Best Teen Books discussion


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message 1: by MON!CA JEAN! (new)

MON!CA JEAN! (monicahomicide) I am Senior in High School working in the Library as a Media Specialist. The most common question I come across from males in my school is “I need a book for like boys.” I never know how to answer this question. Many of the males in my classes enjoy the background of the books I read. They always ask me what I’m reading, what’s so interesting in your book that causes you to read through lunch, conversations, or when were hanging out. The only thing is they don’t want to read my books because the story takes place around a girl. I need to find books the high school males would be interested in. I feel bad that I can not answer their question. I could get the books ordered. The Liberians love my input on “”WHAT’S HOTT”” for young readers. If you could PLEASEEE HELP ME. It be greatly appreciated. Just list of books your kids, you, or even your students have read that are popular for males please. I would appreciate it so much.

message 2: by Grace (new)

Grace | 12 comments I looked through the books I read, looking for ones where the main character is a guy and a boy might want to read them, and it was quite hard to find any. Granted I'm a girl, but still it really is hard to find books geared toward boys.

Anyway, here's what I found:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, I just read this one and I really liked it. It's about a boy and written from the perspective of a boy.

The Bartmaeus Trilogy: The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye, Ptolomy's Gate. I read these a while ago but really liked them. The first one starts out when the boy is younger but he's really smart so it doesn't feel like you're reading about a little kid, half of it's from the perspective of a demon like creature too, who's male, and by the third one the boy is about fifteen.

The House of The Scorpion, this one's about a boy too, though it would probably be better for boys thirteen or fourteen because it's starts when the boy is about seven and finishes when he about twelve. It's one of my favorite books and it's pretty popular and has won a ton of awards. It isn't dumbed down or anything and is geared toward YA.

You probably know "Hatchet", but I figured I'd throw it in. This one's about a boy who's in his teens and gets in a plane wreck in the middle of no where (I think an island or something) and he has to survive. He's about fifteen I think.

Last is I Am the Messenger, which I read recently and liked. It's about a guy in his twenties and it's pretty good.

That's all I got, I hope it helps.

message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I read all types of books and I totally agree that it's hard to find strong male lead characters. Here are some of my favorites. I'm not really a good judge as to what is appropriate for high school, so I'll leave you to that. You should be able to find a brief overview of any of these books her on goodreads.

Author: Gordon Korman - writes for middle school age to adult - my faves are Son of the Mob, Son of the Mob: Hollywood Hustle, and Born to Rock.

Author: Marianne Curley - wrote the Guardians of Time Trilogy (The Named, The Dark, The Key)

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson - writes lots of female leads, but has one called Twisted with a male main character - this is a great book.

Author: A. Lee Martinez - fantasy with humor - Gil's All Fright Diner, The Nameless Witch, The Company of Ogre's.

Some adult books I recommend are:

anything by Brad Meltzer - suspense, mystery

anything by Charlie Huston - he has one trilogy that is suspense and one series with a vamp lead that is more crime novel than suspense

anything by Neil Gaiman - fantasy basically

David Sosnowski has a vampire book that is unlike any other I've read - male lead is a vamp in a world where the vampires have accidently become the majority in the world and must now work to keep things running

Rob Thurman (who is actually a female author) has a series starring half-brothers in NYC that are running from otherworldly things that go bump in the night and kicking butt along the way - cool fantasy series.

Some non-fiction books that might interest anyone are Death's Acre and it's sequel, Beyond the Body Farm by William Bass. This is the man who created the Body Farm in Tennessee to study the decomposition for forensics answers. Reads like a memoir. Another book is called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Explores what happens when a body is donated to science as well as the history of cadavers. Lots of funny sarcasm throughout to keep it sort of light.

I'm sure you've heard of some of these and I hope it gives you some new ideas.

message 4: by Ken (new)

Ken These are the movers and shakers among the fussy guys in my 8th-grade class:

Dean Hughes (war genre) -- Search and Destroy (Vietnam); Soldier Boys (WWII)

Don Wulffson (war) -- Soldier X

Pete Hautman -- (dystopia) Rash; (CRF) Godless; (CRF) Invisible

Terry Trueman -- (CRF) Stuck in Neutral; Inside Out

Avi -- (Fantasy) The Boy Who Couldn't Die

Carl Deuker -- (sports) Gym Candy; Runner

John Coy -- (sports) Crackback

Gary Paulsen -- (CRF) The Car; (fantasy) The Transall Saga

Not in my classroom library due to more mature themes, but may be OK for high school:

John Green -- (CRF) Looking for Alaska

Ned Vizinni -- (CRF/Fantasy) Be More Chill

Frank Portman -- (CRF) King Dork

Chris Crutcher -- (CRF) Deadline

Good luck with it...

message 5: by Laura Anne (new)

Laura Anne | 1 comments I have had tremendous success recommending Walter Dean Myers to the ninth grade boys in my class who "hate reading." Once they read Monster, however, they're hooked! That's the one I'd start with.

