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#1 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to surprise 14yo ds with some new books and would love some ideas.

He's into mythology, military strategy, slight sci-fi, medieval times.

I'd love to take ds to the book store to show me what he'd like but he hates the book store, just wants the books to appear at his door. lol So, I thought I'd get him a stack of books for the summer because he reads and re-reads the same books over and over and over. While that's not a problem I'd like to get him something new.

TIA
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#2 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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One brilliant series is by Megan Whelan Turner, The Theif is the first, followed by The King of Attolia, The Queen of Attolia and most recently A Conspiracy of Kings. The setting is reminiscent of Ancient Greece and the first book includes some mythological stories-within-the story. They are filled with political intrigue and strategy. The female characters are as strong and smart as the males. I highly recommend them.

Has he tried Neil Gaiman? Neverwhere is a good choice. He may also like American Gods, although it's much more adult (some sex).

The Tales of Otori series by Lian Hearn is pretty good too. It's set in an imaginary country similar to feudal Japan and is filled with military strategy and political intrigue. There's a total of 5 books. The first was Across the Nightingale Floor, but after she completed the series, she wrote a prequel Heaven's Net is Wide.

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#3 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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If he's at all into fantasy, I'd highly recommend the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The writing is phenomenal, so much so that I don't much like fantasy but I've read that series 2 times. There are currently 10 books in a continuous story, so lots of reading there. I've recommended it to several of my middle school students and all have loved it except for one.

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#4 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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I'm assuming he has read Ender's Game? If not, a must have for sci-fi/military strategy.

 

 

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#5 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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Does he like Heinlein? Lots of good books.

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#6 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm assuming he has read Ender's Game? If not, a must have for sci-fi/military strategy.
He does have Ender's Game and he it! It's one of the books he's read over and over.
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#7 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Read the whole Ender's Game series! It's awesome.

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#8 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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He should read the parallel series to Ender's Game! It starts with Ender's Shadow, then Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant.

I have students that age that love Hunger Games, first book of a trilogy. Another favorite of the boys is House of the Scorpion. I also love Walter Dean Myers Fallen Angelsand Chris Crutcher's books (try Stotan) for teen boys.

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#9 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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What about Philip Pullman's books? (The Golden Compass, The Amber Spyglass, etc.) Just had to jump in here because I used to run the young adult section at a bookstore, and those were always popular. Or what about Madeline L'Engle's books?

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#10 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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My older dd just started the Lord of the Rings triology and seems to be enjoying it. I'm thinking that it would hit at least on the sci-fi interest and have some degree of mythology to it possibly as well. Has he already read those?

I'll also put in my plug for the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which dd loved, loved, loved! That's one she read a few times and I also thought that it was quite good. It is more futuristic, but it does have a "war" of sorts and it isn't space age futuristic.
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#11 of 35 Old 06-23-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS isn't interested in Lord of the Rings, idk why!

He's read Pullman's books but not L'Engle.

So many wonderful ideas! Thank you ladies, I knew I was asking the right people.
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#12 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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Read the whole Ender's Game series! It's awesome.


This is way out there, but how about Hitchhikers Guide?

 

 

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#13 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is way out there, but how about Hitchhikers Guide?
We do have that already, that's MINE! He is welcome to read it but I don't think he ever has, maybe because it's mine. He is 14 so I guess that goes with the territory.
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#14 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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DS isn't interested in Lord of the Rings, idk why!
Confession - he's not alone. One of my goals for this summer is to conquer that series finally. I honestly can't recall how many times I've stalled out somewhere in the 2nd book. Really - they wander around. Then they wander around some more. Then they wander a little further. There's got to be something that makes it worthwhile to finish the 2nd book and read the 3rd, given the way people worship this series, but holy heck, so far it's been lost on me.

I've been trying to finish this series for over 30 years now. This will be my year!!
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#15 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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For mythology lovers, I always think about The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. I would get the second book in the series and not get the others unless he wants to continue. The first book is a weird introduction to the whole series and the first two books stand alone before the later books bring the characters from each of those books together.

