Public Domain Dime Novel Books for Boys

I always like free books. If you have a voracious reader you likely are constantly looking for cheap and free books as well. If you have ever taken a look into public domain books, you may end up spending loads of time trying to find appropriate books for your boy.

We are here to help and have put together a list of authors and books boys enjoyed a century or more ago. This does not mean your son, born 100 years after these were popular, will enjoy the books. But I think it is worth a try!

But first, here are some things to keep in mind about older, public domain books.

Based on interest level, they will likely be a higher reading level than today’s books.

Subject matter may be less politically correct than you are comfortable with or used to. However, many books of today are based on war, hate and revenge. It is just that public domain books may be losly based on actual people groups and events. So explanations may be needed.

The books will read differently than today’s books. Less magic and created worlds. Typically they will be loosely based on stories of real people and real events, but are often embellished so do not take these books as actual history. Instead, if your son really enjoyed one of the books, then use that to look into the real people and events.

Sooo, if you are still interested to get you started here are a few authors and books to check out:

Percy Keese Fitzhugh wrote several books about boys in the Boy Scouts. Remember that the Boy Scouts originally were for teen boys, so don’t expect the characters in these books to be young boys. You can check out his public domain books on Guttenberg Press here:

Dime Novels (actually cost $2.50/year for one book a week) were written specifically for middle and young high school boys. But again, these books were often written for boys who were in their teens. So again, recognize that the reading levels may be more difficult than expected. Also, the layout of these books (if you get copies of originals rather than text conversion) are very “dense” as compared to today’s books. This may be difficult at first.

Here are some books from a series called Beadle’s Boy’s Library of Sport, Story and Adventure

Vol. I, No. 1. Adventures of Buffalo Bill from Boyhood to Manhood by Pentriss Ingraham. Download it here: His author page has a few other books for boys and can be found here:

Thomas Mayne Reid wrote several Beadle’s Boy’s Library books and was a favorite author of a young Teddy Roosevelt. His Gutenberg author page with dozens of his books is here:

The Lost City by Badger, Jos. E. Badger (Joseph Edward) found here:

Harbaugh, T. C. (Thomas Chalmers) has two books on Gutenberg, though I am not sure if they are from Beadle’s Boy’s Library. You can see his books here:

Old Grizzly Adams, The Monarch of the Mountains, by Frank Powell was very difficult to locate online. I found it, but thought it would be easier to upload the PDF version of it. If you print it on 81/2 X 11 paper, both sides, your son should be able to read it just fine. Online text versions are poorly translated and not very readable. You can download a scan in PDF here: old_grizzly_adams

Four Fellow Scouts, by J. Stanley Henderson can also be downloaded in PDF here: four fellow scouts

Enjoy! And there will be more links to come.


No App Can Replace Your Lap

Why we need to read more to our boys.

The human connection is so important. This week I attended a seminar on Attachment Trauma. One thing we learned: Our children not only depend on us for safety and love, but they depend on us physiologically (the body functioning well.) As caretakers and parents we need to give dozens of points of contact each day. From kisses, hugs, verbal affirmations, eye contact, and our full attention. Children not only desire, but need these connections.

A wonderful way to connect with your son in body, mind and spirit is to enjoy a great book together! By letting your son sit on your lap while reading to him you will be giving him physical touch, engaging together mentally as you both follow the same story and even emotionally as you both “experience” the story.

And you will be expanding his brain as well.

So stop putting it off. Find a great book that your son will love, let him crawl up on your lap, at least for part of the time and start reading to him!

To learn more, including a set of questions to help with comprehension also read: Read to Your Elementary Son

Help for Boys Who Hate to Read

DSC_0390Let’s be honest. Some boys hate to read. They do not have a learning issue. Many of these boys learned to read right along with the rest of their classmates. (If your son is having trouble learning to read this article is for you: Struggling.) They just avoid reading in every possible way. To them reading is a huge chore right up there with cleaning their room and going to the dentist.

I know there are different reasons boys do not pick up books but despite the reason, here is a strategy I have given parents for many years which has worked well. Once implemented boys may not be begging to read, but they will tolerate it and often enjoy reading time, even if they will not admit it.

