Best Young Adult Books for Boys

William Golding, Author of
"Lord of the Flies"
It can be difficult to choose novels for young adult men because, like all teenagers, they are coming into an age where they are learning about some of the more unsavory realities of the world. Therefore, it is hard to know what level of sexual content and deviant behavior in a novel is appropriate for them. For example, when they are first coming into their young adulthood, you can be pretty sure that they have heard adult language and can read it without any problem. However, knowing when it is okay to hand them a book that talks about masturbation or social nonconformity is difficult. Here, we have a few suggestions for more mature young adult men and for less mature young adult men. They are often considered among the best and/or most popular of the genre. Nonetheless, it is important to familiarize yourself with some of these books before handing them to your young man.

"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan

"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan was published in 2005 and has been quickly embraced by young adult men. It has since been made into a major motion picture titled "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief." There is no doubt that young adults and children love it. The novel is not particularly challenging or offensive in anyway. You can feel comfortable handing this to a preteen. Furthermore, they may learn a little bit about Greek mythology when they read the book.

"The Lightning Thief" is about a twelve-year-old boy named Percy Jackson who suffers from ADHD and dyslexia. However, he is about to learn that his problems are actually symptoms of his parentage. It turns out that he is a demi-god, the son of Poseidon. He is taken to a camp for demi-gods, where he learns how to fight like one. After a few months, Percy is sent on a mission to find Zeus' lightning bolt, which has been stolen. He has to find it and return it to Zeus before a war breaks out between the gods.

"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier

"The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier was published in 1974. It is not universally embraced as young adult fiction because of the novel's gritty content. However, a mature young man would be able to grasp the novel's themes of rebellion against conformity without getting lost in the adult content and bad language. This novel is on par with "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, so be sure your young man is ready for it.

"The Chocolate War" is about a young high school freshman named Jerry Renault who refuses to sell chocolates for his school. Seems slightly rebellious, but innocent enough, right? Well, it is more complicated like that. The school Jerry Renault attends thrives on conformity and blind obedience. Jerry's little rebellion starts as a task assigned to him by the school's gang, "The Vigils." They tell him not to sell the chocolates for ten days and then to join the rest of the school in selling them. The leader of the gang, Archie, is conspiring with the teacher in charge of selling the chocolates and has promised to see that they all are sold.

Inspired by a poster in his locker that reads, "Do I dare to disturb the universe," Jerry decides to challenge the conformist mentality in his school and takes on both the teacher and the gang by refusing to sell the chocolates even after his ten days are up. He sticks to his plan, despite his reluctant inclusion into a sort of popularity contest with Archie and the disapproval of his teacher. In the end, he is violently beaten by Archie while the teacher watches apathetically.

Other great books for young adult males:

"The Outsiders" by S.E. Hitton

"Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

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