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Sometimes Dead Threads Come Back > Best King Book for a 14 year old?

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark | 5 comments My 14 year old daughter wants to try one of King's books. I've suggested a few of his short stories to start out, but what first novel would you recommend?


message 2: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments The Eyes of the Dragon! My children's first King was The Body. It's a novella, but still longer than a short story and gives a better idea of his style.


message 3: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) I'd be tempted to suggest Carrie, simply because it's his original books and the characters are of a similar age and nothing in it really too scary/horrific/over-the-top and its not too long for a younger reader :-)


message 4: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
She could try Firestarter, with its young protagonist.


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) The Talisman is one of my favorites, and Jack is young in the book.



message 6: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Gosh...all of these are good suggestions! If she likes Kings (no pun intended) and Castles I think you should probably go with EYES OF THE DRAGON. If not, CARRIE would be good because it's so easy to read. Of course, I loved FIRESTARTER. Oh! I just remembered...a high school teacher I know assigned THE LONG WALK for his students. That would be another good choice.


message 7: by Martin (new)

Martin Maher (martin87) | 72 comments I agree that `Carrie`might be a good place to start. It`s not OTT for a fourteen year old, & also it`s not overly long, so she wouldn`t get bored of it as easily.


message 8: by Bondama (last edited Sep 03, 2009 05:55AM) (new)

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments I would agree with most of the above recommendations, with the exception of "The Talisman." I don't think that I will ever forget my reaction to the initial scenes describing the thoughts and fears of Jack as his Mother lies sick and very possibly dying. Jack's fears were so very real and so very easy to relate to that I literally had to put the book down for a few days until I could "woman up" and read on. NOT for a 14 year old whose mother is still living!!


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Mark,
Without a doubt, _Eyes of the Dragon_.
SK wrote it specifically for his daughter (young teen at the time) because he did not consider his other work appropriate for her.
I loved it too, definitely not 'just' for kids.

Mark wrote: "My 14 year old daughter wants to try one of King's books. I've suggested a few of his short stories to start out, but what first novel would you recommend?"




message 10: by Mark (new)

Mark | 5 comments Thanks for the comments so far. I'm leaning towards Carrie. She just read (and liked) "The Moving Finger."


message 11: by Susanna (new)

Susanna (jb_slasher) How about The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon? Also has a young protagonist (9 years old). It's been a while since I read it but I was either in junior high or high school at the time and I loved it.


message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Bondama wrote: "I would agree with most of the above recommendations, with the exception of "The Talisman." I don't think that I will ever forget my reaction to the initial scenes describing the thoughts and fears..."

Bondama, I'm sorry that you had that reaction, but I read this book very young, 11 or 12 I think, and I loved it so much that it became an instant and lasting favorite of mine.

One of King's gifts is the ability to write people and human emotions so well. If he hadn't written it well, what would we have seen as the catalyst for Jack risking his life? What would have been the point?

I think that young readers are more mature than they get credit for a lot of the time. There are quite a lot of young adult books that deal with death and dying and the associated emotions in a very real, and very personal way. I don't think that because this is a Stephen King book it makes it unfit for a 14 year old, but that's just my opinion.

Mark, if you haven't read The Talisman, I hope you will do so and then decide if your child is mature enough to read and enjoy it. I happen to love the story, and I think that while there are some gritty parts, it's definitely worth reading. :)


message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments My two oldest children have read it, and although I'm not sure of their exact age when reading it, the youngest is now 12. He was probably 11.


message 14: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
I read it when I was about 16...I would have read it earlier than that, but....it wasn't published yet


message 15: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments I have to say, my oldest son has read quite a bit of King. I think as long as a child has a good grasp on the difference between reality and fantasy, they should be fine. At the same time, my 12 year old is very, very sensitive, and although he DID find Lily's illness sad, there are other, even sadder books, I would probably try to steer him clear of, without actually censoring them. Each child can handle different things at different times.


message 16: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
I read The Shining at about 13 or 14....and I turned out alright....



.....REDRUM! REDRUM!....


message 17: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments Yeah, but you're a closet perv!;)


message 18: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
What closet? There might be a boogeyman in there?!


message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments Chris, you're great! You always make me smile. (the boogeyman is imaginary, depending on the day!)


message 20: by Bondama (new)

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Becky -- I guess I'd have to agree with you because when I re-read the book, after Black House came out, I truly enjoyed the Talisman much more on its second reading -- to tell you the truth, the reason that King got to me so deeply with Lil's illness is because my own mother was dying at the time. - Such a personal reaction, and yet another testament to SK's skill.


message 21: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Definitely an understandable one though, given the circumstances. I'm sorry for your loss, belated as it may be.


message 22: by rishi (new)

rishi adil (vicious1989) | 7 comments 14 are suited for king coz sometime it to discusting like the farts in dreamchacher


message 23: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Rishi,
Are you saying King is NOT suitable because he discusses farts?


message 24: by Mark (new)

Mark | 5 comments Becky wrote: "Bondama wrote: "I would agree with most of the above recommendations, with the exception of "The Talisman." I don't think that I will ever forget my reaction to the initial scenes describing the th..."