These are not given in any specific order. I have put them down in the order I think you should address them, but honestly, you can address them in any order and some suggestions will be addressed at the same time.

Create a love for stories and a thirst for knowledge

If we want our boys to read, we have to create a desire for reading. Boys who love stories will search out and find stories they enjoy and they WILL read. Boys who love to learn about things will look for books that will feed that love.

Thirst for knowledge. The key to developing a love of knowledge is to create curiosity and desire to get a question answered. So, ask questions! Questions like “Why do you think it does that?” “How does that work?” “Why did it do that?” “How does that insect see?” “How can that worm make a hole in hard dirt?” Just keep asking questions. Have fun discovering answers together.

Love for stories. Have fun with stories. Watch some good movies together. Talk about the story. Tell stories. Read great stories to your son and discuss them together. Great stories will ignite a desire for more great stories. Ask around to find out what stories other boys are enjoying then help your son enjoy them too.

DSC_3716Enjoy reading together.

Start by reading out loud to your son. Savor the stories or knowledge you are gaining. Talk about and build up anticipation. Then after you have read together for a time, then talk to your son about the books he is reading and let him know about what you are reading. Help him understand that reading is part of what you do on a daily basis. (Read more here: Love for Reading.)

Deal with the physical problems stopping a boy from reading.

Some boys cannot sit still. Don’t make them sit still while they read. Let boys wiggle and jiggle when you read to them. Let boys lay, slouch, do whatever when they read. And if it helps let them run around in between reading times. This will help them calm down again.

Help your son increase the amount of time he can read in one sitting.

Limit screen time. Get exercise regularly. Eat and sleep properly. All contribute to better body control and concentration. But for some reason many parents ignore this advice. So let me put it this way.
How to Damage Your Son Physically so it is Hard for Him to Read more than 5 minutes at a time:

  • Allow more than 30 minutes a day screen time or better yet don’t monitor screen time at all
  • Avoid all vegetables and healthy foods, push sugars and processed foods
  • Keep him from running and playing outside, just have him sit around watching a screen
  • Keep from regular bedtimes and adequate sleep

Or, you can work on setting up proper routines to help your son be happy and healthy and also be able to sit and read for longer periods of time.

DSC_3695Find books he really likes.

Get to know your son and his interests. Then find books he really likes. Ask boys who like to read. Ask teachers. And a great librarian will be your best friend and can help. Plus you can use the resources here on Boys Reading Club to look for great books.

Praise your son for his reading accomplishments.

Boys love respect and reading accomplishments are worthy of respect. So let him know of your appreciation and excitement over his accomplishments.


How to help boys learn to love reading is honestly not a mystery. Nor is it fiction. Really, it is simply non-fiction and very straight forward. It takes an investment of time and reading to our boys and it takes routines that offer proper living and limited screen time. I know, it is simple to say that you get to the top of Mt. Everest by getting in shape and then climbing it. But getting to the top is almost never done. Parents, if your son does not love to read, use it as a wake up call to get several aspects of his life in balance. Remember though, this is one mountain you can and should climb.

Join the conversation. Comment below with ideas and thoughts you have.

Check out our homepage for the latest contests: BoysRead.Club

Certificates for Motivation

crayola certificate makerCertificates can be a great way to motivate your son to read and to give him praise when he accomplishes his goals.

Here are some basic rules when setting up incentives for your son.

  • Make the goal achievable within a reasonable amount of time for his age
  • Make the goal simple enough (not easy – just simple) to maintain interest
  • Keep the excitement by measuring set intervals of the overall achievement
  • When you give the certificate be excited and brag on your son

If you ware looking for a place to make certificates check out Crayola’s site: Crayola CertificateMaker

If you have Microsoft Word you can check out their Certificates Template section here: Microsoft Word Certificates


You may also want to read: Motivate Reading Through Praise

10 Mind Expanding Questions to Ask While Reading Out Loud

timmy_paReading out loud to our sons is great for bonding and enjoying common experiences. We know it develops vocabulary, increases listening skills, facilitates bonding and so much more.

