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Old 20.11.2010, 19:23
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Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I'm looking for any recommendations of contemporary fiction for teenage boys. We've got all the classics (Swallows/Amazons, Huckleberry Finn, Winnetou), and the current trend is the German ??? detective series: However, these are getting boring, and are in my mind not very well written.

I was in Orell Füssli this afternoon and picked up a Steven Hawking book and a novel called "Cyber Surfing", which is more my son's kind of thing. He's not into anything really gruesome, fantasy (we've done Harry Potter) or historic novels.

Most new adventure stories I found, have a (teenage) girl as the heroine - sign of the times?

Are there any new authors out there for this age group? In English or German language, we're bilingual.
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Old 21.11.2010, 10:58
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Book recommendations for teenage boys?

A couple of my friends in the US have boys 15 and under. They've all been reading Rick Riordan's series of books about Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I think the main character is a modern day son of Zeus. I listened to part of one during a car trip and it was entertaining. Of course I'm not a teenaged boy.
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Old 21.11.2010, 11:04
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I was thirteen when my english teacher introduced us to the works of Roald Dahl. No, not the kids' books "BFG", "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory", etc. but the adult titles "Kiss Kiss", "Someone Like You". Never looked back from then on...
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Old 21.11.2010, 11:36
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I’m more familiar with the 9-12 age group, but here are some authors/series that are at the top end of that range.

What I like to do is go to Amazon’s site, you can filter on the age group you’re looking for and the genre to find books. Also, if you have authors your kids like, you can go to that author’s page on Amazon and on the lower right side they list other authors customers also purchased.

As Edot mentioned, Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson is a real hit.

Some of the series of books that my son likes are (might be on the young age for your kids):
John Flanagan – Ranger’s Apprentice
ND Wilson – 100 Cupboards
Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson – The Sisters Grimm
Kathryn Lasky – Guardians of Ga’Hoole
Derek Landy – Skulduggery
Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell – Edge Chronicles
Trenton Lee Stewart – The Mysterious Benedict Society

These start to be more Young Adult than 9-12:
Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider, Gatekeepers/Power of Five
Charlie Higson – Young Bond
Diane Duane – The Young Wizards
Tamora Pierce – Circle of Magic, Circle Opens, Song of the Lioness, Trickester, Protector
Christopher Golden – Outcast
Tom Sniegoski – Fallen, Sleeper

Last edited by rhk; 21.11.2010 at 12:16.
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Old 21.11.2010, 11:59
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I owned a bookstore for 15 years and here are my observations regarding reading habits of teenage boys and some recommendations. By the time boys hit their teens, their interest in recreational reading drops to zero UNLESS they were dedicated, hard-core readers in their pre-teens.

If they were booklovers in their pre-teens, they have already ready everything written for kids, are well into the young adult genre and are now looking at adult books. One thing boys love is a series which doesn't stop when they get to be men. Here are some recommendations:

James Patterson--Series for young adults called Maximum Ride. Series for adults called Alex Cross.

The Lord of the Rings Series

Christopher Paolini--The Eragon Series

Lemony Snicket--A Series of Unfortunate Events

Suzanne Collins--Hunger Games Series

Michael Crichton--Jurassic Park

Stephen King--It, The Stand

Hat's off to you for keeping him reading! It's not easy to pull them away from the computer and video games and into a book.
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Old 21.11.2010, 12:18
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

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I was thirteen when my english teacher introduced us to the works of Roald Dahl. No, not the kids' books "BFG", "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory", etc. but the adult titles "Kiss Kiss", "Someone Like You". Never looked back from then on...
I was thinking it may be a little early for those, but you're right - I'll give it a go and dig them out from somewhere.

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I owned a bookstore for 15 years and here are my observations regarding reading habits of teenage boys and some recommendations. By the time boys hit their teens, their interest in recreational reading drops to zero UNLESS they were dedicated, hard-core readers in their pre-teens.

If they were booklovers in their pre-teens, they have already ready everything written for kids, are well into the young adult genre and are now looking at adult books. One thing boys love is a series which doesn't stop when they get to be men. Here are some recommendations:

Hat's off to you for keeping him reading! It's not easy to pull them away from the computer and video games and into a book.
That's very interesting, thank you. We've always had piles and piles of books everywhere. I really don't mind if he doesn't want to read Peter Duck or the Narnia chronicles. I think it's very important to keep it up, whatever they read. Thank you for all the recommendations. I'm off to the book shops now, and will take the list along to the library.
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Old 21.11.2010, 19:15
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

At that age (and even now, almost ten years later) I enjoyed reading Jeffrey Archer books. If he likes Jeffrey Archer, you might also want to try John Grisham.
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Old 21.11.2010, 19:52
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

cult following in lower to middle high school for us was david eddings, Terry Pratchett - bromeliad trilogy (diggers, truckers and wings), piers anthony. Basic sci-fi fantasy with a twist, and not too much gore, horror or sex involved...

You could also try John Marsden (real life style writing, lots of thinking involved), Morris Gleitzman, Victor Kelleher, Gillian Rubenstein, Libby Hathorn, Robin Klein, Brian Caswell, Patricia Wrightson - all Australian authors...

Is it a trend these days that 'young adult' stuff is more violent, more aggressive and more gory (and with more sex involved) - all the covers would indicate that - my teen reading was populated with an enormous number of books (I averaged 1 novel a night through year 8-10)...my favourite stuff was a combination of sci-fi fantasy, and stuff that involved an unexpected outcome, or a double meaning.

Of course, sourcing the books is also a challenge...but there was a forum person who was creating a swap-library...
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Old 21.11.2010, 19:56
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

As for those ??? novels, I haven't read the German versions myself but they started out in America as Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators (not written by him, though) ... far more have been written & published in German than in English, though, as they're extremely popular in Germany.
I enjoyed the books (in English) as a younger teenager ...

