As an author, I've been informally asked to recommend books for a boys' reading club. CrimeSpacers, I would welcome your recommendations.

The reading level should be appropriate for 4th-8th grade, however, please think of 9-year-old boys when you consider the level of sex & violence. Some of the boys have read Eragon & Harry Potter, some are just starting with the Hardy Boys. I'd prefer fiction. Tell me if the category you're suggesting is mystery/thriller/action-adventure or general fiction. The ones on my list so far are Harry Potter, Eragon, Hardy Boys, and Rick Riordan's kids' series, which is wonderful. Thanks. LAS

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If you can get your hands on this article published by the L.A. Times--

"How to Hook the Reluctant Boy Reader" by Denise Hamilton, it would most helpful to you. (It was published on June 10.)

Here's a few that she mentions:

FANTASY

ALEX RIDER by Anthony Horowitz

MOLLY MOON by Georgia Byng

GREGOR THE OVERLANDER by Suzanne Collins

ARTEMIS FOWL by Eoin Colfer

ADVENTURE

Anything written by Cornelia Funke


BATHROOM HUMOR (Hey, boys like this stuff)

THE DAY MY BUTT WENT PSYCHO by Andry Griffiths

OH, YUCK by Joy Masoff

HUMOR

WHO RAN MY UNDERWEAR UP THE FLAGPOLE by Jerry Spinelli

HOOT by Carl Hiaasen

COMICS

ASTERIX

You probably can't go wrong with anything written by Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, R.L. Stine, and Sid Fleischman. In terms of mysteries, there are the CHET GECKO MYSTERY SERIES by Bruce Hale and, of course, the classic ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN SERIES. Also the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles has a strong children's section and they are always recommending monthly reads, so you can direct your friend to that resource.
Going back to my childhood/early teen years and thinking of what I enjoyed:-

Antony Horowitz - Falcon's Malteser (YA PI story and homage to the maltese falcon)

The Black Cauldron and others in the Taran series by Lloyd Alexander (fantasy)

Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and others in the Narnia series by C S Lewis

Swallows and Amazons and others in that series by Arthur Ransome (action/boating)

Nicolas Fisk - Grinny, Starstormers (sci-fi)
I would unreservedly suggest The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate. The books are set in an alternate London, where magic is performed through the exploitation of demons, most notably the wise-cracking djinn, Bartimaeus.

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy is a rather better known modern day classic and would be a timely read, given the first book is arriving as a film this Winter (the film and the US version of the novel are titled 'The Golden Compass', the UK edition is called 'Northern Lights').
Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke was a favorite of mine at that age. As was Terry Brooks's The Sword of Shannara and its sequels. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is pretty good. And, if you can find them, Rod Serling's collection of his Twilight Zone short stories are incredible.
May I also suggest the "Spooks" series by Joseph Delaney? They are a bit dark and therefore may not be suitable. They are - Spook's Apprentice, Spook's Curse, and Spook's Battle (which is the fourth) I can't remember the title of the third one. The fourth one is the darkest so far. You may also want to look at the Angie Sage series as well.
These are all good suggestions. Thank you!
LAS
I'd also suggest Garth Nix. His "Keys to the Kingdom" series is great.

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