1. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City

    Good books for kids not into reading

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by hiddennovelist, Aug 28, 2010.

    I went back a few pages to look for threads like this, so sorry if it's a repeat.

    Last night, one of the women I work with asked me if I had any suggestions for books she could get her 14-year-old daughter to read. I guess her daughter isn't very interested in reading, so she's looking for anything that might spark her interest. I don't think there's a particular genre she's interested in, so I'm sorry it's so broad, but does anyone have any suggestions that I could give her? I figure giving her as many different types of suggestions as possible will help her find what genre/writing styles most appeal to her daughter.

    Thanks, guys!
     
  2. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    Some kids just don't like reading, whereas I think I read something like two thousand books between 10 and 14, my brother read two. If you want something more modern the likes of Jacqueline Wilson, Harry Potter, Dark Materials etc come to mind. I loved Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew during this time.

    Others I enjoyed were easy to read and gripping I read them around the ages 10-14

    My favourite book has been reprinted this April - Mist Over Pendle by Robert Neill, it is an amazing sumptuous book about a teenager. Easy to read with lots of depth. It is about the Pendle witches.

    Her Royal Destiny by Carol Maxwell Eady this is about Katherine Parr sixth wife of Henry VIII has some sex in it, I was ten when I read it lol Mum had let me choose a book for the journey and was a little horrified when she read it herself on the way back. However it is fairly tame for a fourteen year old.

    The Finishing School by Pamela Brown about a young girl in a Japanese POW camp

    Little Women, Good Wives, Little Men, Jo's Boys
    Louisa May Alcott how can you not lol?

    Agatha Christie I started reading about 12

    What Katy Did, What Katy Did At School, What Katy Did Next
     
  3. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll pass them on to her. :)

    I agree with what you said about some kids just not liking to read, but I'm hoping to at least be able to find a couple books her daughter likes. Not everyone has to read a lot like I do, but I think it's nice for everyone to have a couple books they can enjoy, you know?
     
  4. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I forgot - the Tales of the Otori by Lian Hearne.

    Or maybe something like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy might be better its funny.
     
  5. Thog
    Offline

    Thog New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    The sad truth is that if a kid doesn't like reading they are probably going to reject most books forced on them by other people, particularly parents and particularly if the books in question are what society terms classics or good literature. There exists a sizable gap between what wins award's and what gets rave reviews and what people, not just teenagers, want to read (I'd like to think I'm not one of them but in reality I probably am).

    Another problem that exists when parents select books for their children is that their choices tend to be a bit on the safe side and enforce some kind of desirable moral message, or at least don't contain any offensive content. Teens do not like being preached at, they are also notoriously hard to offend. It is easy to see why some parental recommendations aren't exactly well received.

    Now for some recommendations

    Nothing too old, at least not straight away.

    Twilight as awful as it is, is OK as long as you can get her to follow it with other, better books (The same goes for Harry Potter, except Harry Potter is actually good)

    The Hunger Games series is good

    Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series (I haven't read this one but the movie was alright and my sister is a fan)

    The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden (with bells on. By the way has anyone else here read these? They are very popular in Australia where I live, elsewhere I'm not sure)
     
  6. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I haven't read any of his actual YA books, but reading Chris Wooding's adult aimed books, he has a real sense for writing fun books. I would imagine his YA books are just the same in that sense.

    Actually, depending on how mature this 14 year old is, the Ketty Jay books (the ones I've read/am reading) may be fine for her.
     
  7. Anonymouse33
    Offline

    Anonymouse33 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about the Morganville Vampire Series? Rachel Caine isn't really like flowered with rave reviews but the books are good. :)

    Her character dynamics are great. They're entertaining, and there's alot of action packed into them.
     
  8. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,352
    Likes Received:
    2,896
    Location:
    Boston
    I'll second The Hunger Games series. I've heard good things about it and a lot of young adults seem to enjoy that book.
     
  9. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. :) I really appreciate it!
     
