Books for Boys :: A Closer Look at the Bookshelf

by | Mar 22, 2016 | Books, Books for Boys, Favorite Toys, Lego, Lord of the Rings, Playmobil, Ranger's Apprentice | 13 comments

I’ve been meaning to share this post ever since posting Books for Girls :: A Closer Look at the Bookshelf! I actually took these photos back in November of last year 2014 and since then the boys have both grown quite a few inches and started high school! made a few changes… They passed down all the Playmobil ships (Soldier Boat, Viking Longboat, Royal Ship of Egypt, and Roman Galley) to their two younger brothers, and replaced them with their LEGO Modular buildings (Palace Cinema, Pet Shop, and Parisian Restaurant) which fit perfectly on top of the bookshelf, safely out of reach of little hands! Some of the actual books on this bookshelf have changed as well, since I originally took the pictures for this post as well, making room for the new books the have received for Easter and Christmas, but rather than starting over, I’m just going to share what they had at this point.

{Note: Many of their books are kept on the History and Saint bookshelves. This post just lists the book which they keep in their bedroom. All links are Amazon Affiliate links.}

.: Top Shelf :. 

Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan

In February of last year our (then) 13 year old was given hardcover editions of the rest of the Ranger’s Apprentice series for his Ranger’s Apprentice themed birthday! The boys were also given a copy of the brand new (personalized and autographed thanks to friends in Texas!) prequel: The Tournament of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years)

The Brotherband Chronicles by John Flanagan

I have also pre-ordered the next in the series for the boys: The Ghostfaces (Book 6)

Tales of Foreign Lands, Volume 1
Tales of Foreign Lands, Volume 2
Tales of Foreign Lands, Volume 3
This series was a gift from the boys’ grandparents. 

Various books by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m working on this post while traveling and I don’t have access to all the boys’ books to check the ISBN numbers to find the matching editions for our older boxed sets. We gave this illustrated edition of the Hobbit  to our 8 year old and it is by far his favorite book. I’m tempted to order another copy while it’s 40% off! 

You can find Ranger’s Lord of the Rings Hand-Painted Action Figures here

.: Second Shelf :. 

A Few of Ranger’s Metal Earth Models:

The Constitution of the United States of America
Dragon Slayers: The Essential Training Guide for Young Dragon Fighters
Letters to an Altar Boy
The Young Man of Character
The Young People’s Book of Saints
The Soldier of Christ: Talks Before Confirmation
A Child’s Book of Warriors
The Gate
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
Christians Courageous
Crossbows & Crucifixes: A Novel of the Priest Hunters and the Brave Young Men Who Fought Them
Saint Magnus, The Last Viking
Crusader King: A Novel of Baldwin IV and the Crusades
A Soldier Surrenders: The Conversion of Saint Camillus de Lellis
Ablaze: The Stories of Daring Teen Saints

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (Hornblower Saga)
Hornblower and the “Hotspur” (Hornblower Saga)
Hornblower During the Crisis (Hornblower Saga)
Hornblower Beat to the Quarters (Hornblower Saga)
(This series was also a gift from their grandparents.) 

Lost in Peter’s Tomb
Break-In At the Basilica
Curse of the Coins
Secrets of Siena

Bank Robbery!

Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden

Fabre’s Book of Insects
The Call of the Wind
The Adventures of Tom Saywer
My Side of the Mountain
By the Great Horn Spoon
Swallows and Amazons
The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
Adam of the Road
The Good Master
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Snow Treasure

The two sets in the corner of this shelf are a couple of their favorites from when they were younger. Our current eight year old really enjoyed reading them last year!

The Tales of the RAF series includes:

We have the paperback editions, but the whole set is also available in hardcover and I’d love to add it to our collection! 

The Billy and Blaze series includes:

Additional Metal Earth models have been added including Neuschwanstein Castle (pictures here), Brooklyn Bridge, London Tower Bridge, Golden Gate BridgeStar Wars Millennium Falcon, and Notre Dame.

