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August 15, 2012


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alta charo

The entire "Danny Dunn" series - he's a science fan, is friends with a science professor, and has various adventures, along with his girl-sidekick (also into science but not quite as smart or engaged in it as he is) and his boy-sidekick (not into science, always hungry, into poetry, but good for company to go along for the ride). a 1950s/60s series. I devoured all of them when I was young. I have a particularly fond memory of reading "Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine" by candlelight during the 1965 NYC blackout.

Christine Hurt

Magic Thief and Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer


A recent-ish one is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.


And adding to the Danny Dunn recommendation--the Three Investigators series is from around the same time period (maybe more 70s). I loved, loved, loved, those as a kid.

Dara Purvis

The Dark is Rising, Susan Cooper.

alta charo

Encyclopedia Brown

Lance McMillian

Hardy Boys

Becca Rausch

The Phantom Tollbooth

See also:


_Year of the Horse_ by Justin Allen is very good.


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Tung Yin

Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain" series has a male assistant pig-keeper named Taran as the primary character.


Emily Rodda's "Rowan of Rin" series

Jacqueline Jules' "Freddie Ramos" series

Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the sequel, Charlie and the Glass Elevator

Thomas NZ

Taran, from the Chronicles of Prydain (Lloyd Alexander)

Barney Palmer, from The Haunting (Margaret Mahy); and of course the pirates from The Pirates' Mixed up Voyage by the same author

Thomas NZ

Henry Huggins series (Beverley Cleary) - oldie but a goodie; and The Mouse and the Motorcycle series (same); and especially Dear Mr Henshaw

Shining Rivers (NZ) (Ruth Dallas)

The Worst Soccer Team Ever series (William Taylor)

Napper Goes for Goal (for soccer fans)

Charmed Life; and more particularly The Lives of Christopher Chant (Diana Wynne Jones)

Swati Avasthi

Hey, thanks for including SPLIT on the list. Here are some of my favorite YAs with male protags; I find all of these very teachable at the college-level for English Lit and for Creative Writing

Looking for Alaska; An Abundance of Katherines; Paper Towns (all by John Green)

Godless, Invisible, Blank Confessions (all by Pete Hautman)

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

With or Without You by Brian Farrey

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde

American Born Chinese by Gene Yang

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky

Jacqueline Lipton

Thanks to everyone for these great suggestions and I'm particularly startstruck to have had Swati Avasthi comment. She's one of my favorite new authors. Thanks!

S Ghosh

The original Three Investigators series

Grace Lee

The Outsiders (or really anything by S.E. Hinton). A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park. And three by Judy Blume: Superfudge, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and Then Again, Maybe I Won't.

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