  10. kaylynwrong
    Offline

    kaylynwrong Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Lawrence, Kansas

    I LOVE The Tomorrow Series and The Hunger Games series. I would absolutely recommend these to a teenage girl (or boy! or adult!). However, they are violent and people die, so if her mother isn't okay with that, maybe she should read them out first? But, I honestly think a girl her age can handle it just fine. They're great books. And I love that the characters, both the boys and girls, are all strong, but still very human. I finished the series months ago, but I still find myself thinking about how much I loved it.

    The Hunger Games is very dystopian. Once again, I like that the main character is strong, but still very human. She's not a pushover who lets the boys do everything for her. If her daughter likes that type of book, she might also like a lovely little gem called Unwind, by Neil Shusterman. It raises a lot of ethical questions, but manages to be completely thrilling and fast-paced. I'll also recommend The Roar, by Emma Clayton. I read this recently. The main characters are aged 12-13.

    Some more recommendations:
    The Harry Potter Series-love it.
    Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (and all the other books) if she likes sci-fi.

    Any book by Laurie Halse Anderson. Be wary though-they deal with some pretty heavy subjects-rape, eating disorders, etc. So her mom might think she's still a little too young for them. They're good books though, in my opinion. I think 14 is old enough to read these books. Particularly with a book like Speak, the main character is a freshman in high school I think. So, the characters are right in her age group generally.

    The Mortal Instruments series-Cassandra Clare. It's a little hoaky I guess (demons, demon-killers, vampires, werewolves, fairies, etc.), but I really enjoyed the three books. I this series is a much better alternative to the Twilight Series. I never recommend the Twilight Series to anybody. I think it sends bad messages, and I think all the characters are horrible.

    For funny books, I recommend Carter Finally Gets It and Carter's Big Break, by Brent Crawford. I absolutely adore these books.

    And the Georgia Nicolson books are really funny.

    For more serious books, I recommend Luna, which was wonderful! It deals pretty realistically with a transgendered teenager. Also, Thirteen Reasons Why, Story of A Girl, and The Rules of Survival.



    I read primarily YA fiction (I'm twenty). However, when I was a teenager, I barely read at all. I didn't really get into it until my late teens. So, you can't really force a kid to read who doesn't like to read. She might pick it up, she might not...

    Anyway, I hope that list helps. I tried to pick some of my favorite YA (that are also well-received by others) in a variety of categories. All these books I've read in the past couple of months, so I know my memory of them is very fresh.

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  11. Lydia
    Offline

    Lydia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,915
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Somewhere out there.
    I would recommend the Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer), Inkeart series (Cornelia Funke) and maybe the Alex Rider series or something else by Anthony Horowitz (all based on the knowledge that my 13 year old brother loves those - and me too, of course :p).
     
  12. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Artemis Fowl is a great series. I have only read 3 of the books but its a great read. :)
     
  13. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    At school, one of my teachers had me reading 'the What Katy Did books'.
    I had to explain to her what I had read and what I made of the book.
    This was difficult for me, for although I had read these books I had no interest in them.
    To this day I do not know 'What Katy Did'. I believe her father was a doctor?
    At that time I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Treasure Island'
    What I am trying to say is that without knowing the girl's interests it is hard to suggest any books there are so many.
     
  14. w176
    Offline

    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,067
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    LuleƄ, Sweden
    Audio books.

    Getting a kid to sit down concentrating on a text might not fit the kid if it not motivated to do that at the time. An audio book might bridge that.

    Giving the kid something to listen two walking to school, working out, doing the dishes, or any thing else that just takes half an mind. It can make reading more effortless and rewarding.
     
  15. Elgaisma
    Offline

    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,337
    Likes Received:
    92
    I agree it will depend on the girl herself but her Mum is the one driving this she will know how to edit the list.

    I have ME/CFS Katy has always been a great inspiration in my life of someone who fought back through pain and illness to create a life for herself. For me Katy is an amazing role model.
     
