His Incarnations of Immortality series is great, too, though a bit more mature than the Xanth books. They're a little closer to R rated.
For real grown-up books, I used to like Lawrence Sanders' Archy McNally (playboy lawyer) books at 11-13 (though I read a lot of age-inappropriate stuff.) Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Books are a lot of good fun (very noir crime books.)
Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.
I second the Percy Jackson series. It is a huge hit with middle school boys. Also a huge hit are: Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz (think James Bond for 7th grade boys) as well as his Diamond Brother mystery series. He also writes horror. Another huge hit for boys, girls and adults is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The protagonist is female but it's never seemed to bother any of the boys who have read it. I booktalked it at the middle school and had a lot of requests for it. It's a dystopic science fiction novel about a girl who is forced to compete in a reality show/competition that is to the death. It's incredible and recommended for ages 12 and up. There is a second book in that series and a third one finishing up the trilogy due out in August. It's a very popular series.
Also big hits are most books by Eoin Colfer, Philip Reeve (science fiction and steampunk), Neil Gaiman and Pete Hautman (he writes mysteries). For sports fiction try Mike Lupica and Tim Green.
Michael Scott's The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (fantasy), HIVE (The Higher Institute of Villaneous Education) by Mark Walden, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld are also big hits.
If you want more recs or a specific recommendation, pm me.
I love to talk about this stuff.
If you're in the USA you can see his stuff here:
I suppose they're also available on amazon.
The Bartimaeus trilogy is also great, first book is The Amulet of Samarkand
Also James Patterson "Maximum Ride" series
Also, both my kids (girl 14; boy 12) are getting into Terry Pratchett's Disc World series - mostly the books that involve Sam Vimes and the City Watch
The ones with Rincewind are not so good (IMHO).
The ones that feature Susan and her grandfather, Death are also pretty good (Soul Music, The Hogfather, & Thief of Time)
- the "ink" books by Cornelia Funke (Ink Heart, Ink Blood, Ink Death - I hope the translations were correct, I'm German and thus more familiar with the original titles.)
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- "A week in the woods"
Andrea , wife to K , mother to
Check with your local library they are very helpful at suggesting books.
In re to the Piers Anthony books someone mentioned earlier, I tried to get dd11 to read the Xanth novels a while back b/c she likes sci fi. She immediately went for the Incarnations of Immortality series b/c it sounded better to her. She liked it a lot until she got to For Love of Evil at which point she felt that the content was too mature for her. It includes some rape scenes as I recall her saying and a few other sexual violence descriptions that probably weren't appropriate. Even the first book in that series, as mentioned, is probably "R" rated in that it has a suicide and an allusion to incest.
DS also loves most of the Anne McCauffry Pern books. These can get a little racy if you can read between the lines but nothing overt. We found the Dragon Singer/Dragon Song/Dragon Drums series was a great starting place.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
Neil Gaiman is a great choice - Neverwhere has adventure, mystery, humour. It's a little adult, but not R-rated.
Ken Oppel's trilogy - Airbor, Skybreaker and Starclimber
My Side to the Mountain, The Other Side of the Mountain and Frightful's Mountain, Going to the Sun, and Who Really Killed Cock Robin? by George
Sword Song, The Shining Company, Frontier Wolf, The Eagle of the Ninth series and others by Sutcliff - historical ACTION fiction with male protaganist who develop physically and mentally throughout the story.
The Black Pearl, The 290, The King's Fifth and many others by O'dell
I'm thinking he would really like Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Give it a try and let me know what he thinks. I'll re-post if any others come to mind. It's for adults but I can't recall anything that would be too much for a 14 year old.
I have also just finished book three of the Kindom Keepers (the kingdom being disney world). They are great adventure stories. If you hate everything disney, you might not want to read about it, but the action is great. It was rec. to me by a 12 year old boy so I read book one thinking "ok, I'll read it for him" and was hooked.
Mallory Blackman has a whole series my 12 year old son went through like fire. Callum, Noughts and Crosses, Knife Edge, Checkmate, Double Cross. Not sure of the order. He is a very fast reader, likes comedy, adventure, mystery. Doesn't like Fantasy.
Sophie McKenzie has a whole load he has read. Set up, Hostage, The Thief, The Resue, Hunted, Double Cross, Hit Squad, Girl missing, Sister
David Walliams has a few funny books my son keeps on his shelf.
Dermot Milligan - Donut Dairies - comedy
Mr Gum books, read those when he was 10 years old.
The whole of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid range - comedy
Loves Simpsons Cartoon strip books he has them on his shelf and reads and sometimes reads again. He started reading them a few years ago, have them in the library. I used to worry about him watching the Simpsons but I have lost count of the times I have asked my son where he learnt something I hadn't taught him, all down to Simpsons on TV I was amazed the interesting and intellectual things he has picked up from there.
I'm grateful he has 6 books sitting on his shelf waiting to be read :) phew!! He should be ok for 4-5 weeks. ha, ha!!
I will keep an eye on other recommedations from everyone too! THANKS.
I read an article while I was still pregnant (right after I found out I was having a boy) that one way to get boys to read was to get them books from the "banned books" list.
Anyone have any experience with this?