.: Third Shelf :.

Chronicles of Narnia Box Set

Tom Playfair: Or Making a Start
Percy Winn: Or Making a Boy of Him
Harry Dee: Or Working it Out
(They also have additional books written by Father Finn including: Claude Lightfoot: Or How the Problem Was SolvedEthelred Preston: Or the Adventures of a Newcomer, and That Football Game: And What Came of It

The Boy Mechanic: 200 Classic Things to Build
The Boy Scientist: 160 Extraordinary Experiments & Adventures
The Boy Camper: 160 Outdoor Projects and Activities
(Gifts from grandparents.) 

Ship’s Boy with Magellan
John Treegate’s Musket
Peter Treegate’s War
Sea Captain from Salem
Treegate’s Raiders
The Reb and the Redcoats

Alvin’s Secret Code
Alvin Fernald, Foreign Trader
Alvin Fernald, Mayor for the Day

The Winged Watchman (We love the audio version!)
Enemy Brothers (The audio version of this book is excellent too!
Hittite Warrior
The Small War of Sergeant Donkey

Old Sam: Dakota Trotter
Augustine Came to Kent
Brave Buffalo Fighter
Beyond the Desert Gate
With Pipe, Paddle, and Song: A Story of the French-Canadian Voyageurs
The Mystery of the Periodic Table
Between the Forest and the Hills
The Drovers Road Collection: Adventures in New Zealand
The Flying Ensign: Greencoats Against Napoleon
The Lantern Bearers (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
The Silver Branch (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
The Eagle of the Ninth (The Roman Britain Trilogy)
Warrior Scarlet
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table
Great Names in Our Country’s Story
The Outdoor Book for Adventurous Boys: Essential Skills and Activities For Boys of All Ages
The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Fun Old Time Games: Stoopball, Jacks, String Games, Coin Flipping, Line Baseball, Jump Rope, and More

(I can’t believe how much these two have grown in the past year and a half!) 

Additional LEGO Architecture sets have been added including The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Lincoln Memorial.

.: Fourth Shelf :.

The Hardy Boys 
(some from their Dad’s childhood collection and others from a friend)

Childhood of Famous Americans
(various books from the series) 

Landmark Books including:

King Arthur for Boys
A Boy Sailer with John Paul Jones
Men Against the Sea
The Mapmaker
Friar Among Savages
Outlaws of Ravenhurst
The Chariot Race: From Ben Hur

.: Bottom Shelf :. 

Holy Card Albums
Lap Books
Various Civil War books
The Art of the Hobbit
The Atlas of Middle-Earth
Gettysburg: The Long Encampment
Arms & Equipment of the Civil War
Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices
The Dangerous Book for Boys
Amon’s Adventures: A Family Story for Easter
Learn to Burn: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started in Pyrography
See Inside the Middle Ages
Time Traveler
The Usborne Book of World History
Second World War
World War II Discovery Kit
The Civil War Day by Day
Songs of the Wild West
Blue Knights Boys’ Club Member Books
Behind the Blue and Gray: The Soldier’s Life in the Civil War
A Christmas Carol (illustrated by P.J. Lynch)
Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

.: From the Archives :.


  1. betterthaneden

    Thank you so much for this!!! I've been running out of ideas for my oldest boy and it's so nice having a list like this from a source I trust!

    2016-03-22 19:11:16

  2. Carla

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm delighted to find some new book ideas for my 8 and 10 year old boys. I've already ordered a couple to try. My younger son is also interested in trying out the Metal Earth models although I think they might be a bit challenging for him. Thanks again for an interesting and informative post.

    2016-03-22 23:30:09

  3. Grace

    This is such a great resource! I will be referring back to it for sure! I would love for you to do a post on music choices for your children. I have two older boys your boys' ages and I'm especially searching for them. I'd like to provide more 'upbeat' music without resorting to 'distorted rhythms'. (Have you listened to "Music and Morality" by Fr. Basil Nortz. I know priest in traditional circles recommend folk music….that's not something I grew up with and am not familiar with artists in that area. Any suggestions?