  16. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    I guess you have to give the girl a range of genres so there's a good chance of her actually liking a book, and willing to read.
    Since she's fourteen, I reckon the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison would appeal to her. Also, maybe some books by Malorie Blackman - particularly 'Noughts and Crosses' - and books by Meg Rosoff. Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' is good. Harry Potter and Twilight since there's such hype around those books. 'The Princess Diaries' by Meg Cabot. 'Sabriel' and 'Lirael' by Garth Nix. Could also try Jacqueline Wilson - particularly 'Girls in Love' series - just to get her into reading. I can't really remember what I read at that age...
     
  17. litchickuk
    Offline

    litchickuk Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    The Garden of England
    I dont know where you would find a copy - probably online somewhere - but the book that gave me the reading bug was called 'Bunnicula', about a vampire pet rabbit. Cant remember who wrote it but it was brilliant back then. It opened my eyes to being scared with a little horror. I would give this to my children when they are starting to read. Also recommend the Sam Pig stories and the Brer Rabbit stories. All gave me the reading bug - something my brothers and sisters have never picked up unfortunately!
     
  18. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Yeah, like I said before, I'm sorry it's so vague. It's not my kid, so I obviously don't know if there are any books she's enjoyed, but from our conversation at work, it doesn't really seem like her mom has any idea what sort of books she likes either. Like Eunoia said, the goal here is to suggest as large a range of books as possible. That way, hopefully something will strike her interest.

    Also, since this has been mentioned a couple times now, I'd just like to assure all of you that I know some kids just don't like to read, and no one is trying to "force" her to read...I'm just looking for things that might interest her. That way, in the event that she does decide she wants to sit down and read something, she'll be able to find a book she enjoys.

    Thanks, guys, for your continued suggestions! I really appreciate it.
     
  19. MissPomegranate
    Offline

    MissPomegranate Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Ohio
    At 14, I was reading Stephen King books, but your friend's daughter might not be into that.

    I read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson for school in 8th grade, and I really loved it. I'd recommend that, though it's a bit "mature", as it deals with rape.

    My friend introduced me to The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan over the summer, and it's a great series from what I've read so far.

    Ray Bradbury is an option too, and his books are not particularly long, which might appeal to her if she doesn't like to read.

    I also read a lot of Caroline B. Cooney books in middle school, Goddess of Yesterday being my favorite.

    Hope that helps!
     
  20. L. Ai
    Offline

    L. Ai Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    A fun, shortish YA novel she might like is Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Veld. Someone please speak up if I spelled that wrong!

    I never didn't like reading, but it's not too long, and it's got all the things I liked when I was fourteen; a good adventure, a strong female lead, a sexy dragon, and a bit of a moral- but without being preachy.
     
  21. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,322
    Location:
    California, US
    I guess Twilight is the obvious one. I know a number of girls in that very age range who either never read, or very rarely read, before getting Twilight. Then they read all 4 books obsessively and went off in search of more reading fare.

    I also recommend the novel SAVING ZOE, by Alyson Noel.

    The truth is, while I like a great many of the books recommended in this thread, for the kid who does not generally want to read, I don't think most of them will open the door to reading. I think SAVING ZOE very well could do it, and TWILIGHT appears to have done it repeatedly.
     
  22. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Thanks, guys, for all the suggestions. I'm passing the list along tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes! :)
     
  23. kaylynwrong
    Offline

    kaylynwrong Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Lawrence, Kansas

    I kind of agree with your comments on Twilight. I personally hate the series, and avoid recommending it, but it can open the door for people who don't usually read. Hopefully after that door is open, they find some better reading though.
     
  24. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,322
    Location:
    California, US
    Twilight is definitely not my cup of tea. But for what it is and the audience it targets, Meyer apparently did a nice job.
     
  25. kaylynwrong
    Offline

    kaylynwrong Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Lawrence, Kansas
    I want to add to my original list of books!

    I've read some good teen zombie books lately. The Enemy by Charlie Higson. I felt like it was more aimed at teenage boys though, but I still loved it. I can't wait to read the sequel and the third, whenever it's out!

    I read another zombie book that a girl might like. It's called The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Really enjoyed this one. Again, I can't wait to get my hands on the 2nd and 3rd books.
     

Share This Page