The 10 Best Summer Reading List for Teen Boys of 2020

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Looking for a summer reading list suitable for teen boys? This summer reading list offers a wide range of great books for teen boys from mysteries to zombies to spy thrillers and more. Most of the titles here are recommended for ages 12 to 18, but there are a few specifically targeted for the 12 to 14 and 14 to 18 age group range.


Set in a dystopian society, three kids are on the run from a society who “unwinds” or harvests body parts of unwanted adolescents. Told from the viewpoint of three teens on the run for their lives, this story brings to light the issues of rights to life. In "Unwind", author Neal Shusterman skillfully crafts a thrilling story that asks readers to think about social issues. Intense, fast-paced, and methodical, this book is a perfect read for reluctant readers and teens interested in futuristic societies. Recommended for ages 14 to 18, the book is the first of four books in the "Unwind Dystology". 


Best friends Chris and Win celebrate senior graduation by taking a cross-country bicycle trek from West Virginia to Washington, but Win never makes it. The FBI investigates Chris to piece together the mystery of his friend’s disappearance. Alternating chapters from present-day to the friends’ road trip slowly reveals clues about the nature of the boys’ friendship and the story's central mystery. The author of "Shift" is Jennifer Bradbury. Recommended for ages 14 to 18.

Rot and Ruin

Fifteen-year-old Benny is angry. His parents are dead, his brother is a zombie hunter, and now Benny must find a job in order to keep his food rations. Patrolling the borders of “Rot and Ruin” is not what Benny wants to do, but it will keep food in his belly and help him understand the decisions his brother made the night zombies invaded their home. Although this novel by Jonathan Maberry is full of gruesome zombie violence, the underlying coming of age story is what readers will remember. Recommended for ages 14 to 18. 


Alex Rider is about to discover that all is not what it seems when he learns that his guardian uncle was not a bank president, but a spy for the British government. Determined to find his uncle’s murderer and forced by British Intelligence to take over his uncle’s mission, the teen begins to search for clues to find the killer. With all the gadgetry and ammunition of a James Bond novel, this first book in the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz is a sure hit for teens looking for high tech spy adventure. Recommended for ages 12 to 14. 

Revenge of the Witch

Thomas Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, is apprenticed to Old Gregory the local spook whose job is to rid local villages of their ghosts, ghouls, and witches. While learning the trade, Thom makes friends with Alice, a witch, who aides him in his many encounters with haunting creatures. Basing his books on the legendary stories surrounding his English home, author Joseph Delaney has created a long-running and popular series for teens who are fans of ghost stories. Recommended for ages 12 to 18.

The House of the Scorpion

This multiple award-winning book by Nancy Farmer takes a futuristic look at a society who believes in cloning. Matt, a clone of the powerful 140-year-old drug lord El Patron, is kept isolated from other members of his household and is both despised and feared by those around him. When Matt learns that his sole purpose is to provide El Patron with organs to help him live longer, he seeks the help of a good friend to help his escape. Written for mature teen readers, this book will raise questions about the value of life, individual freedom, and the ethics of cloning. Recommended for ages 12 to 18.

Heroes of the Valley

For all his life 15-year-old Hallie Sveinsson has heard the legendary stories of heroes. But Hallie is short, round and an unlikely candidate for the stuff of legends. Instead, Hallie is a prankster, and one day a harmless prank sets into motion a chain of events that leads to his uncle’s murder. Setting out on a quest to avenge the murder, Hallie and learns what it means to be a true hero. This epic stand-alone fantasy set in medieval times is a rich tale about separating truth from fiction. Jonathan Stroud is the author of "Heroes of the Valley". Recommended for ages 12 to 18.  



For fans of the Artemis Fowl series, comes another well written historical fantasy book by beloved Irish author Eoin Colfer. Set in 19th-century Ireland at the dawn of aviation is the story of Conor Broekhart, the boy born in a hot air balloon. One day, while wandering the halls of the castle, Conor overhears a plot to murder the king, but he is discovered and then and framed for the murder. Sent to prison in a high tower, Conor uses his knowledge of flying to create a machine that will help him escape. Plot-driven and full of high-flying adventure, this smartly written book will entertain any teen looking to read a swashbuckling tale. Recommended for ages 12 to 18. 

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

When siblings Josh and Sophie walk into the bookstore they witness a spectacular display of magic between bookseller Nick and his nemesis John Dee. The mysterious bookseller is none other than the immortal alchemist Nicholas Flamel. After Dee steals the Codex, Josh and Sophie are forced to help the Flamels retrieve the Codex before it is used for evil means. Little do the brother and sister know that they are part of an important magical prophecy. Centered on magic and myth this book is a great follow-up series for fans of Harry Potter. "The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel" is by Michael Scott. Recommended for ages 12 to 18.

Death Cloud

Even Sherlock Holmes was once a teenager. Based on the classic Sherlock Holmes mysteries, author Andrew Lane introduces teens to a younger version of the clever sleuth who takes on his first case in "Death Cloud". Fourteen-year-old Holmes and his American tutor, Amyus Crowe, work together to discover if the mysterious deaths of two neighbors were caused by a vicious plague or if indeed it was…murder. Recommended for ages 12 to 14.