I also got this very good response; the author can certainly send me a name or link!:
"Displays aimed at boys are a good thing. I found a site that had a display of the Guys Read booklist "At Least One Explosion." So I made a display, and besides our awards display, it is our most popular display so far.
Also, I think we shouldn't be condescending to boys and their interests. If they ask for hunting books, don’t get them something that is trying to dissuade them from hunting (there isn’t a lot out there, but The Trap by John Smelcer is very popular with boys.)
I think it is always best to listen to what they want to, and spend the time to search based on their interests. If I have to put in 2 hours' work to find one book for one boy, and that boy really enjoys that book, then that isn't time wasted. We are here for readers.
Just a note: I'm a librarian, in case that wasn't clear."
One thing that I have found boys ask for is books about war. They don't want books set on the home front; they want books about battles. These can be difficult to find; for example, Hobbs' Sonny's War was too much from a teen girl's point of view.
Certainly nonfiction books are good, too. I have gotten several good series lately, including Capstone's Bloodiest Battles, which has been hugely popular, and selected title from the We The People series. This companies The Terrible, Awful Civil War was quite good, replete with facts about clothing, food and sleeping conditions. 24/7 Goes to War was another good series. The problem with all of these, though, is that they are very short.
While not all of the books on this list have a lot of fighting, they have all been popular with my boys.
Books about War
Ford, Michael. Fire of Ares. (Series of 3)
When slaves rebel in ancient
Rubalcaba, Jill. The Wadget Eye.
After his mother dies, Damon, a young medical student living in
Stone, Jeff. Tiger (Series of 7—Ancient Orient)
Five young warrior-monk brothers survive an insurrection and must use the ancient arts to avenge their Grandmaster.
Sutcliff, Rosemary. Black Ships Before
Retells the story of the Trojan War, from the quarrel for the golden apple, and the flight of Helen with
Dougherty, Terri. 300 Heroes : The
Describes events before, during, and after the battle of
Alexander, Lloyd. Westmark. (Series of 3)
A boy fleeing from criminal charges travels about the
Cadnum, Michael. Book of the Lion. (Series of 3)
Jinks, Catherine. Pagan’s Crusade. (Series of 4)
Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan. (Series of 7 and counting)
When Will is rejected by battle school, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger. (Not really historical, but lots of fighting.)
Spradlin, Michael. Keeper of the Grail
In 1191, Tristan becomes a Templar Knight's squire during the Third Crusade and soon finds himself on a mission to bring the Holy Grail to safety.
Avi, Fighting Ground
Thirteen-year-old Jonathan goes off to fight in the Revolutionary War and discovers the real war is being fought within himself.
Barry Denenberg. The journal of William Thomas Emerson : A Revolutionary War Patriot
William writes of his experiences in pre-Revolutionary War Boston where he joins the cause of the patriots who are opposed to the British rule.
Elizabeth Alder. Crossing the Panther's Path
Billy, son of a British soldier and a Mohawk woman, joins Tecumseh in his efforts to prevent the Americans from taking more land from the Indians in the
Abnett, Dan. The
Presents a brief depiction of the Civil War battle at
Avi. Iron Thunder.
At Tom’s job at the local ironworks he helps build an iron ship for the Union army, and his loyalty come into question when he is approached by Confederate spies to sell secrets about the ship to the South.
Beatty, Patricia. Charley Skedaddle
During the Civil War, a boy joins the Union Army as a drummer, deserts during a battle in
Collier, James Lincoln and Christopher Collier. With Every Drop of Blood.
While trying to transport food to
An assortment of characters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.
Soldier’s Heart— Eager to enlist, Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.
Severance, John B. Braving the Fire.
Jem joins the Union Army but is not sure of his motives or what he hopes to accomplish, particularly since the Civil War has divided his family and caused much violence and confusion in his life.
Sid Hite. The Journal of Rufus Rowe : a Witness to the
In 1862, Rufus runs away from home and settles in
John Wilson. The Flags of War
Two cousins, Nate in South
World War I
Erich Maria Remarque ; All Quiet on the Western Front
Depicts the experiences of a group of young German soldiers fighting and suffering during the last days of World War I.
Murphy, Jim. Truce.
Tells the story of the December 25, 1914 truce between German and British soldiers as they laid down their weapons and met in No Man's Land to celebrate Christmas.
Wilson, John. And in the Morning.
Canadian Jim Hay joins the army in World War I and is sent to
Spilbeen, Geert. Kipling’s Choice.
In 1915, mortally wounded in
World War II
Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker.
After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned and other Navajos are recruited to send messages during World War II.
. GI Joe in World War II Sharon
Examines key events involving U.S. soldiers during World War II that have shaped the course of the nation, while defining the GI's place in history.
DeMallie Howard R. Behind Enemy Lines : A Young Pilot's Story
A young American pilot is forced to bail out over occupied
Dowswell, Paul. True Stories of the Second World War
A collection of stories about the events during World War II and some of their later results.
Elliot, Laura. Under a War-Torn Sky.
After his plane is shot down by Hitler's Luftwaffe Henry strives to walk across occupied
Hughes, Dean. Solider Boys.
Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the
After being taken by German soldiers, Roberto is forced to work in
Walter Dean Myers. The journal of Scott Pendleton Collins : a World War II soldier
A seventeen-year-old soldier from central
World War II
Salisbury, Graham. Eyes of the Emperor.
Following orders from the United States Army, several young Japanese American men train K-9 units to hunt Asians during World War II.
Wilson, John. Flames of a Tiger.
Dieter believes in the policies of Hitler and the Nazis, but as World War II intensifies and he is called upon to fight for his country, Dieter begins to question everything he believed.
Wilson, John. Four Steps to Death
Two bodies, uncovered at a building site, prompt the investigating officer to remember World War II and the circumstances involving their deaths during the Battle of Stalingrad.
Wulffson, Don. Soldier X.
In 1943 sixteen-year-old Erik experiences the horrors of war when he is drafted into the German army and sent to fight on the Russian front.
Explores, through letters and diary entries, the Vietnam War and its effects on the soldiers and the citizens of Vietnam.
Hughes, Dean. Search and Destroy.
Recent high school graduate Rick Ward, undecided about his future and eager to escape his unhappy home life, joins the army and experiences the horrors of the war in Vietnam.
Kadohata. Cynthia. Cracker, The Best Dog in Vietnam.
A young soldier in Vietnam bonds with his bomb-sniffing German shepherd.
Mitchell. A Sniper’s Journey (NF)
Gary Mitchell recounts the experiences he had while serving as a sniper for the United States Army, describing the assassinations he was ordered to carry out.
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels.
Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
Smith-Llera. Danielle. Vietnam War POWs (We the People)
Examines key events that took place during the Vietnam war, focusing on the mistreatment of our POWs.
White, Ellen Emerson. The journal of Patrick Seamus Flaherty, United States Marine Corps
A Marine records in his journal his experiences in Vietnam during the siege of Khe Sanh, 1967-1968.
Myers, Walter Dean. Sunrise Over Fallujah.
Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.
McCormick, Patricia. Purple Heart.
While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, Matt struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his friend, Ali.