Lots of boys like to read about wars, especially WWII.
Paschendaele: Canada's Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders, by Norman Leach - This book flew off the shelves during our school book fair. (There's also a movie starring Paul Gross.)
Also, see "Superheroes" below. (Superheros spend their days fighting. Punching. Being punched. It's a living.)
Boys love joke books. Joke books are best purchased rather than borrowed from the library, because kids will refer to them again and again. Ask the staff at your local bookstore for a popular one, and then for pete's sake read a few of the jokes before you buy it to make sure that they're age-appropriate but even more importantly, that they're funny - because you'll be hearing them. Again. And again. And again.
Boys also like funny or silly stories. For instance, Chester by Melanie Watt, is a picture book in which the author's cat, Chester, scratches out and rewrites the story to his advantage.
Books that my son confirms are "hilarious," are The Weird School series by Dan Gutman (Miss Daisy is Crazy is the first one) and the extremely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney.
We've talked before about the Encyclopedia of Immaturity, a Klutz book. It's very funny, and kids will read it over and over.Non-Fiction
Think Superman, Batman and Spiderman - comics and books. But for older boys also consider classics like Beowulf, and Homer’s The Odyssey.
There is a whole list of great superhero books that aren't comics here and here.
Here's a "cool-parent" tip. Get the name of one of the video games your son's playing a lot right now. Then Google it, with "cheats" or "walkthrough" like this: "Mario Super Smash Bros. cheats" or "Zelda walkthrough".
You'll get a big long page of tips that will make your son's gameplaying experiencing more fun and more enriched. (Don't worry - they're not "cheating" - they're called cheats, but it really means hidden extras. On the other hand, the walkthroughs are actually cheating, but games are so complicated these days, everyone uses them.)
Your son will love you and think you're uber-cool, because you're showing him something new about his game. And you'll be happy because boy, there is a ton of reading to those cheats and walkthroughs!
All of the above
Reader’s Digest - It has many of the elements boys love: pictures, short articles, games, jokes, non-fiction, competition and it’s compact so it's portable.
The Sports section of your newspaper.
The Guinness Book of World Records and the Guinness Book of World Records, Gamer's Edition.
Please share with us your favourite gross, factual, humorous, visual or non-fiction books boys love.
Please also check out the "Great books" category on this blog for more suggestions, and for more information about many of the books listed here.
For more gross books for boys, check out the blog, Getting Boys to Read.