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Mama Soltera 07-28-2012 11:57 AM

He likes sci-fi, fantansy, and adventure but he's a little picky. He did enjoy all of the Hunger Games and when he was younger he loved Harry Potter (he's way over it now). He loves all the vampire series too. He's really ready for some new things to read. I would love any suggestions.

whatsnextmom 07-28-2012 03:17 PM

I assume he's done Lord of the Rings? You might try Stephen Kings "The Dark Tower" series. 

grethel 07-28-2012 03:39 PM

My 14 yo was in a sci-fi/fantasy book club this year. Some of the things they read that seemed to particularly appeal to the boys were Ender's Game/Ender's Shadow, Dune, Un Lun Dun, Snow Crash. My dd has also really liked the His Dark Materials trilogy, the Bartimaeus trilogy, and anything suitable for teens by Neil Gaiman. There are a whole bunch of books in the Artemis Fowl series that are entertaining, and what about Percy Jackson and the Olympians? They might be skewed a bit younger than the vampire-type teen books, but I read them all (all of the above, actually) and enjoyed them.


If he's ready for more adult themes, plenty of teens we know love the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones). The books are a lot less racy/explicit than the HBO show, although some of the themes (incest, adultery) are somewhat grown-up.


ETA: If he likes classic sci-fi, has he read any Ray Bradbury or Robert Heinlein? My dd also likes stories by HP Lovecraft, and there are a lot of great classic fantasy series out there too.

ollyoxenfree 07-29-2012 04:38 AM

At that age, my DS liked classic HG Wells - The Time Machine was a particular favourite. 

If he likes the vampire genre, has he read Dracula by Bram Stoker? 



For more recent series, he might like The Hungry Cities Chronicles by Philip Reeve or Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi 

leafylady 07-29-2012 05:53 AM

Has he read The Ranger series by John Flanagan?

Mama Soltera 07-29-2012 10:17 AM

Wow, thank you for all the recommendations. This is really helpful. I forgot to say he was also really into the Eragon series a couple years ago. I don't know why but my kids will not read The Lord of the Rings. The movie, they love; the book, they cannot get into.

zinemama 07-29-2012 04:01 PM

Ship Breaker and its companion book The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. They are set in a post-oil dystopian USA and have a lot to say about loyalty, friendship and what makes a family. I shouldn't have to say this - since so many YA books are - but: WAY better than Hunger Games.

Not SF, but perfect for 14 is Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

mamahart 07-30-2012 06:04 AM

I read a series by Mercedes Lackey started with Joust- might be a little racey...nothing I really remember- awesome dragon training series.

ollyoxenfree 07-30-2012 07:35 AM

I just recalled a really great series by Megan Whelan Turner, The Queen's Thief.  The first book is titled The Thief


It's set in a mythical land very similar to ancient Greece. There is lots of political intrigue and plotting and adventure. No dragons though, if that's the kind of fantasy he prefers. 

incorrigible 08-02-2012 11:37 PM

Mine is into an Arthurian series that starts with "The Seeing Stone" by Kevin Crossley-Holland. He's eating them up. Personally, I recommend the "Shannara" series by Terry Brooks ... also the "Magic Kingdom For Sale" series by Terry Brooks...ok, really anything by Terry Brooks will be a huge hit for that age and doesn't go anywhere inappropriate. 

LLQ1011 08-02-2012 11:45 PM

A wrinkle in time!


Theres a great shorter story called Containment (I bet he would love this!)


When I was a kid it was fun to read books that my mom read as a little kid.

LaughingHyena 08-03-2012 01:18 AM

Has he ready andy of the discworld books? I think I started reading them around that age. Most of them can be read as stand alone books but the characters do develop over time so I think it's worth reading some of the earlier ones first.


I also started reading some of Anne Mcaffery's books around that age. I didn't get into the Dragons of Pern series until later. I think the first ones I read were the pegaus trillergy.


David webbers Honnor Harrignton series, too many battle ship details for me but they are good.

Mama Soltera 08-03-2012 12:10 PM

I got a couple of the books and they were too young for him. I guess what I'm looking for are books adults regularly read but that don't go to any extremes sex and violence-wise.

Mama Soltera 08-03-2012 12:18 PM

Originally Posted by LaughingHyena View Post


I also started reading some of Anne Mcaffery's books around that age. I didn't get into the Dragons of Pern series until later. I think the first ones I read were the pegaus trillergy.