But did you know you can supercharge his “mind expansion” by asking the right questions? Here are 10 questions to ask your child during or after reading a book which will help develop and grow not only his vocabulary and listening skills, but also help expand his mind.

  1. Using the cover art, the teaser text, the inside flap and introduction, what do you think this book will be about? What led you to that conclusion?
  2. How is the author telling us this story, from what or whose point of view?
  3. What do we know about the main character and why do we know this about him/her?
  4. Is the author setting us up to think something might happen, and if so, what in his writing leads you to believe that?
  5. What mistakes and what wise choices has the main character made and are they deserving of criticism or respect?
  6. What does the author mean when he/she uses a certain word/phrase/sentence? Why do you think the author use this word/phrase/sentence instead of some other description, explanation, etc.?
  7. How is the world the book characters lives in different from my world?
  8. How would you solve the problem the characters find themselves in?
  9. What was the plot of this book and how is this book different from other books we have read in this genre?
  10. Why do you think the author chose to tell this story, does the author have a bias or strong opinion that is coming through in the book?

Keep these questions handy and use them. But beware, your child might start thinking more independently and much deeper than his peers. This may cause problems with his teacher who may try keeping him quiet during book discussion time!

Special Reading Nooks

Not all boys want a special place to read, but for some it can be very helpful in motivating them to read, in setting up a good routine and lowering distractions. (But for some it can become a distraction, so be wise.)

I went on Pinterest and took a look at the reading nooks that people are pinning but found many were over the top and elaborate. Built in units, converted closets and outside converted sheds all seemed like a bit much to me.

I wanted something that was quick and easy and could be made with materials around the house as I figured that was what a parent would actually do! Most of us are not going to build something elaborate.

Then I realized something. Boys love to build simple forts. Why not let your son build a simple fort and make it his reading nook?

I assume your son is more than experienced with building inside forts, so I will let that up to your and his imagination. For outside forts I put together a few suggestions. I am sure you son will be more creative than me. Here is what I came up with in a few minutes on a walk around my  backyard:

I used an old sheet, lawn chairs, lawn chair cushion, table, tacks and a few rocks. Quick and easy!

It may be fun on a warm evening to allow him to read out in his fort with a lantern!

I would love to know what ideas you have. Go ahead and post them below.

If you want, you can check out my Pinterest Board featuring some reasonable Reading Nooks here: Boy Friendly Reading Nooks

How Parents Can Help Struggling Readers

The Literacy Journey

back_to_booksMaybe you don’t care why someone else’s Johnny can’t read you only care “Why can’t my Johnny Read?” You may find yourself frustrated with how much effort this whole learning to read journey is taking. Have you found yourself asking “Wasn’t it easy to get kids to read in the good old days?” Well, actually it has never been easy to get boys to read.

In reality, today our literacy rates are high when taking into consideration the history of literacy in the United States.

In the US in 1870 the illiteracy rate (those over 14 who could not read) of whites stood at 20%. For blacks in the it was at 79.9%. Then in 1950, the supposed “good old days” it dropped to 3.2% for whites and around 10% for blacks. By 1979 the illiteracy rate fell to .6% for whites and 1.6% for blacks. (National Center for Educational Statistics –

We should be thankful for the many tools we have which make learning to read “easier” today than at nearly any other time in our Nation’s history, right? Well, I am guessing since you are reading this article you already know we still face a large problem getting boys to read and “your Johnny” may be one of the boys struggling.

Let’s get a grip on the problem. As many educators know, a child has to be able to decode or recognize words. The bulk of K-2 is spent on this process.  Once decoding and recognizing words is being practiced with some degree of regularity (at least with “easy” words) schools begin to work on fluency. All of this work is in hopes that by 4th grade a child reads fast enough to keep the words and ideas he is reading in his short term memory so he can make sense of it all (aka – comprehension). Fifteen percent of children in 4th grade read less than 74 words per minute – the rate needed to comfortably keep those ideas in the short term memory and thereby easily comprehend what is read. If a child cannot read with fluency reading tends to be painful.

If your son is a struggling reader, either because he cannot recognize words or because he lacks fluency there is hope. The key job for you as parent is to keep hope alive in your son by working at providing a joy of stories and the ability to get needed information from texts while school intervention and maturity bring your son to a place where he can read fluently on his own.