Becky: Thanks, I have read the Talisman and I loved it. For a first book it might be a little too ambitious though. I think she will read Carrie. I just re-read it this weekend. Still a page turner!


message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna (bookluvr_13) | 2 comments Mark: try downloading the e-book versions from a site like BooksOnBoard.com.. If you're reading them that much it's a good investment and significantly cheaper! I just bought The Talisman and can't wait to start. Thanks for all the advice.


message 26: by Lee (new)

Lee | 15 comments If you don't want a crapsack world one, then it's Cujo I'd stay away from D: (adultery, domestic violence, and that's not even going into the ending) and Bachman books are pretty bleak.

I second Eyes of the Dragon and also think Cell would be a good one (my little brother liked it) I haven't read The Talisman in very long so I can't remember how appropriate it would be, but I thought it was an awesome story when I read it.


message 27: by Mysticalgoddess (new)

Mysticalgoddess Hello,

I knwo this sounds odd but my first book at fourteen with Stephen King was The Shining. My Mom suggested it because she said it had some scary factors in it but it wasn't too bad. Maybe another light read would be the Tommyknockers, Needful Things, haven't read Cujo yet, Different Seasons, it has the Stand By Me story in it. Fire starter, Carrie, I think those would be okay.

I personally stay away from Pet Semetary, IT, and anything that involves the death of a child. For some people it's a really touchy subject. Good Luck!


message 28: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I read The Shining very young, and I loved it, but I would have to disagree with the other books you mentioned. I don't think that there is much appeal in those for a 14 year old, but that's just me. (I wouldn't prevent them from reading it, I just wouldn't recommend them.)


message 29: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments I do too, as long as they have neeb instilled with a sense of reality versus fantsy, or whatever.


message 30: by Kandice (new)

Kandice | 3969 comments Rob wrote: "You mean as long as they're not psychotic?"

Exactly.:P


message 31: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Rob wrote: "I read The Shining when I was 10. That's the book that started it all for me. By the time I was 14, I'd read all of his books that had been published up 'til then. But then again, I read Franken..."

I'm impressed that you were reading all that at such a young age, Rob!
The only SK story I wouldn't rec for a teen is "Rage".




message 32: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
I read Rage somewhere in my teens as well. I don't recall even considering taking it to real life and shooting anyone. I don't think it even crossed my mind briefly as a possibility.

I could actually see a Barry Manilow listening psycho out there. Might make for a good story.

Ironically perhaps, at the time I read Rage and earlier King novels, I was living just across town from Columbine High School. Our football team even played them in the playoffs my senior year. It really shook me up when the news broke on that story.


message 33: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Oh my gosh, I bet! I was still in school when Columbine happened, but left shortly afterward to homeschool myself. I didn't really enjoy random person and locker searches, or any of the other changes my school adopted afterward. =\


message 34: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments I read Rage after I graduated college. I too, was a senior in HS when Columbine happened. Actually it was my 18th birthday, which pissed me off. I heard a story that day about a guy (who later became a friend of mine) who wore a black trench coat every day. Sweetest, kinda Goth guy though. A bunch of kids saw him and harassed him til he went home and changed. I remember thinking that we had learned NOTHING. I was a Manson fan who hung out with the "weird" kids. I still find those creative outsiders interesting. I never would've thought to shoot up my HS, and high school was rough for me. Some people just screwed up.

A couple years ago, my friends husband wrote a play called "Not Your Father's Breakfast Club" which took that classic John Hughes movie and reworked it to take place during a school shooting. It was awesome and really moving. I'll stop ranting now. :)


message 35: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I was anti-clique in HS. I had friends in every group of people. My school harrassed anyone who had a fondness for black clothing and anyone who they saw with anyone who liked black clothing and then everyone else. =\

I got tired of it, so I took my education in my own hands. (Probably did a better job too. LOL.) It's sad though that they think imprisoning kids in school will make them NOT want to do something drastic.