I'll have to say Douglas Adams here - not just the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy set, but also the Dirk Gently books - where the "Holistic Detective" gets tangled up with mysterious & supernatural stuff on a regular basis.
Terry Pratchett is also excellent - again, not just for his better known Discworld series, but also the lesser-known works (The Dark Side of the Sun, The Bromeliad (a trilogy about the Nomes, who live in the modern world but are only four inches tall) and some other stuff).
Garth Nix is a good author - not your 'standard' fantasy, either, but a cross-over - where magic meets (in one series) the contemporary world and (in another) a steam-level technology ...
Some military SF (with guts & gore): David Drake & S.M. Stirling have a good series, Hammer's Slammers about a hovertank mercenary company; Drake also did the Northworld trilogy, basically a high-tech melange of several ancient mythologies (including but not limited to Norse & Greek). Stirling has done heaps of other stuff, both alone and in combination with various authors (Drake, of course, but also with Raymond E. Feist, James 'Scotty' Doohan, Anne McCaffrey, Jerry Pournelle and Greg Bear).
Kevin J. Anderson is also a good author - has done a lot of SF, and has also written a lot of novels in the Star Wars universe (is your son interested in that at all?). He helped Brian Herbert (Frank's son) continue the Dune series as well ...
David Brin has written some good stuff, particularly his Uplift novels - based on a where humans have 'raised' dolphins and chimps to "intelligence", and also encountered an interstellar federation of races that see humans as rather barbaric. The Practice Effect is also a pretty awesome book.

btw, if you've done Harry Potter, I wouldn't count that as doing fantasy ... HP is to fantasy what maccas is to a lifelong career ... something to fill in time before you really get into it ...

Oh, last-minute addition - don't discount the classic SF authors: Frank Herbert, Arthur C Clarke, E.E. 'Doc' Smith, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne ... some of the older ones are available as free eBooks to download, legally, as the copyright has expired without being renewed.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:33
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I can't believe I forgot Frank Herbert! - oh yeah, and I'm female, btw, but the Dune series was definitely the 'ultimate' with my group of well-read male friends from around age 14-16.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:37
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

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As for those ??? novels, I haven't read the German versions myself but they started out in America as Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators (not written by him, though) ... far more have been written & published in German than in English, though, as they're extremely popular in Germany.
I enjoyed the books (in English) as a younger teenager ...

I'll have to say Douglas Adams here - not just the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy set, but also the Dirk Gently books - where the "Holistic Detective" gets tangled up with mysterious & supernatural stuff on a regular basis.
Yes - the ??? originally created by Alfred Hitchcock. They've come a long way since the beginning, I imagine. I haven't read any in English, but pretty much all of the junior series "Die ??? Kids" from 8 years and half of the young adult series (where Justus, Bob and Peter are about 16). Still, as I said, if it keeps the boys interested in reading, that's what matters.

Douglas Adams, of course. Thanks for all the great suggestions.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:42
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

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As for those ??? novels, I haven't read the German versions myself but they started out in America as Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators (not written by him, though) ... far more have been written & published in German than in English, though, as they're extremely popular in Germany.
I enjoyed the books (in English) as a younger teenager ...
I read those when I was a teenager. I started to re-read all of them (some 120+) when they became available via P2P networks....
I have to say that the quality did not improve over the time. There are some real duds in there.
They are written by a team of authors nowadays.
You can get more information at http://www.rocky-beach.com/
The radio-play versions also have some loyal followers (in their 30s/40s)...

Does he like Dan Brown? (the books are of course better than the movies)
Jeffery Deaver?
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:44
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

The Terry Pratchett "kids" books are well written. But by the time I was a teenager, I was reading adult - i.e. non-juvenile - fiction.
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Old 21.11.2010, 20:54
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

As a teenager I was reading stuff like George Orwell. David Lodge's "How Far Can You Go" - I went to a Catholic school so almost required reading - all about a group of young Catholics trying to balance their faith with the pressures of growing up.

Also Jack Kerouac, J. D. Salinger, Barry Hines, Stan Barstow, Sue Townsend (Adrian Mole Diaries), Roddy Doyle, H. G. Wells, Aldous Huxley, Ursula le Guin.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:08
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

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Does he like Dan Brown? (the books are of course better than the movies)
as in waterboarding is better than the torture methods of the spanish inquisition..
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:18
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

I would recommend S.E. Hinton. She wrote various books about teenage boys. Even though I am female, I read them all as a teen. They were fantastic. Titles such as 'The Outsiders', 'Rumble Fish', 'Tex', 'That was Then, This is Now'. Several were made into Hollywood films....
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:49
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

Hi,
My son (aged 12) is an avid reader. He likes all kinds, especially science fiction. I bought him a large bundle (2 large boxes actually) of books from EF a month or so ago - for 2-4 CHF each, I think. If you are interested I could sell them on to you. Also probably has loads extra to get rid of. Let me know.
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Old 21.11.2010, 21:52
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

Rebellious teens? I'd go for:

Fahrenheit 451
Catcher in the Rye
1984
Brave New World

Read these when I was 12/13 on a two week holiday to Spain and they changed my life.
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Old 22.11.2010, 07:57
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

Patrick O'Brian's nautical historical, 20 book Aubrey and Maturin series. Most reached best seller status. Highly recommended for lads of all ages.

The below book is a recent find and will be under a lot of my friends' Christmas trees this year. It's great!


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Old 22.11.2010, 14:58
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Re: Book recommendations for teenage boys?

How about Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy? Very well written indeed (shame the movie was so disappointing).
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