Monday, May 13

Ten Best Vintage Novel Series for Boys

We live in a throw-away society that places a premium on all things new and shiny.  Toaster breaks?  Buy a new one.  Car not working right anymore?  Buy a new one.  New is supposed to be better.

But I don’t think that’s true…..especially when it comes to literature.

In 1944, C.S. Lewis stated, “There is a strange idea abroad that in every subject the ancient books should be read only by the professionals, and that the amateur should content himself with the modern books.”  He went on to say, “If a reader must read only the new or the old {books}, I would advise him to read the old.”

Reading aloud with my children - regardless of their ages - is one of my greatest mom passions.  I began reading to them in utero and am still keeping it up...umpteen years later.  I know that they are going to choose the more modern books to read in their free time, so we often choose vintage literature to read together as a family.

  • Vintage literature tends to be cleaner and teach good morals.
  • Vintage literature encourages children to dream, but also teaches them to help.
  • Vintage literature provides a unique ‘primary source’ perspective on historic events.
When I discovered that Amazon carried Megapacks of these books, it was a Happy-Dance kind of day!!  These are such an amazing find, and here's why --
  • Each megapack has between eight and fifty (!) books in it.
  • They are priced from 59 cents to 1.99.  (That's for the whole pack, not per book.  A steal!)
  • They're accessible anywhere, and I can loan them out just like a regular book.

G.A. Henty
Henty's stories typically center on a youth who is about 15-16 years old at the start of the story and run for the next five or six years. The story shows the virtue of education, discipline, and hard a lot of luck. There is quite a bit of history tucked into the pages as well!  These are the well-loved stories that have been adapted into Heirloom Audiobooks.

The G.A. Henty Megapack collects 20 classic adventure novels -- more than 4,500 pages! -- by the great Victorian author.

Dave Dawson
Robert Sidney Bowen, Jr. (1900– 1977) was a World War I aviator, newspaper journalist, magazine editor and author. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and died of cancer in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the age of 76. Bowen is best known for his boys’ series books written during World War II, the Dave Dawson War Adventure Series and the Red Randall Series. He also worked under the name R. Sidney Bowen and under the pseudonym James Robert Richard. 

Included in this volume are 14 novels in the Dave Dawson War Adventure series.
Tom Swift
Tom Swift seems to have unfathomable resources to do pretty much anything he wants. He can build things, do things, go places, and have extraordinary adventures!  Similar to the Rover Boys, but set just a bit before them, these will appeal to fans of Hardy Boys adventures.

The Tom Swift Megapack presents the first 25 volumes of the famous series in proper order, with original cover illustrations.
Sherlock Holmes
The stories in this collection are relatively new; they are also short and conventional.  All but a few follow the comfortable and familiar, tried-and-true formula of having Dr. Watson serve as narrator.  The combination of plot, character, and setting are as expected from a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

This volume assembles a mammoth collection of modern Sherlock Holmes stories -- no less than 25 tales -- by modern masters.
The Rover Boys were precursors to the Hardy Boys -- three brothers who solved mysteries and had adventures at boarding school, on vacation, and abroad. They were considered to be decent, honorable chaps, and never mean-spirited. They were fun-loving, red-blooded American lads who had numerous adventures involving cars, boats, motorcycles, trains, airplanes, guns and other fun things. Their adventures often took them to grand and exciting places.

For fans of Indiana Jones and The Hardy Boys, this set contains all twenty volumes of the series.

Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
When these books were written, it was believed that Mars had artificially-built canals filled with water,that Venus contained life and could be colonized, and that the planets in our solar system could be readily reached in just a few days.  This collection features Tom Corbett, Space Cadet series, plus Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet, by Blake Savage; Star Born, by Andre Norton; and The Secret of the Ninth Planet, by Donald A. Wollheim.

This set has ten sci-fi novels - all except the very last book of the series, Robot Rocket.
King Arthur
Matters Arthurian have been a theme in literature since the Middle Ages. King Arthur, Excalibur, the Knights of the Round Table, and the Quest for the Holy Grail are now part of popular culture.
These stories employ the Arthurian legends, ranging from early epic poems to 19th and 20th century novels and stories, showing how these myths and legends continue to enjoy new life.

Fans of knights and kings will enjoy these 19 stories!
Boy Detectives
This collection includes several stand-alone novels (not part of a series) that feature mysteries with boy detectives.  The tales feature boy detectives, from Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer, Detective" to entries in the Mercer Boys, Ken Holt, Hal Keene, and Skippy Dare series, and lots more -- over 1,400 pages of great reading! 

This collection features twelve stories.
Aeroplane Boys
Published between 1910 and 1913, the Aeroplane Boys series consisted of 8 books aimed at boys fascinated by the new technology of flight. It was written by H.L. Sayler under the pseudonym “Ashton Lamar” and focused on the adventures of a group of amateur flyers.

The collection includes eight full-length novels.
Dick Hamilton Boys' Adventure
The Dick Hamilton series chronicles the adventures of a boy who struggles to keep the family fortune after his mother’s death. Fortune-seekers, a greedy uncle, and other perils await Dick around every corner.  Although not always politically correct by current standards, the stories are rollicking adventures. Fans of the original Hardy Boys, Rover Boys, Motor Boys, and other similar series will enjoy them.

The set includes six books from the series.

Though not available in an e-book megapack, one of our all-time favorite read aloud series with the boys is Tales of the R.A.F.  There are six books in the series by Don Patterson.  They are set during World War 2 in England, and follow the lives of a Royal Air Force squadron and young Harry Winslow.  These brave, adventure stories with good morals will delight you and your children!


  1. i know g.a. henty and tom swift. Beyond that these are all new to me. :)

    1. But if you like those two, you'll like a lot more of these! (I bet you like the GA Henty audiobooks...they're our favorites, but slightly more expensive, so not on this list. :) )

  2. That's a great selection.


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