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Book for 14 y/o who hates reading

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#1 ~Bob~

Posted 24 September 2019 - 02:34 PM

I have a 14 year old who hates reading. Apparently, it’s boring and pointless.

Anyway, he wanted to buy FIFA so I made a deal with him that he had to read for 20 minutes a day to get it.

I have him reading Tuesdays with Morrie at the moment. Can anyone recommend anything else that’s teenage boy friendly. He won’t go for anything remotely fantasy-like, so Harry Potter etc is out.

#2 Wahwah

Posted 24 September 2019 - 02:47 PM

My 14 yo loves reading, so I've had a look on his shelves.

Here's some non fantasy suggestions:

Karen McManus - One of us is lying (a pager turner according to my DS, a bit like Breakfast Club but a murder mystery)

Simon Mason - Running Girl

Patrick Ness - Chaos Walking series (it's a bit sci-fi, but not really)

#3 JBH

Posted 24 September 2019 - 02:54 PM

Not really quality reading, but Ripley’s Believe it or Not can be fun

Some of the more interesting classic memoirs - iCan Jump Puddles or A Fortunate Life

#4 JBH

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:11 PM

A couple more recommendations, in completely different directions, but also possibly age inappropriate, depending on what you think he can handle in terms of subject matter:

Pot boiler thrillers or detective novels that are hard to put down, like John Grisham’s The Firm

Quality memoir that is a bit gritty but well written, like Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy

#5 purplekitty

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:33 PM

Long time ago but my son liked;
Matthew Reilly- action novels.

Garth Nix. Old Kingdom series.
Cassandra Clare -The Mortal Instruments. Movie and TV series as well.
Laini Taylor.
Eragon.The Inheritance Cycle.
Philip Pullman-His Dark Materials.
Artemis Fowl series.

Harley Merlin? I can't remember whether these are suitable for that age group.

#6 ~Bob~

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:53 PM

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I will check them all out.

#7 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 24 September 2019 - 03:54 PM

Would he do graphic novels? There are quite a few traditional books that have been turned into graphic novels/ manga style books that could make it more appealing.

#8 PuddingPlease

Posted 24 September 2019 - 04:07 PM

May or may not be age appropriate depending on the kid but I've heard of people having success with Stephen King novels for teen boys. The Da Vinci Code might be perfect too, if reading is boring for him then I'd be leaning away from books that are overtly for kids. Agree graphic novels are a great idea, many libraries have extensive collections but check content, often they will all be grouped together and some of the content might be a tad mature for him.

#9 JBH

Posted 24 September 2019 - 04:33 PM

Yet another suggestion - Ready Player One

#10 aluminium

Posted 24 September 2019 - 05:06 PM

The Outsiders by S E Hinton is always a hit.

Garth Nix, Matthew Reilly are in the mix with my Year 10 class at present. They also loved The Hate U Give.

#11 Tokra

Posted 24 September 2019 - 05:26 PM

The Treehouse Story series if he is into silly stuff!

#12 DirtyStreetMincePi

Posted 24 September 2019 - 05:27 PM

I was also coming in to suggest The Outsiders. I loved that when I was a kid.

I'd also suggest 1984 by Orwell. It's short, and a pretty easy read (as in, it isn't Dickens hehe). I do think the protagonist 'does it' with another character, though; is that allowed? :p

For what it's worth, OP, I hated reading until I was in my late twenties. School ruined books for me. They made us read these batsh*t-boring novels (Fly Away Peter? Seriously?).

I hope you can ignite an interest in reading in your son. If novels don't work, you could try non-fiction, like the memoir of some person he admires.

#13 doubting thomas

Posted 24 September 2019 - 05:41 PM

Gosh yes, "fly away peter " was terrible. I'd wiped it from my memory.

Would a non-fiction book count , like a book on anything he is interested in? Animals. minecraft, space etc

I suppose he is too old for Roald Dahl or CS Lewis. A  book called "Holes" which I know nothing about and haven't read but have had it suggested to me many times.

