowulf, trans. J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
  • Sigurd the Volsung, trans. William Morris
  • The Story of Christianity, by David Bentley Hart
  • St. Augustine, by Garry Wills (Warning: this book contains a very candid discussion of sin, but it’s something boys need to hear and Augustine is the person to hear it from)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer
  • The Iliad and the Odyssey, by Homer
  • A History of the English Speaking People, by Winston Churchill
  • The Aeneid, by Virgil
  • The Talisman (as well as Ivanhoe, and every other book by Scott), by Sir Walter Scott
  • Henry V, by William Shakespeare
  • The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote
  • Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  • On Obligations, by Cicero
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
  • The Republic and the Laws, by Cicero
  • With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, by E. B. Sledge