A crowdsourced list of “books about girls for boys”, suitable for 8- to 11-year olds.

This list, crowdsourced from Twitter (and contributed to by a mix of readers, reviewers, booksellers, parents, publishers and authors and any and every combination of the above!) grew out of a conversation with the librarian at my local primary school who mentioned that boys didn’t want to read books about girls. I wanted to put together some suggestions that might support a librarian in finding something for a boy who was unsure about a book with a girl as a main or major character.

It’s in no order (other than the order the suggestions came in), and far from exhaustive. While I’ve only included each book or series once, by FAR the most-suggested book was Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT. A close second was THE HUNGER GAMES (which I’ve not included as it’s probably more suitable for a slightly older reader — but every reader is different, so…). There should be at least one story here for everyone — I know I’ll certainly be making a trip to my local library after some of these suggestions!

MATILDA / THE BFG — Roald Dahl

The “COMPLETELY CASSIDY” books — Tamsyn Murray

INKHEART — Cornelia Funke

The WELLS & WONG (“MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE”) books — Robin Stevens

DREAMSNATCHER / SHADOWKEEPER — Abi Elphinstone

ORANGES IN NO MAN’S LAND — Elizabeth Laird

The PIPPI LONGSTOCKING books — Astrid Lindgren

The PENNY DREADFUL books — Joanna Nadin

CORALINE — Neil Gaiman

The ARABEL & MORTIMER books — Joan Aiken

The WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE sequence — Joan Aiken

The EMILY SPARKES books — Ruth Fitzgerald

The UNLADYLIKE ADVENTURES OF KAT STEPHENSON books — Stephanie Burgis

ROOFTOPPERS / THE WOLF WILDER — Katherine Rundell

All of Emma Carroll’s books

PERIJEE AND ME — Ross Montgomery

Eva Ibbotson’s books

MARS EVACUEES — Sophia McDougall

The LOCKWOOD & CO series — Jonathan Stroud

Frances Hardinge’s books

MYSTERY & MAYHEM (anthology) — The Crime Club

THE HOUSE OF EYES: A CONNIE CAREW MYSTERY — Patricia Elliott

The HIS DARK MATERIALS books — Philip Pullman

COGHEART — Peter Bunzl

ALICE IN WONDERLAND — Lewis Carroll

THE CROOKED SIXPENCE (THE UNCOMMONERS) — Jennifer Bell

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE — Diana Wynne Jones

The EARTHSEA books — Ursula Le Guin

SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT — Derek Landy

UN-LUN-DUN — China Mieville

The WORST WITCH books — Jill Murphy

The BITTERBYNDE trilogy — Cecilia Dart-Thornton

The TIFFANY ACHING books — Terry Pratchett~

A HAWK IN SILVER — Mary Gentle

The MALORY TOWERS books — Enid Blyton

SHARK LADY — Ann McGovern

HARRIET THE SPY — Louise Fitzhugh

The WILMA TENDERFOOT books — Emma Kennedy

A WRINKLE IN TIME — Madeleine L’Engle

The UNLIKELY EXPLOITS books — Philip Ardagh

OPAL MOONBABY — Maudie Smith

(~GNU Terry Pratchett)

There were also a few suggestions for comics:

Ms MARVEL

SQUIRREL GIRL

GOTHAM ACADEMY

LUMBERJANES

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR

PRINCELESS