Let me explain why this is key.

There are many factors that come together to help a child read. Here are needed skills* –

  • knowing the letters
  • decoding the letter sounds (typically through phonics, note: some words cannot be decoded and need to be memorized, something teachers call sight words)
  • word recognition
  • fluency
  • text comprehension
  • a desire (motivation) to read

So, here is our present day problem. The first 5 skills take practice and the last skill takes multiple experiences. For some boys reading may come very naturally. But for other children reading takes a large amount of practice. Frustration for parents of a son who struggles to read develops because a struggling reader is not likely to voluntarily practice reading. It most likely is a real challenge to get him to read at all! So the very act that will help him improve is resisted because of his need to improve. (I realize that some educators never acknowledge this very real parental frustration and as an educator, I apologize – I know it is a REAL struggle.)

books_boysIf you have a son that is struggling to read, as his parent you have the opportunity to play a vital role in getting him over the “I don’t want to read!” syndrome so that he in turn can get the practice he needs to improve.

The following advice is meant to be followed together with working closely with your school. When a child is struggling always seek help through your school district. Reading specialists will be able to determine if your child has a physical issue (poor eyesight, difficulty tracking, etc.) or a processing issue or a low ability, etc. After 30 years of experience with education I can tell you that there are very specific strategies which can be used to help the struggling reader no matter what is causing his problems. However, the strategies differ widely depending on what is preventing him from reading, so work with your school to find out what strategies will work for your son.

While the school will play an important role, don’t underestimate how important you are in working through your son’s reading issues. There are several steps parents can do at home to help boys with the all important “practice” and “experience” in reading he needs. And, I believe that parents who follow these steps will get a bonus. Like many generations before us, reading together and engaging in stories through books brings a special parent-child bonding experience, not easily duplicated through other activities. It is a bonding through working together, shared experiences and cooperative intellectual pursuits.  The type of bonding that will help parents be a major influence for years to come.

Following these steps is something I call the Literacy Journey. This journey is made up of following some consistent practices that will set the stage to motivate and enable your son to get the all important ingredient of “reading practice” in order to boost his ability to read and read well. Think of it as a literacy vitamin! The journey won’t produce miracles, but it most definitely helps!

#1 Supply Motivation Through a Mutual Love of Stories

First and most importantly – give your son a love for stories and a love for discovery! Then demonstrate how his love for stories and discovery can be met by reading books! You can do this by discovering together through books. To begin with, think about the types of stories your son loves. Is there something he wants to learn more about? At first you may need to sit down with him and interview him to find out what he is interested in. Once you find out, get together with your local librarian and let her know what you are looking for. Then read together. Which brings us to #2.

#2 Regularly Read to Your Son

When I was in undergraduate school a professor asked us what was the best indicator of whether or not a child would become a great reader. We all took our turn guessing what the indicator was. Some said “phonics curriculum” and another “a loving engaged teacher” yet another “wonderful books.” The teacher shook her head “no” and just smiled and smiled. Finally we all gave up. She told us – the number one indicator was whether or not the parents consistently read to the child from birth on. Yep, that was the number one indicator! This is especially important if your son is having difficulty. You want him to “enjoy” stories and discovery to keep the motivation going. So read to your son often.

#3 Purposely and Consistently Expand Your Son’s Vocabulary

Recently while attending the Philadelphia Read by 4th! launch meeting we were told of the vocabulary gap among inner city poor children. Typically 4 year olds have a vocabulary of between 4,000 and 6,000 words. Unfortunately those who are not nurtured, spoken to and read to often have less than half the expected vocabulary. When entering kindergarten they already have a word deficit which will turn into a reading deficit which then turns into a graduation deficit. Parents who spend time in meaningful conversations – about the world, about life, about whatever boys like to talk about, can naturally expand his vocabulary. The better the vocabulary, the easier reading will become. Make sure you spend time every day engaged in meaningful conversation with your son.