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#16 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Confession - he's not alone. One of my goals for this summer is to conquer that series finally. I honestly can't recall how many times I've stalled out somewhere in the 2nd book. Really - they wander around. Then they wander around some more. Then they wander a little further. There's got to be something that makes it worthwhile to finish the 2nd book and read the 3rd, given the way people worship this series, but holy heck, so far it's been lost on me.

I've been trying to finish this series for over 30 years now. This will be my year!!
I'll be with you in spirit!
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#17 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Check out George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire series (the first one's called A Game of Thrones). Excellently written quasi-medieval fantasy, with lots of made-up mythology. You may want to look at it first because it's got a lot of adult themes (starts out with incest and the attempted murder ofa 7-year-old), but the most annyoing thing about it is that it's an ongoing series and you never know whether the author is ever going to finish it, sort of like the Wheel of Time...

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#18 of 35 Old 06-24-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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At 14, since he's bright and interested in military history, I bet he'd love any of the popular history books by Stephen Ambrose (now controversial since there've been plagiarism charges, but they are extremely good reads and very accessible to a bright young teen), Doris Kearns Goodwin, or Barbara Tuchman (she has military books AND an outstanding medieval book, A Distant Mirror). There's also Killer Angels, Michael Shaara's spectacular novel about Gettysburg.
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#19 of 35 Old 06-26-2010, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much!
You've all been so helpful, ds is going to be thrilled when he sees what he's getting.


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#20 of 35 Old 06-26-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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Terry Pratchett is my all time favorite, very, very clever! He writes humorus books about fantasy/mythology a lot of which discusses modern day issues. I can't sign his praises enough.

Terry Brooks- I like Genesis of Shannara. It's basically a distopian society after nuclear war has destroyed the world. Basically there is a band of teens/kids that are trying to find a safe place to live.

Timeline by Michael Crichton that one incorporates both sci-fi and medival history. But I think it might be somewhat violent? I haven't read it in a LONG time so I don't remember.
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#21 of 35 Old 06-26-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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Lots of good suggestions above
Piers Anthony is a fave of mine from about 13y on. He has so many great books...and not just the Xanth series. I have just about a complete collection of his books.
He might like the Bio of a Space Tyrant series.
Tim Severin's Viking series contains lots of the Norse Mythology in it.

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#22 of 35 Old 06-26-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Ken Follett's book Pillars of the Earth is great. It's about the building of a Cathedral in 12th century England -- but it covers the politics of the time, the intrigue, the family relationships. There's a follow-up book called "World without End" that I haven't read, but it gets decent reviews.

ETA: If you're looking for complete and total pap, my dh likes Bernard Cornwall's "Sharpe" series. It's about a soldier in the Napoleonic wars. They're what dh reads when he wants downtime. (I read cozy mysteries.)

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#23 of 35 Old 06-27-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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Timeline by Michael Crichton that one incorporates both sci-fi and medival history. But I think it might be somewhat violent? I haven't read it in a LONG time so I don't remember.
I wanted to mention that one but couldn't remember what it was called.
Warning: it is not only somewhat violent but might put him off the middle ages forever! it is the kind of book that is a gripping read but when you're done you don't even want it in the house anymore. Or maybe just that's just me - I have needed to put books in the woodstove or the trash outside because I felt emotionally overwhelmed by them and needed that kind of closure.

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#24 of 35 Old 06-27-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to mention that one but couldn't remember what it was called.
Warning: it is not only somewhat violent but might put him off the middle ages forever! it is the kind of book that is a gripping read but when you're done you don't even want it in the house anymore. Or maybe just that's just me - I have needed to put books in the woodstove or the trash outside because I felt emotionally overwhelmed by them and needed that kind of closure.
Thank you for that warning. DS is somewhat sensitive and sometimes easily overwhelmed by intense subject matter.
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#25 of 35 Old 07-03-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series (4 books, complete). For older readers than his Larklight series, it's a post-apocalyptic work with a teenage boy and girl as protagonists and a big, sprawling plot. Very exciting -- ds11 (and I) couldn't put it down!

Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (5 books so far; the 6th comes out later this month). The Napoleonic Wars -- with dragons. Think Patrick O'Brian + Anne McCaffrey. It works; she writes and plots well. Another one ds and I can't stop reading.

Ds has also just reread Isaac Asimov's I, Robot and raves about it. Also liked Frank Herbert's Dune -- just the first one.

