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What book(s) would pull my 15-year-old son back to reading?

SouthernHopeSouthernHope 2061 replies208 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,269 Senior Member
I am bound and determined to have my kid read a few books this summer....and he actually used to be a great reader...but his interest has waned over the past 18 months...any suggestions?
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Replies to: What book(s) would pull my 15-year-old son back to reading?

  • kiddiekiddie 3288 replies210 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,498 Senior Member
    What type of stuff would he enjoy, sci fi, sports related, history, I can come up with good suggestions but need guidance as to the type of kid he is.
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  • UltimabladeUltimablade 471 replies114 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 585 Member
    edited May 2014
    Book thief is pretty good. also the classics such as gone with the wind and the great Gatsby (saw the movie, have not read the book yet) Jane Austin, and newer writers and series such as Tom Clancy,Percy Jackson,Lord of the Flies (i found it too boring to read the first 2 chapters personally) lord of the rings, Harry potter is a great series as well.

    you could also introduce him to creepy-pasta wiki as well. It is a site for people that enjoy creepy stories and a good site for freelance writers as well. I personally have written a story on there. I wouldn't suggest it for kids under 13 as it can have graphic violence,language and some adult content as well though. somewhat similar to Edgar Allen Poe
    edited May 2014
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  • GoldenWestGoldenWest 496 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 503 Member
    edited May 2014
    I am hoping to get my son to read the Game of Thrones books this summer; they are quite involved while still being a fun "summer" read. I also have a big stack of books I have been saving to spring on him when school is out and I hope to get him to finish Catcher in The Rye which we started reading together at the end of last summer. My son is 16, but in the last couple of years loved the Robert Muchamore Cherub series...it's a British series about a group of teen spies that he just devoured. If you give more ideas what your son likes, I might have more suggestions. Sci Fi? Realistic teen fiction? Non fiction?
    edited May 2014
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  • UltimabladeUltimablade 471 replies114 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 585 Member
    well actually it is what i like lol (im 15) but i really like fictional stories and realistic fiction. to be honest i never really read sci fi.

    what me and my mother do is go to the used bookstore and buy a bunch of books as they usually have very good books for under 5 dollars and read them. one of my personal favorite series is samurai detective http://www.goodreads.com/series/55879-samurai-detective it is a very fun read and has some fun tidbits about samurai history in it. he may also like the Hannibal Lecter series (pretty mature series about serial killers). Where the red fern grows is another great stand alone book.

    If your son likes softer love stories the Nicholas Sparks series may be a good fit.

    i dont really know much about Game of thrones. but i heard the tv show is great.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I'd try to find out what his interests and passions are and to get interesting books related to them.
    also the classics such as gone with the wind and the great Gatsby (saw the movie, have not read the book yet) Jane Austin,

    Speaking as a male and someone who remembered hearing many complaints about some of the listed titles above....those may not be the best choices.

    Gone With The Wind is good for Civil War...especially Southern "Lost Causers" and romantic buffs, but the romantic parts and long length (Over 1000 pages) can be offputting to most adolescent males and those who haven't read for a while. This book is something I'd only recommend to adolescent boys with an unusually large tolerance for romantic themes and willingness to read an exceedingly lengthy work.

    I read the Great Gatsby and while I liked parts of it, many classmates, especially male classmates found the romantic parts and the life in higher SES '20s society to be annoying and/or unrelatable.

    Also, while Jane Austin is a great writer, many adolescent boys during my HS days dreaded having to read her works for HS class because it was so centered on romance and human relationships and lacked enough action and technology to keep us interested. Some titles like Jane Eyre are so depressing that it adds to this sense of dread...as I found from my own experience reading it for English lit.

    Granted, it's a few notches better than reading Henry James' Turn of the Screw. No sir/ma'am....I didn't enjoy it.
    edited May 2014
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  • bodanglesbodangles 8628 replies557 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    Uglies series
    Unwind series
    Everlost series
    Holes
    Stephen King - Cell, The Green Mile, From a Buick 8
    Inkheart series
    Peter and the Starcatchers
    Xombies: Apocalypse Blues
    Dean Koontz - The Good Guy
    Maximum Ride series
    John Green?
    Full Tilt
    Percy Jackson series
    Divergent series


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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,883 Senior Member
    My son was never a science fiction fan. He enjoyed Jon Krakauer, John Irving, and Pat Conroy at that age. Those along with "Catcher in the Rye," "On the Road," "Flowers for Algernon," "Catch-22," "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," and "The Kite Runner" are still among his "favorite books" picks on his Facebook page. (Along with, I'm happy to say, the books I read to him when he was a toddler: "The Little House," "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom.")
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,883 Senior Member