#4 Work Closely With Your Son’s School

two_boys_readingWhile reading methods are better researched and more and more effective, many schools are struggling with measurable results due to a lack of cohesiveness in implementing reading strategies. If your son has a reading specialist get together with her and his teacher to ask how everyone can work together. Offer to implement and support reading strategies at home. When the parents and school work together the well researched methods will be much more effective.

#5 Compensate for the Frustration Reading Causes Your Son

The value of compensating for frustration is often underestimated or even missed by teachers and reading specialists. In my 30 years as an educator, when I have seen this put into action it has been remarkably effective. The concept is simple. For many boys, Struggling to read leads to frustration. Frustration leads to discouragement and a lack of effort. Discouragement and lack of effort means less practice. Less practice compounds the problem. Parents, you can help stop the downward spiral. Compensate by making reading homework a bearable if not enjoyable experience and especially by creating non school related times of reading out loud to your son.. This can be done by giving comfort, love and whatever it takes to make it enjoyable. If you cannot think of how to do this, think about how you really bond with your son. You know your son best as to what makes him tick so a list from me is not helpful. But here are some suggestions to get you thinking. For boys who like to talk and reflect, spend time talking about the books after you are done reading. For boys who love physical touch, cuddle while reading. For boys who like to be silly, joke a bit when reading.

Don’t forget to work with your son’s school for specific compensatory strategies which will bring down his frustration. Three compensation strategies I have seen work: The adult reads the sentence first, then lets the child read. Read every other sentence with your son. Allow your son to practice before he reads. Remember, reading specialists are very helpful.

Perhaps most important, make sure you spend time reading “fun” books (not part of school curriculum) to your son. Compensate and make home reading times enjoyable. This will supply the motivation your son needs to keep fighting.

— A note here. Some have raised concerns that if compensatory strategies (education jargon for how you compensate) are used a child will become lazy and just depend on the strategies and will not work at learning to read. Honestly, this does happen at first. Some boys are so exhausted from the struggle of learning to read that once compensated for they simply stop working at it for a bit. But it has been my experience, that boys nearly always come back around and once they are no longer hating every moment they have to read, they begin to work at it again. Remember, if they resist every chance to read, they will not become proficient readers anyways. Giving them a respite, then encouraging them to work at it again, will not harm them any more than the present course of action.

#6 Never Give Up

Sometimes the battle is long and hard fought. It may mean you have to read Social Studies and Science texts to your son until his reading catches up. It may mean many more evenings of reading work than you would like. You may find yourself looking for specialists in the field to bring added insights. Through your struggles, keep the focus because the opportunities and the “freedom” reading will bring to your son will be well worth the effort. Even if it takes time. Don’t give up!


When a boy struggles to read some parents feel helpless. However, parents really do have an important role to play in getting their son to read. Don’t feel hopeless, instead roll up your sleeves and begin to implement the above strategies. Reading success won’t be instant, but over time you will be glad you did.


Mark Strohm is an educator with over 30 years experience and as a school principal has led schools in reforming reading curriculum and strategies and improving reading scores in the elementary grades.

*If you are a special education teacher, I know my “list of skills” is a list which assumes a child has normal executive function and processing skills. A parent dealing with a child who has these larger “special” needs will likely not be looking for advice from an article like this, though many of our recommendations could help them as well.

Meet Susan K. Marlow

Susan K. Marlow is a Christian and author of the Goldtown Adventure Series


Interest level: Primarily ages 8-12 (middle grade)

Reading level: 4th grade

The series is comprised of 4 books, all available in softcover. The last two are also available on kindle, nook and google play.

Juvenile Fiction, Historical Fiction

Susan K. Marlow once went after a coyote who carried off one or her chickens. She started with a broom and when that didn’t work, she took out after him with a .22 pistol. The coyote stopped and watched her shoot at him 4 times from about 15 feet away. She missed every time. You can read the full, humiliating tale here.

meet the author of badge of honor

What is the Goldtown Adventures series about?

