Boys get a bad rap as being poor or hesitant readers (which, honestly, isn’t a bad thing — not everyone HAS to be an avid reader). BUT many parents and seasoned librarians (and I) have noticed that some boys are more drawn to books with male protagonists. I’m a firm believer that all kids should read any kinds of books they like, but sometimes you need an in — and that’s feeding the kids the books they’re actively interested in. This list is full of books about different kinds of boys: readers, funny dudes, adventurous boys, foodies, and so much more. If your kids are into books with male protagonists, they’ll enjoy these delightful books for 8 year olds!
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20 Wonderful Books for 8 Year Old Boys
Here are 20 best books for 8 year olds:
Stuntboy, in the Meantime
Published: November 30, 2021
Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!
But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.
All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how.
Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.
The Boxcar Children
Published: September 1, 2010
A deluxe Boxcar bookcase that contains 12 titles―The Boxcar Children Mysteries #1 through #12. Also included are Boxcar activities, poster, and accordion bookmark with title checklist. The bookcase can expand to hold up to 32 books.
Geronimo Stilton: 10 Book Collection
Published: January 1, 2017
Run For The Hills Geronimo The Way of The Samurai The Volcano of Fire (Hardcover) The Journey Through Time Pyramid Puzzle The Journey Through Time Dinosaur Disaster The Haunted Castle Thea Stilton and the Spanish Dance Mission Creepella Ghost Pirate Treasure Cavemice Help I’m in Hot Lava Cavemice The Stone of Fire The Mysterious Cheese Thief Valley of the Giant Skeletons Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent Geronimo’s Valentine The Race Across America A Fabumouse School Adventure The Karate Mouse Singing Sensation
Captain Awesome to the Rescue! (1)
Published: April 3, 2012
Eight-year-old Eugene McGillicudy is an imaginative boy who loves comic books and superheroes. Eugene also has his very own supersecret superhero alter ego named Captain Awesome. MI-TEE!
When the McGillicudy family relocates to a new town called Sunnyview, Eugene starts a new school, finds a best friend, and even finds time to defend his toys from his two-year-old little sister, Molly! Luckily for Sunnyview, Captain Awesome is there to protect the town (and the universe) from a hilarious cast of comical “bad guys.”
The No.1 Car Spotter
Published: September 6, 2010
The start of an exciting new series about the irresistible No. 1, whose hobby is car spotting but who is good at solving all sorts of problems for his village.
When the family’s cart breaks down and there’s no way of bringing goods to market, it’s No. 1 who devises the Toyota Cow-rolla and saves the day. He runs errands for his family and helps Mama Coca-Cola feed the busloads of people who stop for her delicious fried akara. No. 1 even helps Grandmother get to the medical centre when she can’t afford treatment.
Wayside School Boxed Set
Published: April 4, 2017
The first three books in the Wayside School series are available together in this collection, complete with hilarious stories, zany art, and a triple serving of absurdity.
More than fifteen million readers have laughed at the stories of Sideways Stories from Wayside School; Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger; and Wayside School Is Falling Down. So what are you waiting for? Come visit Wayside School! Kids 7 to 13 will zoom through these chapter books—laughing their way through the fast, funny, silly but relatable stories.
Dog Days: The Carver Chronicles
Published: December 17, 2013
It’s tough being the new kid.
Gavin had lots of friends at his old school, but the kids at Carver Elementary don’t even know that he’s pretty good at skateboarding, or how awesome he is at soccer.
And when his classmate Richard comes over and the boys end up in trouble, not only does Gavin risk losing his one new friend, he has to take care of his great-aunt Myrtle’s horrible little dog as punishment.
To make matters worse, Gavin seems to have attracted the attention of the school bully. Will he be able to avoid getting pounded at the skate park? And how is he ever going to prove he’s cool with a yappy little Pomeranian wearing a pink bow at his side?
The One and Only Ivan
Published: January 17, 2012
Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
Encyclopedia Brown Box Set (4 Books)
Published: October 18, 2007
A set of the first four books in the classic mystery series starring everyone’s favorite boy detective Encyclopedia Brown! Whether Encyclopedia is solving cases for his neighborhood friends or his chief-of-police dad, he always has an intriguing mystery to crack.
A to Z Mysteries: Collection #1
Published: May 25, 2010
Help Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose solve their first four mysteries!
A is for AUTHOR . . .
Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. Wonder of wonders, Wallace says yes! In fact, the famous writer says that the only way he won’t come is if he’s kidnapped. But when the big day comes, Wallis Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink knows better. It’s up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find Wallace—before it’s too late!
B is for BANDIT . . .
A bandit has robbed the Green Lawn Savings Bank! Dink and his friends Josh and Ruth Rose are ready to help. When a private detective comes to Dink’s door looking for the kid who videotaped the crime, the trio volunteers to find him. After all, there’s a reward! But tracking down one red-headed kid isn’t such an easy job, especially if he doesn’t want to be found. Dink and his friends must find that kid—and his tape—before the bandit does!
C is for CANARY . . .