    2016-03-23 11:53:07

  4. Krista

    GREAT post – thank you for doing this for us all! My daughter may enjoy some of these books and Lego sets as well! We're still working on her reading and have actually started using All About Reading to help get her fluency stronger and her overall ability on the up and up and able to read books such as the ones you've highlighted above. The boys have some great taste! 🙂 God bless and Happy Holy Week and Easter! ")

    2016-03-23 16:15:24

  5. Jessica Gordon

    Yes!! Our girls love many of these books as well,and frequently borrow them from their brothers. They are also really enjoying LEGO sets lately as well! 🙂

    2016-03-23 16:43:39

  6. Karen

    Thank you for listing all these great resources in one superb post! I have a quick question; if I click on your link to buy the product, putting it into my Amazon cart but not purchasing it immediately, do you still get credit for it once I purchase it later? Or do I need to come back and re-link it at the time of purchase? Thanks!

    2016-03-24 12:41:03

  7. Jessica Gordon

    Hi Karen! If you choose to click any of the links to Amazon that I have here at Shower of Roses, then add an item (any item!) to your shopping cart (not your wish list! you would have to come back and click another link before adding products from your wish list to your cart in order for me to receive the commission) and complete the purchase on those items within 89 days following your initial click-through, I will receive a commission on that single shopping "session." This also applies to products purchased via Amazon's 1-Click feature and streamed/downloaded digital products. Once you have completed a purchase (the checkout process) you would have to come back and click another link here on the blog to start a new "session." The "session" also ends once you have clicked a special affiliate link from another blog or website. I hope that clarifies it for you! We are so grateful for this additional source of income, it is once of the main reasons our children have been so blessed with their great collection of books, and how I can justify spending the time on post like these! Thank you! 🙂

    2016-03-24 14:39:49

  8. Jessica Gordon

    I'm glad this post is helpful! I'll see if I can come up with a list of suggestions. Our boys especially love Irish Folk music! "Music and Morality" sounds familiar, but I'm not sure if I've listened to that particular talk or am just remembering conversations I've had with my husband and brother-in-laws. I'll have to see if I can find it to listen to. Thanks!

    2016-03-24 14:44:12

  9. Jessica Gordon

    You're welcome! 🙂

    Yes, the Metal Earth models are challenging. Our 13 year old loves them and has been building them for a couple years now, but they are really frustrating for our other boys. Having some special tools (similar to those in this kit) is really helpful!

  10. Guest

    I love love love this post!! While it is a bit off topic for this article, I wanted to mention that a very sweet teenager in our community is doing fundraising for a special wheel chair for a fella in the Philipines who is not otherwise going to get a much needed replacement. She smartly set up a GoFundMe with a brief introduction. I couldn't help but tell her I would ask everyone I think might help for support for Jordan. If this looks like something fitting for Good Friday alms giving or Divine Mercy Sunday or something like that I would be so deeply joyful to help her see her wish come true. I've seen a few links like this on your blog before that we've been so happy to share the word about so I had a little extra courage to write and ask. Blessings in this holy season of grace. Your family is remembered in extra care!
    2016-03-24 20:12:39

  11. Holly

    Hi Jessica,

    I've followed your blog off and on for many years and always love coming back to it! I'm not sure you'll see my comment since this is such an old post, but I was wondering if there is a link for the bookshelves? Or where you got them?

    Thank you, God Bless, and Merry Christmas!

    2019-12-20 06:11:03

  12. Jessica Gordon

    I got them from Target! They are the 72" Carson 5 Shelf Bookcase. Watch for sales 🙂

    2020-02-13 00:34:42

  13. Christy

    Jessica, first of all thank you so much for all of your incredible energy and work you put into getting our children prepared for this crazy world! Your ideas and lists have helped me out so much! I have a question for you- do you have any recommended series of books for a 7/8 year old? TIA

    2021-11-20 21:45:21


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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