Can you tell me which book comes first in the series? My daughter (11 1/2) has read all the same books as my son (except Vampire Diaries!) and she is so into the dragon novels these days. She would love this series, I'm sure. Thanks. :)

pek64 08-03-2012 12:45 PM

If the stories are fun and he enjoys them, why shouldn't he read 'younger'books now and then?

My son enjoyed Gordon Korman books (Everest series, etc), and Diane Duane books.

There's also Agatha Christie.

When I was growing up, there were books carrying Hitchcock's name. He was not the author, but they were all suspense stories, various reading levels. Plenty of suspense, ghosts, unexplained happenings, deaths, but no sex or actual violence. I tried to find them for my son and failed, but maybe someone else will have better luck.

incorrigible 08-03-2012 12:45 PM

Maybe it would help if you told us which books were too young for him. Most of the books suggested are ones adults enjoy. Some of them are even a little racy for a 14yr old, depending on his maturity. If he's looking for truly challenging literature he's going to start encountering adult content, though. What's being presented is the upper edge of writing before it becomes impossible to find things that don't explore the more intense aspects of humanity - like sexuality and capacities for pain and sorrow.

ollyoxenfree 08-03-2012 12:55 PM

Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post

I got a couple of the books and they were too young for him. I guess what I'm looking for are books adults regularly read but that don't go to any extremes sex and violence-wise.


Hm. Which books? Do you know what he found was "too young"? The age of the characters? Was the writing too simplistic? The plots too formulaic? 

Mama Soltera 08-04-2012 12:23 PM

"If the stories are fun and he enjoys them, why shouldn't he read 'younger'books now and then?"


Sorry I wasn't more clear. He had no interest in reading them. He would've read them a couple years ago, but he's maturing quickly these days (aka seriously becoming a man suddenly!) and (I hate when parents say this so I was trying to avoid saying it) he is two years ahead academically and really does need that extra (and more adult-minded) stimulation.


Now, I let him read the Clan of the Cave Bear series when he was thirteen. He was already becoming very aware of sexuality at that point and I felt that was the healthiest, most natural, and most woman-friendly introduction to it in literature. He *loved* the series and read through all six of them (I think it's six lol) in about ten days. So I am not too worried about the sex and violence as long as it's not sexist and degrading or, as far as violence goes, disturbing or unnecessarily graphic.


I checked out most of the ones recommended from the library (The Seeing Stone ones, the Arthur ones, The Ranger's Apprentice ones, etc.) and was not interested and said they were too young for him. Still, these recommendations are turning out to be exactly what my daughter is into right now so they are very helpful.


As far as my son goes, I did let him read The Vampire Diaries. And as far as sexual stuff goes, I'd rather have him getting it through literature than in something like playboy magazines or inappropriate movies. I remember my brother loving Stephen King novels as a teen. I think they could be a bit heavy for my son (though I do have on hold The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, which is for teens, to see how it goes), and I think he'd prefer adventure to scary stuff. I think he's going through changes where he might be open to a new genre. I know for me, I loved fantasy when I was a kid, but by sixteen or so it had no appeal for me anymore (though I know tons of adults who love fantasy). So I am really open to suggestions.


Thanks again. You ladies are wonderful.

Mama Soltera 08-04-2012 07:26 PM

Okay, so he actually likes Ender's Game. Sorry I mispoke. He read teh whole thing today. The others he really didn't want to read though.

zebra15 08-04-2012 08:52 PM

Hi- I haven't been here for a bit.  A couple suggestions,

1. make friends with your teen/adult librarian.  just like your kiddie librarian is a lifesaver, the teen librarian is a wealth of knowledge and information as well.

2. take DS with you to the library/bookstore.  let him browse the racks and databases and see what jumps out at him.


My own kiddo is a couple years ahead academically and reads across all levels.  I've just about given up making suggestions for him at this point.  Here is what he chose at the library today - DVD's that cover American History, American Geography and general architecture.   1980's 'teen' movies,   Picture books to give him ideas for drawing, 2 chapter books and he ordered a couple things.

gooseberry 08-04-2012 09:29 PM

None of the suggestions I'll make here are things I've read, but they were all highly recommended by classmates in a Young Adult Literature course that I took last year.


Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (recommended upthread)

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

Books by Nancy Farmer such as The Ear, the Eye and the Arm or The House of the Scorpion

grethel 08-05-2012 11:28 AM

The extra information you gave upthread about his reading level definitely helps us know what he might be interested in. There's such a range at that age. I was a lot like your son - voraciously reading more adult material at his age. So I do understand.


