I've listed before some of the best read-aloud books we've read so far with our kids. I thought I'd suggest two that have been winners for our boys in particular. No doubt, they'd be enjoyed by a lot of girls too. If you have a strong independent reader, they could read these on their own. But where's the fun in that? Read 'em aloud! Then you can enjoy them too.
Fintan Fedora: The World's Worst Explorer - Clive Goddard
A really fun read. Very humorous and the main character is fantastically lovable. A highly accident-prone 14 year-old goes on a quest to the Amazon rainforest to find a mysterious and supremely valuable fruit. Lots of slapstick humour that keeps boys hooked but with a strong plot and a better standard of writing than you find in some of the other "boys humour" books.
How To Train Your Dragon - Cressida Cowell
The books in this series are very witty and the characters become larger than life and (in our house) family friends. Cressida Cowell creates a Viking world with dragons, warring tribes and treacherous enemies. The hero, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, is the chief's son and is burdened with trying to live up to his dad's expectations, avoid the local bullies and complete his training to become a fully-fledged member of the tribe. Lots of lessons about standing up for your friends, sacrificing yourself for others and not judging others too quickly. Don't be put off by the fact that this series has been made into a film. The books are completely different (and much better) even though some of the same characters are featured. There is a bit of toilet humour in this lot but it's not overwhelming.