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In need of sock puppet
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My 13 year-old step-son hates to read.l He'll try anything to get out of his school's ten page per night requirement. The last book he read enthusiastically was Ender's Game. He's at a reading level a couple of years below his age, diagnosed with ADHD and a mild LD, so shorter books with a fair amount of action tend to be easier for him to get through.

I'm trying to put a list together of stuff he might actually want to read. And Ender's Game was our last success. Have any comparable titles you could suggest?

Thanks!
 

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thinkcooper said:
My 13 year-old step-son hates to read.l He'll try anything to get out of his school's ten page per night requirement. The last book he read enthusiastically was Ender's Game. He's at a reading level a couple of years below his age, diagnosed with ADHD and a mild LD, so shorter books with a fair amount of action tend to be easier for him to get through.

I'm trying to put a list together of stuff he might actually want to read. And Ender's Game was our last success. Have any comparable titles you could suggest?

Thanks!
Does Manga count? My wife is a kids librarian, and she loves to read Manga cause it is quick.

Try your local library, they probably have a teen section.
 

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It's a Sledgehammer
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Have you tried anything from Bruce Coville? My kids loved them. He's got a bunch of books some are sci-fi, most just kinda wierd in a way kids like. Fast fun reads.
 

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There are several follow-up books to Ender's Game... Orson Scott Card, you can look 'em up. The farther you get down the list, the more boring they get, IMO. Still, some of 'em are pretty good, and if you read Ender, you kinda know what's what.

Check out William Gibson... Neuromancer is a classic, which is followed by a strong one, Count Zero. Virtual Light has a bike messenger as the protagonist... it was OK+. Gibson's books move, and the sentance structure is short and to the point...

Uh... you can't really go wrong owning a copy of Dune by Frank Herbert- kinda topical with all the arabic references, and a teen protagonist. The Asimov "I Robot" books sometimes appeal to people who identify with outsiders.

You know what works? Ask a librarian. They are really really good at that kind of thing...

'Meat
 

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thinkcooper said:
My 13 year-old step-son hates to read.l He'll try anything to get out of his school's ten page per night requirement. The last book he read enthusiastically was Ender's Game. He's at a reading level a couple of years below his age, diagnosed with ADHD and a mild LD, so shorter books with a fair amount of action tend to be easier for him to get through.

I'm trying to put a list together of stuff he might actually want to read. And Ender's Game was our last success. Have any comparable titles you could suggest?

Thanks!
Take a look at City of Ember and it's sequel People of the Sparks.

13 may be on the top side age for these two books (I have 10 YO)

Scot
 

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How about fantasy? Most of it is really corny, but so is a lot of sci-fi. Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword is a really intense, compacted and battle-filled novel with Vikings, Elfs and little morality. It's surprisingly good for fantasy and none too long, less than 200 pages, but lots of story.

This link is helpful: http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,12084,880844,00.html
 

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george orwell. 1984.. and there is harry potter. sherlock holmes and mystery books may catch his interest. agatha christie.
i heard there is a lot of new titles , fiction , directed to the teen segment.
william gibson is a tad heavy though.
 

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rogger said:
How about fantasy? Most of it is really corny, but so is a lot of sci-fi. Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword is a really intense, compacted and battle-filled novel with Vikings, Elfs and little morality. It's surprisingly good for fantasy and none too long, less than 200 pages, but lots of story.
I was thinking along the same lines.... The Conan series by Robert E. Howard could be great. I read them when I was about that age. Real easy reads, lots of action.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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KenB said:
I was thinking along the same lines.... The Conan series by Robert E. Howard could be great. I read them when I was about that age. Real easy reads, lots of action.
I read those and Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melnibone series when I was an early teen too, and I'd recommend both. Both come in pretty short books, and each series is pretty long (actually, it looks like Elric is still rolling along--after 40+ years!).

They're not Sci-Fi, but they're fun.

By the way, if you start with Ender's Game, a lot of Sci-Fi is going to be pretty disappointing. That's top stuff, that is.
 

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colker1 said:
george orwell. 1984.. and there is harry potter. sherlock holmes and mystery books may catch his interest. agatha christie.
i heard there is a lot of new titles , fiction , directed to the teen segment.
william gibson is a tad heavy though.
Colker1's post got me thinking about sci-fi I enjoyed as a teenager vs current stuff I've been feeding my kid.

Books who's stories have stuck in my head that I read as a teenager are:
Childhoods End
The End of Infinity Asimov
Farenhet 451
Starship Troopers (nice short read)
The Stars My Destination (Bester) This is the best piece of "pulp" SciFi I've ever read and I bet I read it in 1973. Lots of action, gritty storyline, interesting concept, good hero (antihero) like you see in pulp fiction stories.

Other's I've thought of but I was past my teens when I read them but I think they fit your criteria would be Niven's early short stories. The Gil Hamilton Agent of ARM are fun, short, sci fi detective stories.
Many of his short stories are collected in his Tales of Known Space books. Short stories might be a good choice since a sense of accomplishment can be achieved before the last page of the book.

