Ten Adventure Books for Teen Boys

By Anna Lowell

Jul 13

Books for teen boys can be hard to find. You want books that will encourage them to become strong young men but that will also hold their interest. Each of these books for teen boys are memorable stories with amazing heroes that will stick with your boys as they grow into young men.

1. The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkein

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy books would be on my top-ten-books-to-read list for any older kids and adults. These adventure stories are exquisitely written with amazingly believable characters and dynamic struggles between good and evil, as well as the internal struggle to keep on courageously fighting when all seems lost. The Hobbit should be read first.

2. Short Stories by O. Henry

O. Henry writes short story collections about life in New York City and in the American Wild West from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Every story has an unexpected twist at the end and vivid characters you won’t soon forget!


3. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

This story is slow to start and contains some archaic language and references to true historical events. However, it is full of fascinating adventure and edge-of-your-seat danger. After David Balfour’s parents die, he is sent to live with his rich eccentric uncle. David’s uncle is determined that David will not get any of his ill-gotten gold. So, David’s uncle arranges to have David kidnapped and sent to sea. David Balfour must learn to live by his wits as he battles his way to justice.

4. Endurance: Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Endurance is the true story of how Sir Ernest Shackleton, in 1914, took a crew of 27 men – sailors, explorers, scientists, and a photographer – on an adventure to be the first people to cross the Antarctic overland. This is an amazing true story of survival and grit.  (Note: Some editions of this book include copies of the actual photographs taken on the voyage, which makes the story even better.)

5. The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes

A young man named Phil Marsham is involved in an accident, forcing him to flee to the high seas. He signs on to become a sailor on the Dark Frigate, which unfortunately is destined to be overtaken by pirates, and Phil must decide whether he will join the pirates or die.

6. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild is a story of survival against all odds. A domesticated dog is stolen from his owners and sold as a sled dog in Alaska. There are several brutal scenes described in this book, but the dog, Buck, grows in strength and character as he endures a harsh climate and mistreatment from men, while also feeling the pull to return to his wild wolf roots. White Fang is also excellent.

7. Strider by Beverly Cleary

Leigh Botts (of Dear Mr. Henshaw – read first!) is 14 and settling well into a routine after his parents’ divorce. When Liegh and his best friend find a stray dog, they decide to take care of it together – joint custody style. But, will this system work? And will Leigh be able to find his own place in life? This is a wonderful story of growing up, leaving the past behind, and finding one’s own strengths.

8. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Living during the time of Jesus, Daniel Bar Jamin is a Jewish boy with a serious hatred for the Roman empire. He longs for freedom to be with his outlaw friends hidden in the mountains, but is shackled to a blacksmith’s trade by the responsibility to care for his fear-strangled younger sister. Will Daniel ever be able to let go of his hatred and find healing for his own heart?

9. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Young Jim Hawkins receives a secret treasure map from a dying sailor named Billy Bones. Jim’s adult friend, Squire Trelawny, charters a ship and, not being a seafaring man himself, employs a smooth-talking ship cook to help him hire a crew. Thus, the Hispaniola sets sail on a quest for treasure, with not a pirate ship in site, but manned by a whole crew of rather devious sailors. This book does contain some archaic language.

Which adventure books for teen boys would you recommend? I would love to hear your thoughts! Please scroll down to comment.

More Book Lists from Path Through the Narrow Gate:

This list of books for 10-11 year old girls includes stories of strong, spunky, kind girls who will become fictional friends that your girl will cherish for years.    History, fantasy, outdoor adventure, nonfiction, and dinosaurs - 10 books that your 10 and 11 year old boy is sure to enjoy!    These classic stories for 12 & 13 year old girls are fascinating adventures that will stay with your girls long after they have turned the last page.

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