Yes, for a young boy and his first "real" gun, synthetic bolt action.
Synthetic because of the durability.
Bolt action because not only does it encourage a child to focus more on each shot, but it's also a bit safer for a youngun who can be so easily distracted.
Imagine this scenario: little boy and daddy out shooting cans in the back forty. Boy is trying and missing with each shot. Then he hits one and flips it high into the air.
He's going to be excited. He may spin around to ask daddy if he saw it.
Now, this is obviously a moment where dangerous handling has to be addressed, and I'm assuming you've already been teaching him how to handle a gun. But the attention span of a young kid is short.
So, in light of something like this happening, would you rather it be a bolt action and you know the chamber is now empty except for a casing, or would you rather it be a semi auto where you know a fresh live round just cycled into the chamber?