Two other good shorts are Enemy Mine and Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep. He might enjoy these because he can see how storylines change from written word to movie scripts.

Some of these might be hard to find.

Scot
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Shadow of the Giant, Ender's Shadow if he liked Ender's game

Any of the Issac Asimov Robot books
Any of the Issac Asimov Foundation Books.

Any of the Drow books by R.A Salvatore There are several trilogy's

Any of the Harry Potter books.

Fantastic Voyage by Asimov

Start with these, see what he likes and come back...there is much good Sci Fi out there but these will narrow down the catagories he likes.

I'd start with the Asimov stuff.....not too long (Other than the book are in sequence, but each book is digestible).

Len
 

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How about the Hitchhikers guide in some time from now?

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.
 

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Len J said:
Any of the Issac Asimov Foundation Books.
I'm not sure I would recommend those for a teen with a short attention span. I slogged through them at that age and didn't retain much. Short attention span could probably accurately describe me then.

OTOH, I absolutely devoured Tolkien's books. Start with The Hobbit and see how it goes. Stop after Return of the King though... The Silmarillion is impossible to read no matter how old you are :rolleyes:

And another vote for Starship Troopers. It's very easy to read and engaging, yet also highly thought provoking. Just don't let your son turn into a Libertarian or anything, m'kay? Heinlein does that to some people ;)

You may also want to comb your local used book stores for collections of sci-fi short stories. There are many. Short stories are great for providing instant literary gratification.
 

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Roadies Rejoice
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Ender's Game was going to be my first rec. after reading the subject line...The sequels are good but not on par with the original.

I didn't like Asimov at that age. Too slow, too dated.

I did like Ray Bradbury a bit. His books are short, and not typical Sci-Fi.

I also liked quite a bit of fantasy. I remember enjoying Ursula K. Leguin's earthsea series around 12-13.

Silas
 

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Heinlein and Le Guin

Coop:

If you can get your son over the anachronistic hump of reading sci-fi written a half-century ago, Robert Heinlein wrote great novels geared to adolescent readers (see the Wikipedia excerpt below), including Podkayne of Mars, Starship Troopers, Red Planet, and others. He can learn about free love (I grok you!) and libertarianism (see Fixed/Doug) from Stranger in a Strange Land. I still remember details from those books that I read in junior high.

Bonus NNC detail: Heinlein's childhood home was in Butler, MO. The route for the 400 and 600 km brevets out of KC go right by his family's house, which has a marker designating it as such.

If he wants something more challenging, I recommend Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness, which combines shifting sexuality with a chase scene on cross-country skis!

Good Luck, Coop!

Dale

From Wilipedia's entry on Robert Heinlein (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Heinlein):
"The novels that he wrote for a young audience are a fascinating mixture of adolescent and adult themes. Many of the issues that he takes on in these books have to do with the kinds of problems that adolescents experience. His protagonists are usually very intelligent teenagers who have to make a way in the adult society they see around them. On the surface, they are simple tales of adventure, achievement, and dealing with stupid teachers and jealous peers.

However, Heinlein was a vocal proponent of the notion that juvenile readers were far more sophisticated and able to handle complex or difficult themes than most people realized. Thus even his juvenile stories often had a maturity to them that make them readable for adults. Red Planet, for example, portrays some very subversive themes, including a revolution by young students modeled on the American Revolution; his editor demanded substantial changes in this book's discussion of topics such as the use of weapons by adolescents and the confused sexuality of the Martian character. Heinlein was always aware of the editorial limitations put in place by the editors of his novels and stories, and while he observed those restrictions on the surface, was often successful in introducing ideas not often seen in other authors' juvenile SF."
 

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Misfit Toy
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I agree with Larry Niven - his known space stories are great. Anything with the puppeteers were favorites of mine.

I cut my teeth on Ray Bradbury, so I have to recommend him too.
 

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Asimov, Bradbury, Adams

I'd recommend any of the Asimov or Bradbury novels or, especially for a teenager, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
 

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undies said:
I'm not sure I would recommend those for a teen with a short attention span. I slogged through them at that age and didn't retain much. Short attention span could probably accurately describe me then.

OTOH, I absolutely devoured Tolkien's books. Start with The Hobbit and see how it goes. Stop after Return of the King though... The Silmarillion is impossible to read no matter how old you are :rolleyes:

And another vote for Starship Troopers. It's very easy to read and engaging, yet also highly thought provoking. Just don't let your son turn into a Libertarian or anything, m'kay? Heinlein does that to some people ;)

You may also want to comb your local used book stores for collections of sci-fi short stories. There are many. Short stories are great for providing instant literary gratification.
+1

Bio of a Space Tyrant is a good series.
Sten (series)
David Brin: Sundiver, Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Startide Rising, the Postman, etc.
Mission to Moulokin and the other Ice Rigger books (forget the author)
Jannissaries (forget the author)

Oh, and the Horatio Hornblower series and the Aubrey/Maturin series are great 19th cen sailing novels/series. Very good reads.

I'm running out of ideas, so I'll sign off

M
 
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