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose get an urgent call from Mrs. David. Her canary is gone! And that’s not all. Three other pets have mysteriously disappeared—including Ruth Rose’s cat, Tiger! The kids are sure a pet-napper is to blame. They won’t stop until they’ve tracked down the thief and returned the stolen pets to their rightful owners!
D is for DUNGEON . . .
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are having a sleepover—in a castle! Dink’s favorite mystery writer, Wallis Wallace, has invited them for a visit. But as soon as they arrive, the kids start hearing screams behind the walls. Wallis Wallace says not to worry, every castle is haunted, but Dink isn’t so sure. Can they discover who—or what—is haunting Moose Manor?
7 x 9 = Trouble!
Published: September 10, 2004
Wilson has a hard time with math, especially with Mrs. Porter’s timed multiplication tests. If only he were as quick as Laura Vicks, the smartest kid in third grade, or as quick as his brother, Kipper — a kindergartner. Wilson’s mother and father try to help, but Wilson doesn’t appreciate having to do practice tests on a play date. Fortunately, his friend Josh Hernandez is a comfort, as is Squiggles, the class hamster. Wilson is sure that with his own little animal squeaking and cuddling beside him, he could learn anything. But his mom doesn’t like pets. So Wilson bravely struggles on, hoping that one day in the not-too-distant future he’ll pass all his times-table tests. Then, surprisingly, Kipper comes to the rescue.
The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich (Melvin Beederman, Superhero)
Published: January 1, 2006
Meet Melvin Beederman. Hes a pretty good superhero, even though it always takes him five or six tries to get launched and flying. His weakness (every superhero has one) is bologna, which makes it hard to go into a deli. Still, Melvin manages to keep the city of Los Angeles free of nasty villainsonce hes airborne.
Crash! Splat! Thud! Kabonk!
This series has it all: hilarious story lines, amazing classic-comic-inspired illustrations, fearless new superheroes, and SNACKS!
Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!
Melvin loves fighting crime in Los Angeles, until the McNasty Brothers, the baddest guys of all, start robbing banksand Melvins superpowers mysteriously disappear. Enter Candace, a third-grade actress with some surprising new talents. Once they team up, nothing can beat these partners in uncrime. Nothing but bologna, that is . . .
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet
Published: March 24, 2009
Fourth-grader Calvin lives near the beach in Oahu with his mom and little sister. Mom says: “You’re the man of the house.” But Calvin’s not great at being the man of the house, or taking care of his responsibilities. He’s too busy having fun with his pals, and avoiding Tito, the bully.
Published: January 1, 2011
Horrid Henry is rapidly establishing himself as a character children love to hear about. These four tales of a very naughty boy, his maddeningly good little brother Perfect Peter, and Moody Margaret, all show him wreaking havoc.
Mystery on Magnolia Circle
Published: August 3, 2021
What happens when two best friends take on the world’s worst summer?
On the first day of vacation, ten-year-old Ivy Crowden falls down the stairs and breaks her leg. Stuck in a plaster cast, she’s certain her summer is doomed. Not even Teddy, her neighbor and best friend, can cheer her up because he’s dealing with his own pain: the loss of a beloved dog.
But when Ivy witnesses a possible burglary from her living room window, her summer takes a sudden turn from meh to mysterious. Who are the criminals? Might a classmate be involved? And . . . uh-oh. A second mystery is nipping at Ivy’s heels. Cue the best friends, the best dog, and the best chance that summer can be saved!
Pedro, First-Grade Hero
Published: September 1, 2016
Spend some time with Pedro, Katie Woo’s fun-loving friend. From a buggy disaster to a run for class president, Pedro has what it takes to be the hero of first-grade. No matter what he’s doing, Pedro is always good for some laughs and adventure.
Bug Boys: (A Graphic Novel)
Published: February 11, 2020
Rhino-B is a brash, but sweet guy. Stag-B is a calm and scholarly adventurer. Together these two young beetles make up the Bug Boys, best friends who spend their time exploring the world of Bug Village and beyond, as well as their own — sometimes confusing and complicated — thoughts and feelings.
EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken
Published: May 12, 2011
EllRay Jakes is tired of being bullied by fellow classmate Jared Matthews. But when EllRay tries to defend himself, he winds up in trouble. Then his dad offers him a deal: If he stays out of trouble for one week, they’ll go to Disneyland! EllRay says he can do it. But saying it and doing it are two very different things.
My Weird School #1: Miss Daisy Is Crazy!
Published: October 31, 2008
In the first My Weird School book ever, second-grade teacher Miss Daisy is in over her head at Ella Mentary School. She doesn’t even know how to add or subtract!
But the students, like A.J. and his friends, have other things on their minds. Principal Klutz has promised their class that if they read a million pages in books, they can turn the school into a video-game arcade for one whole night!
Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s insanely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang!