    And John Green is quite simply a national treasure! I don't know one person who doesn't enjoy his books.
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  • sharpenedpencilsharpenedpencil 195 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 200 Junior Member
    One Hundred Percent Lunar Boy by Stephen Tunney. It's about a high school boy who lives on a lunar colony, and both I and my kid enjoyed reading it. The characters are really interesting and the story line combines science fiction with a road trip adventure. Seriously, I can't recommend this one enough. I heard that a movie is in the works.
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  • happy1happy1 22509 replies2201 discussionsVerified Member Posts: 24,710 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    At that age my S liked the plot driven type of books at that age. He read all the Ian Flemming James Bond books, and lot of books by John Grisham (ex. The Firm, A Time to Kill etc.), Robin Cook (ex. Coma, Fever etc.) and other similar writers (James Patterson, David Baldacci) If you are desperate and he has a favorite tv show, check amazon because they make some tv shows into serial books -- they are pretty junky but they are what got my son hooked on reading years ago. IMO it is more important that he read than that he read great books. Once he re-discovers a joy of reading the rest will follow. As a young adult, my S now enjoys all kind of books.
    edited May 2014
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  • LizardlyLizardly 2489 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,500 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Another vote for Stephen King. Start with the short stories and the shorter novels. I also like the idea of Malcolm X, I plan on having my reluctant reader try that one this summer. Has he read some of the YA fiction that has been made into movies, like Hunger Games?

    Edited to add maybe spy novels?
    edited May 2014
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  • mathmommathmom 32040 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,198 Senior Member
    I can't imagine any boy spending the summer reading Jane Austen or even classics like The Great Gatsby.

    My kids read mostly sci fi and fantasy, but if your kid would rather read thrillers or mysteries that's fine too. Or maybe even non-fiction about sports or medical mysteries.

    You've had some good sci-fi suggestions. Not mentioned, but my kids also liked David Weber's Honor Harrington books and Joe Haldeman's The Forever War books (military sci fi)

    For fantasy my kids also liked Garth Nix ( especially the Abhorson trilogy). Diane Duane's various series.

    For thrillers, Tom Clancy, Alistair McClean, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Lee Child.

    For autobiography - Surely your Joking, Mr. Feynman (very funny early life of a Nobel prize winning physicist). There's a sequel too. Boy and Solo by Roald Dahl. Horrific childhood followed by adventures flying with the RAF in WW2.

    For interesting essays: Freakonomics by Stephen Dubner. The Man Who mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. (Many more collections if he likes that.)

    Also he could try short story collections - not a genre I care for, but you could do worse than reading Edgar Allan Poe or Sherlock Holmes.
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  • 3bm1033bm103 4123 replies86 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    At that age my sons liked books by Carl Deuker. Especially "Heart of a Champion". I also read it and liked it. I used to buy my middle son his latest book as a Christmas present and this last year, he gave ME the latest book. I loved that he remembered. That, or he was hoping to get to read it when I was done. He is now 30.
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  • UltimabladeUltimablade 471 replies114 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 585 Member
    Guess im the only dude who likes sappy romance books lol...
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  • donnaleighgdonnaleighg 1548 replies33 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,581 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    As others have suggested, thrillers may be good-- John Sanford, Lee Child, Dan Brown, Jeffrey Deaver. As a teen I liked Kurt Vonnegut a lot; though my daughter didn't. If he likes Jon Krakauer, then others in that non-fiction vein are "Devil in the White City", "Isaac's Storm", "Endurance", "In the Heart of the Sea", "Perfect Storm". All of those, while true, may be classified as "thrillers".

    The Game of Thrones series is a good suggestion (my son devoured those at that age). But be warned, they are full of sex and violence (or so I'm told anyway). I'm a libertarian when it comes to what my kids read, but other parents may not be the same.
    edited May 2014
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,883 Senior Member
    If he likes science essays, any of Stephen Jay Gould's collections are fun reads, too. (Although I'll admit that my kids don't find him nearly as amusing and interesting as I do.)
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10074 replies200 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,274 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    The Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. (Detective thrillers featuring Chicago's only practicing wizard.)

    If he likes Jon Krakauer-esque adventures, try Alone on the Ice, Ice Masters, Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin's Lost Polar Expedition, In the Land of the White Death, Endurance: Shackelton's Incredible Voyage, Touching the Void, Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History.
    edited May 2014
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  • stmarys14stmarys14 52 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    edited May 2014
    Not gonna happen. It's very likely his brain has been corrupted by technology via iPhone, iPad and TV and laptop... and an interest in girls. I predict a summer with a very frustrated mom and a teenage son that starts hating you. Not kidding.
    edited May 2014
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  • scout59scout59 3470 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,537 Senior Member
    Until Southern Hope chimes back in with his son's preferences, I'm not sure what to recommend - there's a wide gulf between Nicholas Sparks and "Game of Thrones."

    Although I love the classics myself, there are so many amazing Young Adult novels out there now, and I know that boys often prefer nonfiction to fiction.

    Some suggestions:
    http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/06/ready-set-read-summer-fiction-ideas-for-kids-of-all-ages/
    A list of summer reading lists: http://cybraryman.com/summerreading.html
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  • ohsomelloohsomello 117 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    The Hunger Games and the Divergent Series. Both are ultrapopular and easy to read.
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