It’s 1864. The California Gold Rush is about over, but twelve-year-old Jem Coulter and his sister, Ellie, are sure they can pan more gold from Cripple Creek. With Pa’s new job as sheriff of lawless Goldtown, and a cousin and aunt from back East moving in, there’s plenty of adventure for everyone! Whether figuring out why Cripple Creek has mysteriously dried up or getting caught in the belly of an old mine, Jem’s life in a gold-mining camp is always exciting—with plenty of opportunities to learn to trust God. Wholesome adventure from a biblical worldview.

  1. Badge of Honor – Twelve-year-old Jem Coulter and his sister Ellie’s lives are turned upside down when their father takes the job of sheriff of lawless Goldtown.
  2. Tunnel of Gold – When the Midas mine begins to run out of gold, Goldtown may soon become a ghost town. Jem will do anything to find a way to help save the mine. But is his friend Will’s plan too risky?
  3. Canyon of Danger – As “man of the family” for the week, Jem must figure out what happened to their family’s stolen horse and rifle before his father returns home to Goldtown. A former pony express rider may hold the answer, but can Jem trust him?
  4. River of Peril – A trip to Sacramento turns dangerous when Jem tries to help his father keep gold bound for the Union from falling into the hands of Confederate sympathizers. Then Ellie disappears and Jem finds himself trapped on a paddlewheel steamboat bound for San Francisco.

 In the Goldtown Adventures series who will boys relate to?

Share on pinterest Meet the author of badge of honorBoys will relate to twelve-year-old Jem by following him along on his adventures in a gold town. He has chores, he must learn to accept people different from himself, he protects his younger sister, and he worries about his sheriff father (who wears his badge like a bulls-eye for outlaws). Just like real boys everywhere, Jem stumbles and fails, but he knows God is there to pick him up, whatever the trouble may be.

Why will boys enjoy your books?

What boy wouldn’t want to trade places with twelve-year-old Jeremiah (Jem) Coulter? By following Jem’s adventures, boys can pan for gold, flee claim jumpers, explore old mines (and get trapped), meet a pony express rider, solve mysteries, and enjoy the freedom and high adventure of life in an 1864 gold town and the surrounding countryside.

What would you like boys and their parents to know about your books?

The Goldtown Adventures brings the Gold Rush days of California to life through the eyes of a young boy coming to age in 1864. Jem has a good heart but gets into his share of trouble and danger. He’s a good friend to an old prospector, and although his little sister annoys him, he is protective with a strong sense of family. He knows right from wrong and always wins the yearly Sunday school Bible verse memorization contest. Having scripture come to mind during times of fear and danger gives Jem opportunities to comfort those around him.

The series can be enriched by downloading the FREE study/enrichment guides that accompany each book. In the guides you will find a variety of boy-friendly activities that include gold panning, the Pony Express, animal tracking, paddle-wheel steamboats, a hard-rock miner’s life (you can build a real miner’s stove!) and much more. Numerous links help paint pictures of what it was really like back then. Works great as a homeschool literature unit study. To sample the Goldtown Adventures, you can download the first two chapters of each book.


Susan K. Marlow has a BA in elementary education and is a 20-year homeschooling veteran. She believes the best part about writing historical fiction is tramping around the actual sites. Although Susan owns a real gold pan, it hasn’t seen much action. Panning for gold is a lot of hard work. She prefers to combine her love of teaching and her passion for writing by leading writing workshops, speaking at young author events, and connecting with readers at homeschool conventions.

You can find Susan K Marlow’s books at:

Fun Bookmarks for Boys

One of the consequences of a female dominated world is that many of the “reading” materials are centered around girls. But don’t let that stop you from finding great boy “stuff” for your reader!

I started a pinterest board to highlight bookmarks a boy would use. If you know of some other great bookmarks let us know below!

Check out the pinterest board:
Bookmarks for Boys


Meet J Arthur Moore


Author J. Arthur Moore standing in his home by many of the books he read as a child.

J. Arthur Moore, husband, father, grandfather, teacher, historian, model train set collector, book collector, helpful neighbor, photography enthusiast, and author!

After contacting Mr. Moore (Joel) and asking him if he could send me some information so I can highlight his “boy” books on our site he invited me to his home. I have to admit, I really enjoyed my morning with Joel. As fellow educators we had loads to talk about, not the least of which was our love for getting boys to read.