Sharon Draper is also popular with my students (guys and girls), and most of her books I've read have leading male characters. Her trilogy of books (Tears of a Tiger, Forged by Fire, and Darkness Before Dawn) are great. I really liked Battle of Jericho, too. Romiette and Julio is on my list to read... It is obviously similar to the Romeo and Juliet story, but these star-crossed lovers are from different racial backgrounds.

More mature, older guys may like and appreciate Tim O'Brien's books... The Things They Carried is the only one I've read though.

I think this website is very informative, and it may help you, too:

message 6: by Penny (new)

Penny You might also find some good ideas here:

message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy (cookiebrains) | 1 comments Guys I know have recently read and liked:
The Cirque Du Freak series, Cover-Up and the other sports/mystery books by John Feinstien, Black and White, Autobiography of My Dead Brother, Tyrell, The Lightning Thief sries, and books by Roland Smith. If you can order comics of manga, it will circulate well with guys, too.

message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (trmite) Hail Caesar, Twisted, Shark Life, Pieces to Weight, Tyrell, Black and White, Paranoid Park, The Rules of Survival, Born to Rock, Inexcusable, King Dork. all books that you would enjoy as well as 12th grade males. (and since you are working in your high school library ... you do plan to become a librarian, right?) for more, look through this list:

message 9: by Devon (new)

Devon Elcik (booksandbraids) Repressed by A.M. Jenkins. it is in a male demons point of veiw. I think i guy may like but i dont know. i am a girl...

message 10: by Lisa (last edited Feb 12, 2008 06:24AM) (new)

Lisa | 1 comments Definitely books by Chris Crutcher. (DEADLINE is the most recent one, and he has several others, all with strong male protags, sports themes, etc. He's a WONDERFUL author)

John Green's LOOKING FOR ALASKA and AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES both have male protags.



And then there are the fantasy books like Lord of the Rings and the Eragon series.

Good luck!

message 11: by Ken (new)

Ken Man, when Pukebucket asks, people respond. Must be the provocative nom de poste!

message 12: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 12 comments I also recommend Chris Crutcher, though I really think his best one is his autobiography: King of the Mild Fronteir.

I'd also recommend the Atollia series: The Thief, The Queen of Atollia, and The King of Atollia.

Fat Kid Rules the World is my favorite book of all time, and every character in it is male.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Feed by M.T. Anderson, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Geious by Dave Eggers.

This depends upon interest and personality, but Tim O'Brien writes fiction about his experiences in the Vietnam War, and they truly are staggering.

And I've never read them, but my husband is chiming in with the Alex Rider series by Anothony Horowitz.

message 13: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 236 comments Paul Volponi - Black & White, Rucker Park Setup
Reluctant readers - like the Orca series and the Bluford series
Dave Lubar- Dunk, Sleeping Freshment Never Lie
S. Sones - What My Girldfriend Doesn't Know
Rich Wallace books
Garth Nix books
Ron Koertge books
John Smelcer - The Trap
Gail Giles - Shattering Glass
A.M. Jenkins - Out of Order, Damage
Diamond Dogs
Breathing Underwater
E.R. Frank - America
A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Bael (nonfiction about a boy forced to be a child soldier in Africa)

message 14: by Ken (last edited Feb 12, 2008 04:20PM) (new)

Ken Your hubby speaks the truth, Tricia -- Alex Rider (James Bond in Zits) is big stuff.

For some reason (the new cover, which looks dorky and young?), no one (male, female, droid) is touching Ender's Game in my room, even though I've pushed it. Ditto Feed. One girl loved that one, and two abandoned it. No guy's bothered.

Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-time in the Conservatory with a Wrench is a hot item with boys and girls -- though it's my honors kids only who are the takers, so far.

Dave Eggers? Ai-yi-yi.

Thanks for the rec on Crutcher's memoir. I need to read that.

bj -- Sonya Sones is a girly girl writer. Period.
And I think Gail Giles is, too, (though I'm less sure on that one -- only have one book of hers called Dead Sisters Don't Write Letters which is about two sisters, one dead -- sort of -- and one alive (not many male characters in sight, dead OR alive, is what I'm getting at).

message 15: by Stacy (new)

Stacy (stacy_g_k) | 8 comments Everybody has posted such great suggestions. I have to add A Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos. My experience with teen boys is that they prefer nonfiction.

message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (melissacwalker) | 5 comments One to watch for next year is Michael Northrup's first novel, GENTLEMEN. It's a fantastic tale about the high school underdog guys--out in spring 09 from Scholastic.

message 17: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments Hi all,
One book that I recommend a lot to my high school guy students is The Tribes of Palos is a teen girl as the main character but she's surrounded by guys. And she's a surfer. And it's an awesome book. All the boys who have read it have immediately told me they loved it. My own ya novel, Songs for a Teenage Nomad, has had some good response from guys who are musicians but it's probably more of a chick book :-) I want to check out the above book mentioned by Melissa - that sounds wonderful!

message 18: by Atomicgirl (new)

Atomicgirl | 11 comments I like most of bj's suggestions. With regards to Gail Giles, I've booktalked Dead Girls Don't Write Letters and it gets a lot of attention from the 7-8th grade boys.

Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series is a big draw too, although the protagonist is female.

message 19: by Debra (new)

Debra (dlgarfinkle) | 3 comments I second Fat Kid Rules the World (gritty) and Twisted (gritty) and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie (funny).

A lot of guys like nonfiction. I'd recommend books by Jon Krakauer, who writes for adults about adventurors.

David Sedaris' essays are very funny.

And-- blatant self-promotion-- I get wonderful emails from teen guys about my humorous teen novel Storky, saying it's their favorite book ever, that it's the first book they ever read for fun, etc.

message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim | 47 comments check out - a great site and she has a section called Boy Meets Book that's fun.

message 21: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) how about The Outsiders?

message 22: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 03, 2008 12:14PM) (new)

Umm... I'm reading a book that is from a boy's perspective. It's called Something Rotten by Alan M. Gratz. It's really good.

message 23: by Ken (new)

Ken Thanks, Bookworm. Looks like a good pairing with Hamlet for high school teachers.

As for The Outsiders, I think the female author's distinct style makes this book about boys equally appealing to both girls AND boys.

message 24: by Rena (new)

Rena (allthingsrena) I recommend The Door Within Trilogy by Thomas Wayne Batson. The Door Within, The Rise of the Wyrm Lord and the Final Storm are the names of those three.
Also, I recommend the Darkest Age Series by A.J. Lake. So far there are only two books in the series with a third on the way. Those are called The Coming of Dragons and The Book of the Sword.
All have male leads and a lot of fighting scenes.

message 25: by Tori (new)

Tori | 1 comments Hi Pukebucket,
How can you be a senior in high school and be working as a media specialist? What state are you in? Do you have a professional in the library at your school?

message 26: by Janice (new)

Janice (janicemarie) | 1 comments Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the most popular (older high school) teen books at my library - across the board for guys and girls. I highly recommend it.

message 27: by Terry (new)

Terry Reschke (terryreschke) | 4 comments My new book The Attic Above is the number one teen murder mystery on amazon if that helps.

message 28: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (celestelueck) | 5 comments Let me throw these out there. Some will be found in the adult section, but are appropriate for teens:

anything by J. R. R Tolkien
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
Nancy Farmer's books
John Flanagan's books
Joseph Delaney's books
Runemarks by Joann Harris
Neil Gaiman's books
Catherine Clare's books

Just to name a few.

message 29: by Seth (new)

Seth Llewellyn | 1 comments The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is an excellent book that is personally my favorite (this is coming from an 18 year old boy)

Eragon by Christopher Paolini is great because typically good books are to short yet these have a good number of pages allowing for more fun.

The Ranger's Apprentice book's including the Outcast Chronicles by John Flanagan are wonderful

Another great one for the more mature readers is Peace Warrior by Steven L. Hawks it may be from an adults point of view yet many high schoolers are already in this train of thought so it reinforce this mature thinking and concepts.

Wizard Defiant by Rodney Hartman is a great sci fi that is for a little less mature reader then Peace warrior but no less great.

Free the Darkness by Kel Kade is great as well by being more sword and spell yet helps males understand emotions are good even more so in environments such as school. Where they are seen as wimpish. Because as the main character develops emotions more you start to like the characters and want to reflect this.

Broken Blade by Kelly McCollough is great because as the character is looking for his identity in life at the same time most male readers are as well.

As I think of more I will share them, but these are books that made huge impressions in my reading in late middle school to senior year highschool.

message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy So many have added great books and authors here, but I agree that nonfiction matters--especially books with a lot of action, like The Boys Who Challenged Hitler, Trapped, and The Boys in the Boat.

Dystopian books like The Quarantine series, The SYLO Chronicles by MacHale are also favorites. The Elemental and Steelheart series have also been somewhat successful.

There is also the Cherub series by Muchamore. I've had three class sets, and can never keep them "in stock." This series is about an elite, teenage intelligence group that works alongside the MI6. Big hit!

For realistic fiction, I just read Shaun David Hutchinson's We Are the Ants. WHOA! Good luck!

message 31: by Melliott (last edited Jan 08, 2017 05:57PM) (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) Nonfiction oldie but goodie: Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, a great adventure.

For contemporary teen fiction, I would recommend:
Winger and its sequel, by Andrew Smith
Jonathan Maberry's Rot and Ruin series about zombies
Rick Yancey's incredibly gross but engrossing series that starts with The Monstrumologist
The Martian, by Andy Weir
Lock In, by John Scalzi
The Lock Artist, by Scott Hamilton
The series by Allen Zadoff starting with I Am the Weapon
The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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