But I do agree with you Rachel. I listened to Manson (and in the bible belt no less, where he was banned from performing in concert), among others, and I'd never once thought of murdering anyone.


message 36: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments I guess I stepped in it there. It was suppose to be a joke, really, but I've been told that while I can appreciate a good joke I can rarely tell one effectively.


message 37: by Angie, Constant Reader (new)

Angie | 2547 comments Mod
I am missing out on this thread! I can't wait to read Rage!


message 38: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Wasn't "Rage" the one book that SK took out of publication?


message 39: by Lee (new)

Lee | 15 comments Dunno if there were other books, but Rage was definitely taken out of print :/ pretty sad IMO. I've never seen how Rage glorified school shootings; it seemed the opposite to me, showing how random acts of violence don't solve any of your problem.

First Stephen King novel *I* read was Desperation when I was 10. I had to turn it over every night cause the cover freaked me out xDD


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments I did that with IT so many times the cover is falling off.


Abigail (42stitches) | 19 comments Is it sad I laughed so hard while reading this my husband turned to look at me and ask me could possibly be so funny? It was the Barry Manilow.

Honestly though, these are all good suggestions (with maybe the exception of Needful Things). My mom used to read SK all the time and I started picking them up when I was maybe 13. I think my first one was some short stories and then Carrie at 14. My parents never screened my reading so I read them all pretty indiscriminately through high school. The only one I couldn't read and 14 was Gerald's Game. I got through the first few pages and took it back to the library. Mostly I think the idea of handcuffs and a rotting body scared me. I have since read it and thought it was hilarious. What does that say about me?

I was also in High school when Comlumbine happened. Even with a bomb threat at my school, nothing much changed except that we couldn't carry backpacks anymore between classes. I think I read Rage in college (when my uncle passed off his collection of King to me and I got a hard back copy of The Bachman Books) and I remember checking the publication date and being amazed that school shootings were an old topic. And wondering at how easily people forget. And wishing that kids could respect each other more.


Abigail (42stitches) | 19 comments Could be. I went to high school in Ohio and the Kent State thing is something people do not talk about. I never even heard of it until I was doing a research project in college. Oddly enough by accident. I did a library search looking for old yearbook photos and came across a book about the incident. It was kind of odd learning about it on accident.


message 43: by Chris , The Hardcase (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1099 comments Mod
and in a weird coincidence, the Harlan Ellison story collection I picked up in the library yesterday, Alone Against Tomorrow, is dedicated to the students killed at Kent State.


message 44: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 701 comments I'm applying for the Library Science program at Kent State in January. It's a really pretty campus.


message 45: by Ceci (new)

Ceci (cecialbiceleste) | 4 comments I read King all the time when I was a teenager, loved the books already then!

Anyhow, I'd also recommend The Talisman and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.


message 46: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Rob wrote: "I think Rage was inspired by the shootings at Kent State in 1970" I doubt that King used the murders by National Guardsmen as inspiration for _Rage_. The Kent State shootings cannot be compared to "school shootings" in the sense of Columbine.

Abigail wrote: "I never even heard of it until . . ."
How very sad for us - society - that this has been allowed to be forgotten. It is said that History must not be forgotten, to keep it from being repeated.
Two of the four students killed, Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, had participated in the protest, and the other two, Sandra Scheuer and William Knox Schroeder, had been walking from one class to the next at the time of their deaths. Schroeder was also a member of the campus ROTC chapter. It has been revealed since the shootings that an order to fire was given.


message 47: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 114 comments Rachel wrote: "I'm applying for the Library Science program at Kent State in January. It's a really pretty campus."

That's neat, Rachel. My cousin will get her masters degree in library science from Kent State next year.


message 48: by anjeee (new)

anjeee i asked the same question of myself this summer. i wanted my son, who is a huge reader (12 years old) to read his first SK book on a camping trip, and wanted him to become as big a fan as i am, so i really wanted to start him off with the right book.

i chose misery for him and he loved it! i think he is a constant reader in the making. the only one that was off-limits, really, was gerald's game.

for my daughter (age 13) i recommended the girl who loved tom gordon, only b/c she is not into horror, and i thought she could relate. but she hasn't gotten through it yet, while sailing through other books she's read in the meantime, so i guess it wasn't the best choice for her.


message 49: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Stephen King wrote _Eyes of the Dragon_ for his [then 12? yo:] daughter. It's an epic fairy tale.

anjeee wrote: "i asked the same question of myself this summer. i wanted my son, who is a huge reader (12 years old) to read his first SK book on a camping trip, and wanted him to become as big a fan as i am, so..."

The Eyes of the Dragon


message 50: by Ryan (last edited Dec 01, 2009 02:04PM) (new)

Ryan | 18 comments I am 14. I have read The Shining, Carrie, Misery, IT and i am currently reading Under The Dome. All of the books really freaked me out. But i'm addicted to them. They have probably mentally damaged me. :)
The one book though that i think would be suitable would be Carrie. I also think she would relate to it better since she is a young teenage girl.


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