Guy Friendly Reads --
Books for reluctant readers, Middle and High School

This list is for those trying to find reads for guys who don't find books to be high on their list of favorite activities. There are books for Middle Graders and older High School guys.

note: Where there is a series involved, we give reading information for only the first book in the series.

Blood NinjaBlood Ninja by Nick Lake

Could Taro, a fisherman’s son, be destined for greatness? In the course of a day, Taro’s entire life changes: His father is murdered before his eyes, and Taro is taken by a mysterious ninja on a perilous journey toward safety. Someone wants Taro dead, but who—and why?

Word Count: 105,375
Page Count: 400
Accelerated Reading level: 5.7 / points: 17.0
AR quiz: 134774
Lexile: 870L

Chew On This:  Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food
Chew On This by Eric Schlosser NON-FICTION
**Starred Review** Booklist

Yep. Some guys love this one,
where Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson unwrap the fast-food industry to bring you a behind-the-scenes look at a business that both feeds and feeds off the young. Find out what really goes on at your favorite restaurants—and what lurks between those sesame seed buns.

Word Count: 50,768
Page Count: 318
Accelerated Reading level: 8.1 / points: 9.0
AR quiz: 106079
Lexile: 1110L

CrackbackCrackback by John Coy
**Starred Review** Booklist

When Miles Manning discovers his teammates are using steroids--and one of them is his best friend--he's faced with a tough decision: Is he willing to do what it takes to win? Football is his life, and his family, especially his dad, is pinning its hopes on him. It's a lot of pressure for a high school junior to bear.

Word Count: 37,791
Page Count: 208
Accelerated Reading level: 3.2 / points: 5.0
AR quiz: 102567
Lexile: 490L

Night HoopsNight Hoops by Carl Deuker
Nick Abbott and Trent Dawson have nothing in common but basketball. It's sophomore year and Nick is trying to deal with his parents' divorce. He also really wants to be a star on the basketball team. Trent, his neighbor, is angry, and aggressive. The two form an uneasy bond as they quietly practice each night on Nick's backyard basketball court. But as the basketball season progresses, their lives become unexpectedly intertwined.

Word Count: 54,849
Page Count: 228
Accelerated Reading level: 4.5 / points: 8.0
AR quiz: 40657
Lexile: 630L

PeakPeak by Roland Smith
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
Booklist Editors’ Choice
National Book Award Winner
Junior Library Guild Selection

After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with a choice: wither away in juvenile detention or fly to Kathmandu with his long-lost father. Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. As owner of Peak Expeditions, he wants his son to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit.

Word Count: 63,195
Page Count: 256
Accelerated Reading level: 5.0 / points: 9.0
AR quiz: 114836
Lexile: 780L

PopPop by Gordon Korman
**Starred Review** Kirkus

When Marcus moves to a new town
in the dead of summer, he doesn't know a soul. While practicing football for impending tryouts, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older man. Charlie is a charismatic prankster—and the best football player Marcus has ever seen. He can't believe his good luck when he finds out that Charlie is actually Charlie Popovich, or "the King of Pop," as he had been nicknamed during his career as an NFL linebacker. But that's not all. There is a secret about Charlie that his own family is desperate to hide.

Word Count: 52,682
Page Count: 272
Accelerated Reading level: 5.1 / points: 8.0
AR quiz: 131873
Lexile: 740L

RunnerRunner by Carl Deuker
When a new job falls his way, Chance jumps at the opportunity, becoming a runner who picks up strange packages on a daily route and delivers them to a shady man at the marina. Chase knows how much he will earn—what he doesn’t know is how much he will pay.

Word Count: 44,959
Page Count: 224
Accelerated Reading level: 4.3 / points: 6.0
AR quiz: 87367

Slam!Slam! by Walter Dean Myers
Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's seen ballplayers come and go, and he knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it to the top. Or maybe he'll stumble along the way. Slam's grades aren't that hot. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.

Word Count: 55,306
Page Count: 288
Accelerated Reading level: 4.5 / points: 8.0
AR quiz: 15087
Lexile: 750L

Soldier BoysSoldier Boys by Dean Hughes
At the age of 15, Dieter's blind devotion
gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery all costs.

Spence, just 16, drops out of his high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He's seen how boys who weren't much in high school can come home heroes, and Spence wants to prove to his friends and family that he really can be something.

Their worst fear was that the war would end too soon -- that they wouldn't get the chance to prove themselves. But when they finally see the action they were hoping for, it's like nothing they could have ever imagined.

Word Count: 45,707
Page Count: 240
Accelerated Reading level: 5.4 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 55204
Lexile: 790L

Soldier XSoldier X by Don Wulffson
Sixteen-year-old Erik Brandt barely knows what Germany is fighting for when he is drafted into Hitler's army in 1944. Sent to the killing fields of the Eastern Front, he is surrounded by unimaginable sights, more horrific than he ever thought possible. It's kill or be killed, and it seems clear that Erik's days are numbered. Until, covered in blood and seriously injured, he conceives of another way to survive.

Word Count: 47,442
Page Count: 240
Accelerated Reading level: 5.7 / points: 7.0
AR quiz: 46856
Lexile: 740L

StitchesStitches by David Small
**Starred Review** LibrarySchoolJournal
**Starred Review** PublishersWeekly

Intensely, scary, and dramatic: Stitches
tells the story of a fourteen-year-old boy who awakes one day from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he has been transformed into a virtual mute—a vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot. From horror to hope, Small proceeds to graphically portray an almost unbelievable descent into adolescent hell and the difficult road to physical, emotional, and artistic recovery.

Word Count: 5,327
Page Count: 329
Accelerated Reading level: 3.2 / points: 1.0
AR quiz: 137305
Lexile: 160L

We've got tons of books to add to this list, so check back.

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compiled by Pam T