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


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

  • gtownhopeful2016gtownhopeful2016 155 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    edited May 2014
    Inheritance cycle(eragon series)
    Game of thrones(there is sex just fyi, but all 5 books are great)
    1984(dirty, dirty book..lol)
    Animal Farm
    Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
    Harry Potter
    Bartimaeus Sequence(starts with the amulet of samarkand)
    Casual Vacancy
    Cuckoo's Calling(I like J.K Rowling what can I say)
    The Laughter of Dead Kings
    Kane Chronicles
    Percy Jackson
    Great Gatsby
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    If none of those work I am pretty sure Catcher in the Rye will.
    I read all of these from around the time I was 15 up until now(I'm 16).
    edited May 2014
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76552 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,217 Senior Member
    What about non-fiction? For example:

    * Books about science or math topics for the general audience. For example, if the kid is into science and sports, The Sports Gene may be an interesting read for him.
    * History topics, if he is interested in some particular aspect of history. Fermat's Enigma may be of interest if he likes math (it is more of a history book, but some of the relevant math is in the appendices).
    * Other social studies (e.g. Freakonomics, or the various recent books on behavioral economics).
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  • SlackerMomMDSlackerMomMD 3085 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,094 Senior Member
    Authors to consider:
    John Irving
    Join LeCarre
    Robert Ludlum
    Orson Scott Card
    Terry Pratchett

    for biographies, Walter Isaacson

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  • greenbuttongreenbutton 2607 replies118 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    I would steer clear of anything that looks like required reading --- but don't forget magazines , and trivia (100 Greatest Hockey Goalies, 50 Great Movies, etc...) Many guys will read magazines or a newspaper cover to cover. Buy him a few, or let him pick. Drop him at a bookstore with a giftcard, then go far away. Closer you are to a title, the more he'll hate it.. Graphic novels like Bone are great.

    Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, John Connelly, ....for reluctant readers, keep in mind shorter is better. Easier is better. And for the record, I read a lot and hated, hated, hated Catcher in the Rye!!!
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  • verucaveruca 1304 replies91 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,395 Senior Member
    Whatever you decide on -I was going to suggest an audio book? Something you could put on in the car and then if he gets into it -he could read more by the same author. I used this method to "trick" my D into exposure to authors I thought she would like. Most of the time it worked.
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  • scoutsmomscoutsmom 688 replies24 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 712 Member
    edited May 2014
    Counterpoint: When the "assigned reading" seemed to be dampening his appetite, I turned my kid to the books I loved in high school: Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land is on both of our top five lists), John Irving, Douglas Adams. It was so great to talk to him about books I enjoyed and to have that shared lexicon. (When I dropped him off at the airport for his internship in Germany this summer, my parting advice was "don't panic," to which he responded, "I've got my towel.") :)
    edited May 2014
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  • bodanglesbodangles 8628 replies557 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9,185 Senior Member
    Interesting how several people suggested Catcher in the Rye. I read it for the first time a month ago and hated it. xD
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,935 Senior Member
    I'm with mathmom. :)
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,883 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    LOL, @mathmom. So true! My family is split firmly down on the middle on that one. S and I have each read "Catcher" at least five times. H and D sneer whenever someone mentions it. :)

    Oooh...a personality analysis of the two camps would make for an interesting undergrad psych paper!
    edited May 2014
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    I think there are two types of readers those who love Catcher in the Rye and those who think it's one of the worst books they ever read. I'm one of the latter.

    Among those I've met who are split, it seems those who could relate to the protagonist or at least, view him with some sympathy liked the book while those who couldn't hated it.
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  • bookwormbookworm 8765 replies72 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,837 Senior Member
    We decided to read (re-read) Catcher in the Rye in my bookclub. Most people were negative.

    Its already been mentioned, But Orson Scott Card books became a favorite.
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  • cobratcobrat 12207 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    Many HS friends and I loved Orson Scott Card's books.

    Unfortunately, the fact he publicized his homophobic views means even the most ardent fans among them have refused to buy any more books or go see the Ender Game movie.

    For this reason, it may be something to consider when considering his books/movie.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41293 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,738 Senior Member
    The Maze Runner, John Green's Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines (more focused on the teenage male psyche than The Fault in our stars :p), Linwood Barclay (especially Bad Move and Bad Guy, which are hilarious as well as suspenseful), The messenger (by the author of Book Thief, about a young slacker who has to deliver messages/packages from a mysterious sender)
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  • 12dandelion12dandelion 131 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 132 Junior Member
    My son turned 15 today. For his birthday he asked for, and got, the second and third books of the Divergent series. He also likes the Heroes of Olympus series (Rick Riordan) and has asked for the next one, out in October. My husband has given him several Bill Bryson books he's read multiple times too.
    To Kill a Mockingbird was taught in English class, and he pronounced it "actually a pretty good book."

    Since he doesn't have, or want, an iPad or an iPhone he reads through his bus rides, and if he finishes his classwork early, the teachers are fine with reading quietly until class ends.

    And so far my family is also divided on Catcher in the Rye. D liked it, I love it, H found it boring.
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  • dyiu13dyiu13 2811 replies55 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,866 Senior Member
    A Separate Peace
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  • compmomcompmom 10606 replies76 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10,682 Senior Member
    I second Vonnegut. Also "Canticle for Leibowitz" comes to mind.

    Chances are he is doing plenty of reading on his computer etc. Some people don't like to read or have trouble reading for pleasure, but if he used to read a lot, hope he gets back to it. Schools have a way of killing reading by offering prizes, holding contests, and assigning reading logs etc. Maybe once out of school he will be interested again!
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  • intparentintparent 36291 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,935 Senior Member
    Oh, I just read "Canticle for Leibowitz". Wasn't sure a 15 year old would like it, though...
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  • momrathmomrath 5937 replies39 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,976 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Wow, I read Canticle for Leibowitz about 50 years ago. It affected me profoundly, but I've lost track of it over time.
    I'm glad to hear it's gathered a following.

    My son liked many of the books already mentioned. Cat's Cradle is our favorite Vonnegut, and yes, we're all Catcher in the Rye fans.

    I would add
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Phillip K. Dick
    White Noise Don Delillo
    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
    This Boy's Life and In the Pharoah's Army Tobias Wolff
    The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien
    The Beach Alex Garland
    Into Thin Air John Krakauer

    I'm also fond of short stories, both on their own merits and to ease into the reading process. A few contemporary short story masters that I'd recommend (in addition to Tobias Wolff and Tim O'Brien)
    George Saunders
    Flannery O'Connor
    Jim Shepard
    TC Boyle

    SouthernHope, Give us a few titles that your son enjoyed, so we can come up with more like those.
    edited May 2014
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