Joel was a gracious host. He is a retired History teacher but still has a real passion for getting kids into knowing about and understanding history so it will come as no surprise that his 6 books all combine great stories that are engaging and filled with researched history.

While at his house Joel showed me volume after volume of manuals and books compiled from first hand accounts of the civil war. I am pretty sure you could wallpaper a house with the maps and letters he has accumulated. All of which went into providing details to assure accurate historical fiction. But don’t let that scare you from getting his books. They are very fun to read and mostly teach history “on the sly.” Joel has a particular interest in the boys who fought during the civil war. I was shocked when he shared that more than 250,000 boys, aged 17 and under fought in the Civil War.


J. Arthur Moore even has books his father and grandfather read.

Joel also combined another of his beloved hobbies with his books. He enjoys photography and all of the pictures in his books are his own. One thing I realized about Joel, he treasures relationships. He spoke of several relationships with his children, grandchildren and even neighbors. He also spoke of several former students that he still keeps up with. So it should come as no surprise that the pictures of the book characters are all individuals that are in some way or form involved with Joel personally.

Along with being an author Joel also runs a few websites and speaks to audiences about his books and also about the boys of the civil war.

Joel was kind enough to give me copies of his 6 books. I asked him if Boys Reading Club could use the books for giveaways after they were reviewed and he said he would be thrilled for us to do that! So keep an eye out for multiple book giveaways coming May 2015!

Here are Author J. Arthur Moore’s books, all of which are great for boys middle school and up. However, they are great books for a father and elementary son to read together. I know both generations would bond over the moving struggles of the main characters.

UPDATE: Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness is now out in a second full color edition. It has also been awarded the bronze medal for fiction-historic-era/period from the Readers’ Favorite book competition.

Also, if  you would like an autographed copy, books can be purchased directly from Joel by contacting him through the website

The first 4 books are a novel in four parts called Journey Into Darkness. They are available as separate books or as one large novel.

On the Eve of Conflict – Readers learn about the Civil War while following 10 year old Southern boy, Duane Kinkade’s experiences. With his father away, Duane, his mother, dog Pounder and friend Jamie must survive a difficult winter. In the spring Duane sets out in search of his father.

Up From Corinth – Now 11, Duane finds himself at the battle of Shiloh. There he comes face to face with the harsh realities of the Civil war. After some hardships he finds himself in the care of the Union Army with his identity being concealed by a surgeon and his young ward who befriend him. Finally as spring comes he begins a trek back to the Confederate Army.

Across the Valley to Darkness – Now 12, Duane finds himself in more difficulty. A rapid chain of events carries him from capture along a snowy road by a renegade band of Union cavalry to near death in a blizzard in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, to Lee’s Army of Norther Virginia in its winter camp around Fredericksburg.

Toward the End of the Search – Turning 13, Duane reunites with his Union friends after the battle of Gettysburg. He witnesses several war campaigns. A letter about his pa sends the veteran of 2 and a half years of war heading home.

All 4 of the above books are also available in one volume  Journey Into Darkness

Other books by J Arthur Moore:

Summer of Two Worlds – Born of pioneer parents, prairie orphaned at three, he was adopted by a Sioux warrior. Among the Sioux he was know as Prairie Cub. The name Michael was all he had of his ancestry. He lived the life of a Sioux warrior’s son until his twelfth summer. When the course of history doomed the Indians’s way of life, his father, Thunder Eagle, realizing his son’s white heritage gave him a chance for a future, sent his son back into the white man’s world.

Blake’s Story, Revenge and Forgiveness – Co written by J. Arthur Moore’s grandson, Bryson B. Brodzinski.

Bitter over his father’s death at Shiloh Blake sneaks away from family and friends to get revenge on the Union Army. What he finds will change his life forever.

Here is a video trailer for the updated version of Joel and his grandson’s book:

You can learn more about these books and J. Arthur Moore at these websites:


If you are near the Philadelphia, PA area and would like to contact the author about coming to speak or do a book signing, or if you want to drop him a note email me and I will give you his contact information.

Author of 6 historically accurate books for boys. Enjoy and grow in reading and learn history! Learn more at BoysRead.Club