Bookmarks Are People Too! #1 (Here’s Hank)
Published: February 6, 2014
Hank stars the same Hank as in the bestselling Hank Zipzer series, only this time he’s in 2nd grade! Hank is a kid who doesn’t try to be funny, but he somehow always makes the kids in his class laugh. He’s pretty bad at memorizing stuff, and spelling is his worst subject. (But so are math and reading!) In the first book in this new series, Hank’s class is putting on a play, and Hank wants the lead part: Aqua Fly. But he freezes in his audition and can only buzz like a fly. His teacher creates a special part for Hank, a silent bookmark. This may seem like an insignificant role, but when his enemy, Nick McKelty, freezes during the performance, it’s up to Hank to save the play!
Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
Published: February 6, 2014
Shrink, shrank, shrunk!
Every morning, Judy Moody measures Stink and it’s always the same: three feet, eight inches tall. Stink feels like even the class newt is growing faster than he is. Then, one day, the ruler reads — can it be? — three feet, seven and three quarters inches! Is Stink shrinking? He tries everything to look like he’s growing, but wearing up-and-down stripes and spiking his hair aren’t fooling anyone into thinking he’s taller. If only he could ask James Madison — Stink’s hero, and the shortest person ever to serve as president of the United States.
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things
Published: July 8, 2008
Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.
Jake the Fake Keeps it Real
Published: March 28, 2017
Jake can barely play an instrument, not even a kazoo. And his art? It’s better suited for Pictionary than Picasso. Which is a real problem because Jake just faked his way into the Music and Art Academy for the gifted and talented (and Jake is pretty sure he is neither). More jokester than composer, Jake will have to think of something quick before the last laugh is on him.
Astrid and Apollo and the Happy New Year
Published: August 1, 2020
Dressed in their traditional New Year clothes, Astrid and Apollo attend the Hmong New Year Festival. While at the noisy and jam-packed celebration, they accidentally become separated from their family and end up lost in the crowds. Follow along on their adventure as they try to find their way back to their mom, dad, and little sister, Eliana.
Your Pal Fred
Published: May 31, 2022
He’s a super-nice kid in an ultra-mean world.
He believes even the worst people are good inside.
He’ll always be there for you… even if you boot him out of your castle, pit him against a mechanical giant, put him on top of a pole in a lightning storm, and trap him in a booming dance party that lasts all night long.
He’s Your Pal Fred.
In a brutal world far in the future where only the savage survive, a life-size toy suddenly activates. Fred was built to be a best buddy, and his relentless kindness never fades, even when everyone else is rude. Determined to make the world a better place, he has the bright idea to talk the two most powerful and battle-hungry warlords, Lord Bonkers and Papa Mayhem, into being friends. It’s a mission doomed to fail, unless Fred can find a way to inspire everyone to play nice!
Mad About Meatloaf (Weenie Featuring Frank and Beans Book #1)
Published: October 12, 2021
Weenie loves his human, Bob. He loves his guinea pig friend, Beans, and his cat friend, Frank. He loves naps, adventures and sharing. In fact, Weenie loves pretty much everything (except the mail carrier).
But the thing Weenie loves and desires more than anything else in the world is meatloaf. And he’ll do anything to get it.
Join Weenie, Frank and Beans on a laugh-out-loud meatloaf adventure, complete with a trench coat disguise, a wild meatloaf trap and even a hungry wolf.
The Way Home: A Graphic Novel (Owly #1)
Published: February 4, 2020
All Owly wants is a friend…
Owly is a good-natured little owl, and he’s always helping those around him. But despite his kindness, he seems to frighten would-be friends away before they even give him a chance, just because he’s an owl. That all changes, though, once Owly meets Wormy. Like Owly, Wormy is in need of a good friend, too — someone who can be counted on for a helping hand, a good laugh, and a great adventure!Through a unique blend of words and symbols, Owly can be read by the youngest readers, and is a great introduction to graphic novels!
Published: September 27, 2022
With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve! Can Mango and Brash uncover the clues, crack their cases, and corral the crooks—or will the criminals wriggle out of their grasp?
The Mr. Wolf’s Class
Published: June 26, 2018
Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he’s got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-and-tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is VERY sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing! This delightful new series captures the everyday — and unexpected — ups and downs of a fourth-grade classroom.
J.D. and the Great Barber Battle (J.D. the Kid Barber)
Published: February 23, 2021
J.D. has a big problem–it’s the night before the start of third grade and his mom has just given him his first and worst home haircut. When the steady stream of insults from the entire student body of Douglass Elementary becomes too much for J.D., he takes matters into his own hands and discovers that, unlike his mom, he’s a genius with the clippers. His work makes him the talk of the town and brings him enough hair business to open a barbershop from his bedroom. But when Henry Jr., the owner of the only official local barbershop, realizes he’s losing clients to J.D., he tries to shut him down for good. How do you find out who’s the best barber in all of Meridian, Mississippi? With a GREAT BARBER BATTLE!
There they are: 20 of the best books for 8 year old boys (featuring male protagonists). Which of these books have you read? What did I miss?
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Billie Wolter says
I love the recommendations, they are all great books. Unfortunately there is only one book published in the last two years. Libraries may or may not have these titles considering the age of the titles.
Afoma Umesi says
Hey, thanks for reading. I’m not sure what you mean by “only one book published in the last two years.” There are NINE books published within 2020-2022 and 11 published earlier?