1
   

Books to recommend for a teenage girl?

 
 
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:40 pm
My friend, a single mom, has a daughter who does well in school, but not in subjects that require reading and writing. The problem, of course, is that the girl doesn't like to read much. Mom has asked me for suggestions of books. The kid in question is 14. She read and liked Russell Banks' "Rule of the Bone", which suggests that she can handle adult fiction.

The catch is that the Banks book has a teenage narrator, so if anyone can recommend novels with a similar narrative strategy, it would be ideal. I already suggested "The Lovely Bones" and that met with mom's approval.

So, suggestions, please! It's for a good cause. Thanks!
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 11,338 • Replies: 76
No top replies

 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:45 pm
My fourteen-year-old (gawd) is totally hooked on the Harry Potter series.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:49 pm
Thanks, Rae. The Potter books occurred to me, too, though I suspect my friend's kid knows about them and has made up her made one way or another about the series...She may be missing out on a good thing!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:52 pm
Look for the Borrowers:

The Borrowers

The Borrowers Afield

The Borrowers Aloft

The Borrowers Afloat

The Borrowers Avenged


. . . all very entertaining for anyone up to say, 14 or 15.

Although people may scoff after what Michael Landon did with Little House on the Prarie, my sister read all of the Laura Ingalls books, which begins with The Little House in the Big Woods, and which i believe comprises five volumes in total. Judy Bloom's books are quite popular in that adolescent age group as well.
0 Replies
 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:52 pm
Until my son was 'forced' to read a Harry Potter book for school, he didn't want anything to do with them. When this latest issue came out, he wanted me to get up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday (yeah, right!) to fetch it for him. Got it later in the day.....

An older lady I used to work with decided to adopt my son as her surrogate grandson.....Over a four year period, she purchased every single Hardy Boys book for him ~ he loves those, too.

Maybe the Nancy Drew series for your friend's daughter?
0 Replies
 
Rae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:53 pm
Setanta's recommendations are WAY cool, too!
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 01:54 pm
Thanks, Setanta and Rae. Good ideas, all!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 04:35 pm
Which subjects do interest her in school, D'artagnan? With a couple of my friends' kids, we've gone the route of finding books that related to their subjects of interest. Some fiction, some non-fiction.

If she's interested in science, there's some excellent sci-fi out there. The Time quartet, by Madeleine L'Engle, could be a good place to get her into sci-fi, if that's a possible direction. (and they're darn good books).

This is a review from amazon.com :
Quote:
Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger, the tesseract-touting Mrs Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin O'Keefe embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.
A well-loved classic and 1963 Newbery Medal winner, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time is sophisticated in concept yet warm in tone, with mystery and love coursing through its pages. Meg's shattering, yet ultimately freeing, discovery that her father is not omnipotent provides a satisfying coming-of-age element. Readers will feel a sense of power as they travel with these three children, challenging concepts of time, space, and the triumph of good over evil. The companion books in the Time quartet, continuing the adventures of the Murry family, are A Wind in the Door; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, which won the American Book Award; and Many Waters.


When I think back on what I was reading at 14, hmmmmmm, I was weird. I'd long finished the Forsythe Saga, was hooked on P.G. Wodehouse, read archaeology texts and Scientific American - I was very keen on learning about the energy crisis and solar alternatives.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 11:36 pm
My understanding, ehBeth, is that her interests are math and science. I'm not directly involved with her upbringing, but she's a well-traveled kid and fairly sophisticated. I used to love reading when I was young (and still do now), but for kids nowadays, there are just so many distractions (e.g., instant messaging, the Sims). I sometimes wonder, if I were young now, whether I'd read nearly as much as I did then...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jul, 2003 11:57 pm
Fourteen, I started reading from the adult section by thirteen, at least.

I have a similar situation with my fifteen year old niece, who is way beyond - in worldliwiseness - where I was at fifteen. Say, a decade beyond. She cares about movies now, and her friends' lives, which are almost all book material.

Anything with too sweet an ending would make her roll her eyes. No chance for Seventeenth Summer, or whatever it was, that made my lil' heart go pitter pat.

Not to cast a shadow on my niece's literacy, she read early, has a wide vocabulary, can be analytic. When I was her exact age, I read anything I could get my hands on. But she has yet to feel the drive to curl up with an engrossing book.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 06:00 am
D'artagnan, just as some of us were readers 20/30/40 years ago, some kids are readers today. I look at some of my friends' kids, and there's the same kind of split of reader/non-reader that there was in my group of friends. Within the readers, there is the same kind of split between fiction and non-fiction readers. What the kids are doing with their non-reading time may be different, but there were always non-readers.