Re Hitchhiker: if you like audiobooks, try Stephen Fry's reading of Hitchhiker. Fabulous!
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#26 of 35 Old 07-04-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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Confession - he's not alone. One of my goals for this summer is to conquer that series finally. I honestly can't recall how many times I've stalled out somewhere in the 2nd book. Really - they wander around. Then they wander around some more. Then they wander a little further. There's got to be something that makes it worthwhile to finish the 2nd book and read the 3rd, given the way people worship this series, but holy heck, so far it's been lost on me.

I've been trying to finish this series for over 30 years now. This will be my year!!
lol! Well, I must admit that you all got me curious, so I've picked up reading the LOTR myself now. First, I must say that the foreword tells me I was wrong in calling it a trilogy. It states that it is a book with multiple parts, but not a trilogy. Whatever.

Secondly, I am really liking it a lot. It does wander, but if you can just go with the random flow, it works. I'm a little more than half way through the Two Towers and do expect to finish it in the next few weeks as time allows.
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#27 of 35 Old 07-04-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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lol! Well, I must admit that you all got me curious, so I've picked up reading the LOTR myself now. First, I must say that the foreword tells me I was wrong in calling it a trilogy. It states that it is a book with multiple parts, but not a trilogy. Whatever.

Secondly, I am really liking it a lot. It does wander, but if you can just go with the random flow, it works. I'm a little more than half way through the Two Towers and do expect to finish it in the next few weeks as time allows.
LOL! I'm glad you've been inspired to try it and you're enjoying it. I'm finishing up a stack of library books before I start my next attempt to journey through Middle Earth. I did enjoy The Hobbit and the first book. It's the second that gives me trouble. I suspect I just have a mental block at this point, so it's a personal problem that other readers don't have.

BTW, for the 14 y.o's, one of the library books I finished is Meg Rosoff's What I Was. It's about an awkward, unremarkable teenage boy at an English public school (boarding school) in 1962, who meets someone who appears to be his Platonic ideal of a teen boy living alone in a hut on a beach - athletic, independent, and mysterious. It's a coming of age story with a plot twist at the end. It was pretty good.

Rosoff is originally from Boston and she has named her handsome, athletic golden boy "Finn". Any story set in a boarding school about the relationship between 2 boys, one awkward and the other, named Finn, who is handsome and athletic, is going to dredge up the coming-of-age boarding school story that was omnipresent on high school English book lists when I was a teen - A Separate Peace. That book was set in New England. The possibility that Rosoff doesn't know it is pretty small. Maybe no one reads that book anymore, because I checked out a few reviews of What I Was, and no one seems to have questioned her about it. I don't know if it was an subconscious choice or a deliberate homage on Rosoff's part. When I finished What I Was, I realized that I had certain expectations because of the events in A Separate Peace, and so I was misled a little. Anyway, both books are good reading for a 14 y.o.
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#28 of 35 Old 07-08-2010, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I got ds the second and third books in the Ender's Game series and he's finished them already and is re-reading them starting with book 1.
I also just ordered a used copy of The Art of Way - Sun Tzu. DS said he had to have the one with original Chinese text with direct translation. All I could think to myself was, "Of course you do." lol
Now I'm going back through all of your suggestions as ds will be going to my parents house for a week and he has NO BOOKS which he hasn't already read.
I have to send him with atleast 4 books or I fear he'll go mad.
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#29 of 35 Old 07-20-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I see someone posted the Hunger Games--yes! Be sure to read Catching Fire (book 2 in the trilogy) and book 3 comes out this summer.
I read the books aloud to a group of honor students that I work with and they LOVED the books. I like Hunger Games better than Catching Fire but can't wait until next month to read book 3.
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#30 of 35 Old 07-20-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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Just wanted to follow up my earlier suggestion for Megan Whelan Turner's Attolia series. I just finished A Conspiracy of Kings, the recently released fourth book. It's quite good - not as wonderful as The Thief or The Queen of Attolia though.

It has lots of military strategy - battles etc. - near the end, which was a request in the OP. If he's familiar with The 300 and the Spartans and Persians at Thermopylae, he may anticipate some of the events in the book.
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