#14 BeAwesome

Posted 24 September 2019 - 06:05 PM

My non-reading husband enjoys graphic novels.

#15 QuirkyMum

Posted 24 September 2019 - 07:48 PM

View PostTokra, on 24 September 2019 - 05:26 PM, said:

The Treehouse Story series if he is into silly stuff!
That's more like for 6-10 year olds...

#16 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:03 PM

Ok my 14yo non reader (who hates fantasy) has LOVED dystopian post apocalyptic novel series.

Maze Runner series plus 2 prequel novels (3 movies made - novels are better)

Gone Series

The 100 Series (TV series on Netflix - does not follow books closely)

Also Young Bond series (first set original books Charlie Higson are good, second writer Steve Cole not good)

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 24 September 2019 - 08:04 PM.

#17 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:23 PM

the “Then”, “Once” and “Now” books by Morris Gleitzman.

#18 Christmas tree

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:27 PM


Def try Stephen King, something like cujo or misery (a long way from Tuesday’s with Morrie though!)

Matthew Reilly is great but can also be very long which might be off putting.

Maybe some of the Roald Dahl (could be a bit younger) or Michael Crichton (jurassic Park)

Or the hunger games.

I have to say I love reading but when I am on a non reading bent the classics are my worst nightmare. Something crappy and mainstream that may not have literary value is more likely to keep them reading.

Edited by Goldenash, 24 September 2019 - 08:28 PM.

#19 Tokra

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:38 PM

View PostQuirkyMum, on 24 September 2019 - 07:48 PM, said:

That's more like for 6-10 year olds...

My DS1 has been reading them for years and at 15 years old just read the latest one and loved it.

#20 QuirkyMum

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:46 PM

OP, I'd find the biggest library in the area and invest time into going through their graphic novel collections ( plural! Several separate collections). Ask the librarian.
1. Look for comic books about super heroes/similar topics for 10-12 year old ( so younger section), they will have comic books that actually are targeted for older audiences, they are classified for 10-12 year old because they have pictures (?). It doesn't make sense but that's how it is in our local libraries. And my son's primary school library...
2. Ask for graphic novels for adults. Very carefully go through them. Some will be, literally, Romeo and Juliet ( unabridged!) But with lovely pictures.
Some will be Wizard of Oz with added "Hell no!!" "F*** you!" and other exclamations...
They will be all sorts of serious and silly, unabridged/full text and shortened easy versions, for "mature readers" and for anyone really.
I don't like graphic novels but even I am always impressed.
3. Original comics ( marvel/dc).

#21 crankybee

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:56 PM

The Hate U GIve.
I am teaching this to a heap of disengaged Year 10 boys at the moment and they are liking it.

#22 ponky

Posted 24 September 2019 - 08:57 PM

Theodore Boone series by John Grisham

Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Maze Runner series by James Dashner

These would all be in your local library.

#23 AdelTwins

Posted 24 September 2019 - 10:17 PM

At that age I started reading my older sister’s Stephen King books. To this day he is still one of my favorite writers.

The Gunslinger
Pet Sematary

#24 RynandStompy

Posted 24 September 2019 - 10:31 PM

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow


#25 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 24 September 2019 - 10:46 PM

Is he a competent reader OP? If not then I can see why you are anxious to try to get him reading. But if he is a competent reader already and is doing fine at school, I would like to give you some reassurance that some kids just don’t read novels and it’s ok. I have one non-reader among my four children. She likes to boast she made it all the way through high school and only read one book. She will read stuff if she wants to - we went to a fashion exhibit at the art gallery and she read every single word of every exhibit description in our two hour visit! She just doesn’t like fiction books. And she did well at school, and is at uni doing a degree course in design. If you’re a reader like me, and I’m guessing you, it’s hard to comprehend, but it’s not the end of the world.

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