One of my closest friends has found that the internet has been very helpful with the non-reader among her children. She can get him to go and research the math and science topics that interest him online - and then she goes out to get books that are noted there. He sometimes reads them.

The bigger problem for some seems to be in writing, not reading. There are a lot of arguments about what caused that deterioration/change. I know some older professors who say it is a result of the change in how spelling was taught about 30 years ago. whoooooo, that's a whole 'nother debate.
0 Replies
 
Jim
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 06:04 am
Both my wife and I are avid readers, so it came as a shock to us when none of our children enjoy reading. When our daughter was about 15 I tried to get her to read a memoir a lady wrote about her experiences in wartime Europe. I think it was called "Nina's Journey". I thought it was excellent, and expected our daughter would enjoy it, since the author was about her same age in the book. She read the first chapter to make me happy, and never looked at it again.
0 Replies
 
Dux
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 12:34 pm
Well, I'm in that age & I read alot, however not what young people would read. Since I read mature books, & mostly classic books.

D'artagnan, you should suggest her to read books by Paulo Coehlo, I've read some of them, most young girls like them(personally I prefer others).
If she likes history she could read Sinuhe The Egyptian, by Mika Waltari,& also The Count of Montecristo is appealing to young persons, or even Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka is really nice book.
Another option could be Time Machine by H.G. Wells, or The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells too, sorry I can't be of more help.
0 Replies
 
Sofia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 02:09 pm
I'm forever trying to keep my adolescent kids interested in reading.
My son, 19, has a great interest in WWII and loved Enemy at The Gate, and some historical books on the battle at Montecasino (sp), and other lesser publicised battles. After I pursued his interests, I am thrilled that he occasionally buys books for himself WITH HIS OWN MONEY!! A sign he is hooked! Perhaps you or the mother can use this tack.

For my daughter, she is a tougher cookie. She has read The Girls--can't remember author, but it shouldn't be hard to google the title. That author has a bunch more about girls' rites of passage and their difficulties. I have a book, awaiting her next weak moment-- Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson. I always read them first, in case I feel I need to talk to her about certain content-- I thought this was a great book for teen girls. Her book Catalyst is fabulous also.

The Bridge at Terebithia, The Outsiders, Judy Blume (good author for girls)... I'll trawl through my daughter's library for more titles.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 03:40 pm
Don't forget magazines. Discover covers a number of newsworthy advances in a number of interesting fields. Psychology Today might open doors.

Some delightful people are born utilitarian readers.
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 04:07 pm
Thanks, all, for your thoughts and suggestions. Very Happy

I agree with what some have said here, that there have always been readers and non-readers among us. And sure, there are lots of distractions now, but there were when I was a kid, too. It helped that I was somewhat of a loner, but I liked to play basketball and baseball, and watch sports and the usual junk on TV. I also listened to the radio--a lot--which I strongly suspect is less of a draw for today's kid.

I will try to share some of your suggestions with the teenager in question; she flies home tonight after a week in NY and Boston. We have sporadic contact, but I can talk to her mom and offer some ideas...
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 04:09 pm
hmmmmm, well if she liked NY or Boston, maybe some books that feature those locations might tempt her.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 10:25 pm
I loved the Earth-Sea Series (by LaGuin?) as a teen. There's magic and travel, dragons and swords.
0 Replies
 
jnfr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2003 10:49 pm
Well, I looked in my closet, and these are some books that I enjoyed as a young teen (which is not too long ago....). I'm pretty sure that most of them have teen protagonists....???

Prospero's Children (Jan Seigal---Sci-fi)
Cynthia Voight books (I think they're all about teens)
Walk Two Moons ( Creech--about a Native American girl)
Phillip Pullman books (such as The Golden Compass---sci-fi, there are also other teen books (that I didn't like so well) by him, or an author w/ the same name)
Wisechild (Monica ???Furlong ???---about sorcerors and witches...)
Rebecca (Daphne DuMarier---well, this is an oldie and is about a newlywed....but still good!)

L'Engle is an excellent suggestion....my suggestions might be a bit too young...... 14 is a tricky age......you're old enough to read adult books but still young enough to like "young adult" Smile fare too...
0 Replies
 
Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2003 09:11 am
Sci fi may be a good choice for this kid--I'll pass on some of these ideas. Thanks, again!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Books to recommend for a teenage girl?
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 07/03/2022 at 02:19:39