15 Books for 15-Year-Old Boys: A Book List

15-year-old boys: learning to drive. Wrestling with heavy high school work (10th grade is usually more intense than 9th, in terms of work load). Taking standardized tests with an eye to college. Girlfriend? Part-time job? Who has time to read?

When the right book appears, it’s amazing what you can make time for!

We’ve got 15 books for 15-year-old boys, but don’t expect any one 15 year old to like them all. After all, part of maturing as a teen and separating from parents is having Opinions. That goes for books and genres, too. But we’ve got a nice mix of genres that include a little something for every type of reader (fiction and nonfiction, graphic novel, mystery, thriller, political, fantastical, ….).

Note: If you’ve got a “young” 15 year old, don’t miss our list of 13 Books for 13-Year-Old Boys. Many of those books age up nicely, and in fact, will work for teens of all ages. Do read reviews if you are unfamiliar with a given title/author. These are books for mature readers, and that means they generally come with some “considerations.”

15 Books for 15-Year-Old Boys: A Book List

Shepherd Suspense Trilogy by Andrew Huff.

  • Action-packed thrillers with a conscience and spiritual sensitivity. Read our review.

The Martian by Andy Weir.

  • A snarky, totally believable science fiction narrative for teens. Note: we reviewed the “classroom edition,” but there are still significant language considerations. Read our review.

Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy. 

  • An American soldier and Afghan interpreter become life-long friends during Operation Enduring Freedom. Read our review.

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin.

  • Sheinkin brings the Cuban Missile Crisis to life in this nail-biting read for teens. Read our review.

The Holy Ghost: A Spirited Comic by John Hendrix. 

  • Author/illustrator John Hendrix freely exercises his imaginative powers while contemplating the third Person of the Trinity. Read our review.

*Disappeared by Francis X. Stork.

  • Realistic fiction that offers teens a complex look at making moral choices amid drug crime and kidnapping along the Mexican border. Read our review. (See also On the Hook)

The Hungry Cities Chronicles, by Philip Reeve: Mortal Engines (2001), Predator’s Gold (2003), Infernal Devices (2005), A Darkling Plain (2006).

  • Chases, warfare, treachery, alien societies, last stands, destruction, and death stampede across the narrative. But Reeve also works in trenchant, and often hilarious, observations on history, art, politics, and the gods—including one who “must know what it meant to be frightened, and to suffer, and to die.” Read our review.

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan.

  • It’s too bad you can’t always live as if it were the last moment of your life.  Because, you know, it might be—it might really be. Read our review.

Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U. S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany by Andrew Maraniss. 

  • Basketball history, Olympics history, the history of recreational sports, American racial tension, European tension, and the story of one U. S. basketball team come together in a gripping nonfiction narrative. Read our review.

In the Hall with the Knife: a Clue Mystery by Dana Peterfreund. 

  • In the Hall With the Knife kicks off a mystery series for teens based on the venerable board game, Clue. Read our review.

*The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Retelling by Gary D. Schmidt

  • Gary Schmidt brings to this retelling a novelist’s sense of plot and character development, ably abetted by Barry Moser’s watercolor illustrations. Read our starred review.

*Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story by Trip Lee. 

  • A gospel-based, conversational book set to a hip-hop album soundtrack in which Lee challenges young adults to rise above low expectations and “get up and live” for God’s glory. Read our starred review.

*Under Our Skin by Benjamin Watson

  • For Christians of all colors who are concerned about racial tension, Benjamin Watson shows the way to reconciliation. Read our starred review.

*Calvin by Martine Leavitt. 

  • A schizophrenic teen embarks on a quest for self-discovery and truth that becomes a struggle for survival. Read our starred review.

Classics, Nonfiction, and Biographies. 

  • 15-year-old boys are looking to the future: what are they interested in? Find a biography about someone engaged in similar pursuits. Check out the nonfiction shelves at your local library. Most 15 year olds can handle an adult-level nonfiction book if it’s about a topic in which they’re interested: Disappearing Spoon for chemistry/science types. Infinite Powers for math geeks. A book on computer programming, learning to draw, or building a rocket.
  • This age can also handle—and appreciate—classics like Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells, That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis, Dracula by Stoker, or modern classics like Jurassic Park or The Hunt for Red October. (Note: Jurassic Park and The Hunt for Red October both contain quite a bit of language and violence.)

**List updated February, 2023.

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Betsy Farquhar

Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Southeast.

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1 Comment

  1. Cody on March 13, 2023 at 9:00 am

    If people are looking for a classic work of literature for teenage boys, I’d like to recommend Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I don’t know if the writing style would appeal to today’s teenagers (probably not) but it’s a great archetypal “masculine” fantasy of standing up to bullies and rescuing victims.

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