To my mother’s disappointment, my little brother doesn’t like to read. Or rather, he likes to read, but he’d prefer to do almost anything else: play video games, watch television, “hang out,” eat, sleep, etc. So what’s he getting for Christmas?
Books, of course*:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Spies Revealed, by Clive Gifford
Choose Your Own Adventure series: I chose Through the Black Hole #97 & The Deadly Shadow #46. They’ve got updated versions in stores, but the classic ones have better illustrations & writing.
John Bellairs novels: Again, I bought these used. Newer versions lack the Edward Gorey illustrations (check out the full gallery).
Read ’em or weep, little bro.
Other books he’ll get eventually: The Lightning Thief, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, & The Graveyard Book. We’ve also had success with the Demonata & Cirque Du Freak series, plus S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.
*and a few video games
As a children’s librarian, I applaud your list. You might also want to try The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and any fantasy by Garth Nix, including the Seventh Tower and/or the Keys to the Kingdom series. The Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo is also popular. Also, you could also go “old-school” and pick up the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, the most famous of which, the Black Cauldron, was made into an animated film, way back when. The books are great though, and the series begins with “The Book of Three.”
Thank you so much, Sophie! I’ll add all of those to his “to read” list. I’d never heard of The Hunger Games, but the synopsis sounds absolutely perfect for Rod. I remember being creeped out by the Black Cauldron around Rod’s age, and I’ve been v. curious about Garth Nix’s books and the Charlie Bone series too.
(P.S. You have the coolest job.)
Fly Girl says
Thanks so much for this list! I also have a 13-year-old son who doesn’t like to read and most of these sound right up his alley!
Fly Girl: You are very welcome! Anything to get them reading. I know getting Rod to read is like trying to catch a snake.