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    #156667 05/14/13 05:34 AM
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    Help!!

    We're purchasing a Kindle for my gifted ds 13th birthday and I'd like to pre-load it with a few books. I'm at a point, though, where I'm having trouble finding appropriate books.

    Here's what's out: Anything from the kid's section, anything "heartwarming" or with an unrealistically happy ending, typical teen garbage fiction, vampires, female boy-crazy protagonists, anything written over 100 years ago, graphic descriptions of, ahem, Adult behavior.

    He's interested in adult books now, but nothing that has MA content that would make him or I squirm. He's fully in the throes of teenage angst and existentialism, so he needs thoughtful stories. A few books that meet his requirements and that he's already read and enjoyed: Life of Pi, Peace Like a River, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Into the Wild.

    Does anybody have other suggestions?

    TIA!!

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    Anything by Steinbeck, Where the Red Fern Grows (tear-jerker) Animal Farm, The Old Man and The Sea...

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    This might be completely off-base, but when I was just a bit older than that I was heavily into Kurt Vonnegut and Hermann Hesse.

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    Your requirements are a pretty good illustration of why sci-fi and fantasy are so commonly associated with gifted boys of that age. I'd turn him loose in that section and see what happens. It's exciting and plot-driven, and explores a lot of very meaningful themes.

    I'd start with these:

    The Hobbit/LOTR
    Ender's Game
    Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - if he has an absurd sense of humor
    a collection of Greek/Roman mythology

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    Originally Posted by Dude
    The Hobbit/LOTR
    Ender's Game
    Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy - if he has an absurd sense of humor
    a collection of Greek/Roman mythology


    I agree with these, and would add Robert Heinlein's "juvenile" novels (and some of the adult ones) to the list. Try The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or Citizen of the Galaxy.

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    My DD13 has similar requirements/tastes in reading, it sounds like.

    John Grisham? Dan Brown?

    Do be aware that far more Fantasy literature has "adult" content than might be desirable.

    Piers Anthony's novels are not fine literature, but they are 13yo-friendly and amusing-- and there are a LOT of them. (Bonus!)

    I strongly recommend The Hitchhiker's Guide. My DD's favorite book ever, I think. wink

    If he enjoys humor, he might like the Patrick McManus books.

    In nonfiction--

    The Search for Schrodinger's Cat
    All the President's Men
    The Making of the Atomic Bomb






    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    A book that DD and I both recently enjoyed was 'The Night Circus.'

    This would fit well with his need for existentialist literature. It's a fairly deep story, but has appealing fantasy elements and can be read at a more superficial level, too. Sort of like Life of Pi that way.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    I was reading adult fiction pretty much exclusively at that age (but I am female). I don't mean to sound like a complete snob, but based on the books you say he's liked, I don't think you need to stick with fantasy/sci-fi, much of which is not great quality in the literary sense. Also, at 13, you may want to consider relaxing worries about adult content? (I mean, I wouldn't give 50 Shades of Gray!) Do you use Goodreads? I think you could find some lists and ideas there.

    Hemingway? Orwell? Vonnegut? Sherman Alexie? John Irving? Steinbeck? Catcher in the Rye? Guns, Germs, and Steel? The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? The Kite Runner? To Kill a Mockingbird?

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    A book that DD and I both recently enjoyed was 'The Night Circus.'

    This would fit well with his need for existentialist literature. It's a fairly deep story, but has appealing fantasy elements and can be read at a more superficial level, too. Sort of like Life of Pi that way.

    I agree.

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    I'd advise caution re: Sherman Alexie-- definitely prescreen since some of his work is quite graphic. Also in that category-- Neil Gaiman. My entire family loves Gaiman's stylish prose and quirky take on things.

    I also agree with ultramarina, though, that this is an age at which I defer to what makes my DD uncomfortable in terms of content. I'm not sheltering her as a reader at this point. I mean, nooooooo, I am not bringing home 50 Shades for her, but she has read Mary McGarry Morris novels and some of Sherman Alexie's work.

    In addition to the excellent suggestions ultramarina listed, I'll add Rosalind Franklin: Dark Lady of DNA. This one is searing in the same way that Henrietta Lacks and All the Presidents Men is-- it really hits that justice button hard, for gifties that have that particular trait.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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