He likes reading and reads fairly well, but would prefer to veg in front of a movie! That program ends tomorrow, and DH will be taking him to the library after morning swim lessons and basketball camp. We can also inter-library loan just about anything.
Please give us your suggestions, thanks!
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
I would go with series--if he likes the first, the rest would be a good bet. If he doesn't like the first, obviously skip the rest.
A lot of these would be "quick reads" for a 13 yr old, but still enjoyable:
The Percy Jackson books
The 39 clues books (may be too young--but they are fast)
His Dark Materials (trilogy by Pullman)
The Mysterious Benedict Society (trilogy by Stewart)
Books by Chris Crutcher (def. a YA author though and covers a large range of themes/topics--look at first if nephew is particularly sensitive, but I usually recommend them to kids 12 and up)
Dark is Rising series by Cooper
And then, nonfiction books about anything/anybody he is interested in. There are also some great urban legend books that are fun at that age (Spiders in the hairdo is a collection that comes in mind that is meant for that age group)
And finally, does he have any favorite authors. He could just cruise through their works. If you need some motivation, maybe offer to watch the movie of the book with him after he finishes to see if they did the book justice.
There is a new series based on Jane Austen's books that have many of the themes from the originals but throw in some zombies and such.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Lizzy and her sisters are highly trained martial artists and zombie killers. I read it and thought it was pretty funny, especially how it would reference specific lines or events in the original.
Some of these are a bit violent. But I guess it depends on the kid.
If he's into fantasy/science fiction, I would add:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (JRR Tolkien) - if you/he are only familiar with the movies, the books are even better. Also, The Hobbit (prequel). If he's read LOTR, then The Silmarillion might interest him.
The Eragon books might interest him (I think there are four of them now?). The first was written when the author was fifteen and they've been well received.
Anything by Anne McCaffrey - the Pern/dragon books, or the Ship books, or etc.
If he hasn't read the Madeleine L'Engle books (A Wrinkle in Time etc.), or Le Guin's books, he might find those interesting.
The Killer Angels (if he's interested in history - it's about Gettysburg)
Across Five Aprils (another Civil War book)
To Kill A Mockingbird
Little Britches - might be a little dry, but it's kind of the 'boy pioneer' version of the Little House series.
I just read Jefferson: An American Family about Thomas Jefferson's descendants via Martha Jefferson (his wife) and Sally Heming (his slave). It was fascinating, short bits with many different people, lots of photographs etc., and a very interesting examination of the issues of race, family, etc. A good springboard for discussing race, slavery, Jefferson/the founding fathers (the contradictions between what he wrote/believed, and what he did), etc.
I think I read Adam of the Road at that age, and liked it.
Jack London books, if he hasn't read any of those
If he's into sports, anything by John Fienstein would probably work.
He's at an age where he can probably read at an 'adult' level, although he might not be ready for some of the emotional/relational things which show up in 'adult' books. But, if he's interested in them, things like Barack Obama's two books -- or other biographical sorts of books - might be interesting for him. Ted Kennedy's biography was interesting to me, and has so much history, that regardless of one's political stance, it would probably be interesting. Yeager: An Autobiography was one of my husband's favorite books from that age (written for adults but he loved it).
I'd encourage reading some nonfiction with him -- it's a really important skill to develop at this age. So if there's something that interests him (gardening, camping, space) that could be really fun to get him started on.
Hope you find some really interesting books!
The Book of Lost Things- dark fairy tale sort of book.
Pet-mom to Squirt with FLUTD & Maya the deaf wonder dog .
ETA: Has he ever read a Hardy boys? There are *lots* of those!
I work in a library, and the books that go out the most are magna/graphic novels. Not sure if he is allowed those. They are a fast read, quick paced and graphically stimulating. Try Inuyasha, Bleach or Naruto. They can be a little dark.
Gary Paulsen has a series of short books - including Lawn mower boy that he might like. Funny, fast, and no more than 90 pages.
If not I would definitely give things like Eragon, Harry Potter 4-7 and Lord of the Rings a miss. They're long -- a week's read for even avid readers. Gary Paulson, Percy Jackson/Riordon are good suggestions. The Wimpy Kid books are quick reads and enjoyed by many peri-adolescent boys. "The Giver", "City of Ember" and "Mortal Engines" are all nifty post-apocalyptic sci-fi that tend to appeal to boys. My 13yo ds loved "Airborn" and "Skybreaker" by Oppel.
Hope that helps!
Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up
Louis Sachar's Wayside School books are likewise fairly short. They are quite funny and appealing to most kids.
For something a little more challenging, but fairly quick reads (about 150 pages), there is The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. It's about a dystopian society where families are limited to 2 children. The first is Among the Hidden . I think there are 7 books in total.
The reading level for those series is probably a little younger than 13, but within range. Since he can choose any 25 books, if they appeal to him I think they may be suitable.
When he was 12 or 13, my ds enjoyed
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
- Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
These are more issue-oriented coming-of-age type books with some serious themes.
ETA: He also really liked the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull