Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Books make great gifts, but let's face it, preteen and teen boys are a tough market to buy for! (All these books are also enjoyed by girls too, just sayin'!)
To keep Christmas simple, our family uses the "Something to wear, something to read, something they want, something they need" guideline when we're Christmas shopping. Maybe you do something similar! Either way, books make perfect presents- if they are enjoyed that is.
A big perk of starting a book series for a family member: you know what to buy for the next several birthdays and Christmases!
If you find yourself staring blank faced at the young adult section in the bookstore, I'm here to help. My teen son is a big fantasy fiction reader, so I thought I'd share his favorites with you!
All the links for these books are affiliate links, which means if you click from my site and purchase one, I receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.
None of these books were offered to me or my son in exchange for reviews, and we are sharing our honest opinions! We hope you like them too, but offer no guarantees.
The pictures in this post are of our own collection curated over several years, and cover design be different than what is currently available for sale.
Okay, let's get to the books!
This first series is one of my all time favorite young adult series, and I waited anxiously for my boys to be old enough to enjoy it too! The covers are a little beaten up, because they have been read over and over. The Ranger's Apprentice Series by John Flanagan is packed full of action and amazing characters. The main character, Will, desperately wants to be a knight, but finds himself apprenticed to a mysterious Ranger instead. Will learns how important the Ranger Corps are for protecting the kingdom, and finds himself swept up into battles long before he feels ready. The series follows Will, his mentor Halt and his friend Horace through a multitude of countries and adventures.
The Copernicus Legacy Series by Tony Abbott is a fast paced adventure where a family is swept up into a dangerous mystery involving a secret society. Set in modern times, the characters are tasked with finding powerful relics. This series goes at running pace as kids and grown-ups work together deciphering ancient clues sprinkled across multiple countries. (As a mom, I enjoyed seeing a family working together on an adventure!) There are actually four books out in this series, and the other two are on my son's wish list!
The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D'Lacey, (my son calls it the Fire Within Series), is a different take on your typical dragon story. Set in modern times, this story focuses on an adult character named David. David finds himself intrigued by his slightly odd landlady's collection of dragon figurines, and the incredible stories that go with them.
My son is really into Dragons! He's been collecting The Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland for a while now. I haven't read this series yet, but my son loves how the stories are told from a dragon's point of view. As a detail sort of guy, he likes the different classes of dragons, and their various special abilities. The series is set during an epic dragon war, and follows four dragonets who are prophesied to bring that war to an end. Full of action, battles and special powers, my son recommends this series for teen and preteen dragon lovers.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini and the following three books in the series are some of my favorites. I bought them for myself, and was excited when my son picked them off the shelf. Paolini creates a masterful world of believable races of humans, elves, dwarves, and other, more sinister creatures. The dragons are believed to be all but extinct, but Eragon finds a dragon egg and the path of his life is forever changed. He must learn how to be a dragon rider, to use magic, and to save his people from a cruel king. These are a slightly more mature read, perfect for teen to adult.
I am a classic book lover, and the next two fantasy books definitely hit that mark.
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis is classic fantasy series that I'm sure you've heard of! These books work well for children up to adult, because there is a greater truth behind the stories. The series follows several children as they explore the fantastic land of Narnia. Written by a man who knew full well the horrors of World War II, the books highlight the importance of standing up to evil, and focus on bravery, friendship, honor, faith, and loyalty.
The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien are the mark by which other fantasy world builders measure themselves. The Hobbit is an easier read by far than the trilogy series, and could be read and enjoyed by a preteen. The other three are heavy into descriptions, and go into darker themes, but if you have a teen on your shopping list who is into details, this series is amazing. If your teen loved the movies, these books take you deeper into Middle Earth than the movies could ever manage.
If our book review was helpful to you, I'd really appreciate you using one of the links on my blog to order!
Do you have another series to recommend? We're always looking for more great books!