Totally echo others' recommendations that you take him with you to the library if you can. I'd never want to pick out books for my 14 yo without having her along to thumb through and nix them -- way too much schlepping!


If he liked Ender's Game, it's a series. He might also like Dune (I think I mentioned that above), Heinlein novels like "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel," (one of my favorites at his age!). If he likes things that are a bit deeper, another classic is "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester. I also loved "The Stand" and the Dark Tower series by Stephen King (they're different than his straight horror books).

Other favorites from my teens that I can think of off the top of my head:

"Brave New World," Aldous Huxley

"The Handmaid's Tale," M. Atwood (I also loved Oryx & Crake, but not sure if it's a little adult in places. I don't remember it being too sexy. Handmaid's Tale does include a lot of adult themes, but as others have said above, if he's entering into the realm of adult books, that's going to be part of most of the good ones.)

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Philip K Dick (basis for the movie "Blade Runner")


Has he read "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel? It's very much an adventure novel (though the adventure doesn't start for about 1/3 of the book, so encourage him to keep reading until it gets "good").

leafylady 08-06-2012 01:42 PM

Get him online to search out book recommendations on Goodreads. If he's mature enough to read Clan of the Cave Bear and the other books you've mentioned, it sounds like he's mature enough to pick his own books. Even if he does get some inappropriate content, he is mature enough to accept it for what it is and not start to emulate it.

My son read a non-fiction book called American Shaolin that we all enjoyed. It's not a child's book. It's non-fiction but reads with the energy of a novel.

Still, I say it's time to let him research and choose his own books. It's a great next step for him. Goodreads is a great place to start for reviews by real readers.

Evan&Anna's_Mom 08-08-2012 11:57 AM

NPR just published a list of "favorite teen books".  They also have a list of 100 favorite sci fi/fantasy.  Here are links:


The list had a few books I read and liked but had forgotten about, especially Lucifer's Hammer, Mote in God's Eye, anything by Anne McCaffrey, anything by David Eddings, the Thomas Covenant series,


I am also a major Mercedes Lackey fan.  The Joust series might be more appealing than her Valdemar series since Valdemar's first set has a female main character.  He could also start with the Foundation series since that is centered around a teen boy.


And our family all enjoyed The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series (first book is "Wolf Brother"), though my 12 YO started it, so it might seem a little young for your son.

liberal_chick 08-11-2012 04:16 PM

The Escape from Furnace series by Smith is big with the boys at our library right now.  The first is Lockdown.  Also Ashes by Ilsa Bick.  Feed by M.T. Anderson.  Does he do zombies?  I really like Rot & Ruin (first of 2 currently with 2 more to come, I think) by Marberry.  Finnikin of the Rock by Marchetta.  The Maze Runner by Dashner is the first thing I send kids who are coming off The Hunger Games to.


Take him to the library and tell the Teen Librarian or whoever works with teens what he likes.  When teens come to me, I usually ask what the last several books they really liked were and recommend based off of that.

Evan&Anna's_Mom 08-14-2012 10:11 AM

Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post


Can you tell me which book comes first in the series? My daughter (11 1/2) has read all the same books as my son (except Vampire Diaries!) and she is so into the dragon novels these days. She would love this series, I'm sure. Thanks. :)


There are several good places to enter this series -- they weren't written in chronological order so sometimes they seem a bit scattered.  A good place for teens/tween is the Harper Hall trilogy -- Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, Dragon Drums.   I read these with my son at about age 10 or 11 (we read aloud at night and I am always looking for good options we will both like). 


A couple of thinks that some parents might want to be aware of:

*  The primary character (a teen girl) gets beaten by her father (as a child who was on the receiving end of a belt whipping more times than I can count that was hard for me to read).

*  The culture depicted is male-dominated but the main character is an incredibly strong girl who bucks it all and succeeds.

* The second and third books to refer to dragon mating with a clear indication that the people who are bonded with those dragons also have sex.  Nothing graphic though.


I must say that these have been some of my favorite books over many years.

Mama Soltera 08-16-2012 12:34 PM

Evan and Anna's Mom, thanks for making me aware of those aspects of the story. I really appreciate it.


I know I'm going to be coming back to this thread over and over again for quite a while!

pattimomma 08-16-2012 02:54 PM

I second the Ender's Game series! If he is into vampires has he tried Anne Rice? I read Interview with a Vampire at 15 and got hooked on that series.

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