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Books for reading averse 15yr old

(18 Posts)
olivesnutsandcheese Sun 26-Jan-20 19:14:45

DSS15 is taking his GCSEs this year.
He's predicted a 3 in English and really really needs to start reading to help with his English language and boost his level to a pass.
Can anyone recommend some books that would help and not too taxing?
He has agreed to read a little every night but lives with his DM so it's not something we can monitor but the desire to improve is apparent so I'd happily buy him a few books. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Alsoplayspiccolo Sun 26-Jan-20 19:32:13

Has he watched the Mr Bruff videos on Youtube? He's a bit of a guru for students taking GCSE English; he also sells work books on Amazon, which help with practising exam technique.

swlondontutor Sun 26-Jan-20 20:31:54

Are you looking for fiction or non-fiction? As a teacher, I've noticed that autobiographies tend to be a good step towards developing the habit of reading at that age. The gap between enjoying these and first-person fiction then becomes much smaller. I'd need to know a bit more about his wider interests before recommending anything specific. Also, I've found that the main obstacle with non-readers of that age is lacking the stamina to make progress with a book - is there anyone who might be able to discuss the book with him as he reads?

Michaelahpurple Sun 26-Jan-20 22:01:08

Might he find a kindle a more approachable format - less likely to be put off by the heft ?

How about something fun and page-turning like the cherub series (Robert Muchamore)

catsinahuff Mon 27-Jan-20 08:59:23

For a 15yo boy, maybe some fast moving crime fiction with lots of action and plot twists - try The Last Child by John Hart.

Also, if he'd not squeamish, try some Stephen King.

No need to buy a Kindle - just encourage him to download the Kindle app to his phone.

Perhaps you could read the same books at the same time so you can talk about them together.

bookmum08 Mon 27-Jan-20 09:09:25

It does depend on what interests him. If he has always shown zero interest in fantasy or horror films/tv then he is unlikely to be interested in fantasy or horror books. You need to narrow it down a bit.
However 'boy' YA books I have enjoyed include - The Cherub series and the prequels Henderson's Boys by Robert Muchamore. Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Young Bond series (although it does start a bit slow). Gone series by Michael Grant.
Not specifically 'boyish' but the Girl Missing series by Sophie Mckenzie is good plus another series she wrote that I think is called Blood Ties.
But as I said you need to find his genre. What interests him?

bookmum08 Mon 27-Jan-20 09:13:00

Also you don't need to buy him books - just go to a library.

EwwSprouts Mon 27-Jan-20 10:35:37

H.I.V.E - Mark Walden sci-fi with humour
Chase - Linwood Barclay - thriller
Brock - Anthony McGowan - fiction animal rights (fewer pages)
To Kill A Mockingbird - there's a recent graphic novel version

olivesnutsandcheese Mon 27-Jan-20 13:09:47

Thanks for the all the suggestions.
He's rarely with us so difficult to help or talk about books but I know he'd appreciate a couple arriving by amazon. In terms of genres, he used to quite like the Alex Rider type but is very into 'gang' culture but I don't really want to encourage that particularly.

OP’s posts: |
WellTidy Mon 27-Jan-20 13:59:46

For a reluctant reader, who is predicted a 3 in English, what about dropping a couple of years off his chronological age and suggesting books that are suitable for say 13 year olds? Or younger, if you think that more appropriate. Not as taxing, and he might find them more enjoyable.

EwwSprouts Mon 27-Jan-20 14:21:33

Brock recommended above is published by Barrington Stoke who specialise in books for reluctant readers and those with dyslexia. The content is older than the reading age.

ScribblyGum Mon 27-Jan-20 14:32:29

I read this about a year ago. It’s about a bloody massive murdurous prehistoric shark. Think Jaws on meth. Apparently it’s often recommended to reluctant teenage readers in the US. It probably the most terrible batshit crazy book I’ve read in the last decade but OMG I bloody loved it. Just for a small taster there is a scene where the shark fights a nuclear submarine. Yeah.

bookmum08 Mon 27-Jan-20 15:41:27

Oooh I think I wanna read that book ScribblyGum. It sounds awesome!

ScribblyGum Mon 27-Jan-20 17:25:38

It is indeed awesome in the true sense of the word. I was filled with awe at several points and not in a ‘this is magnificent literature’ sense.

Lara53 Mon 27-Jan-20 19:58:23

Charlie Higson My boys enjoyed. The James Bond novels. Antony Horowitz has written other series too. Currently reading some Philip Pulman

GracefulHippo Wed 29-Jan-20 12:42:40

My boy is younger (10), but we have the same problem. Have tried so many different books. We are just now reading the hitch hiker’s guide to the galaxy. He loves it. I think it is for older children or even adults, but may be worth a try?

YeOldeTrout Wed 29-Jan-20 19:54:29

Darren Shan? The plots are pretty intricate.
He's the right age for the Curseworkers series, too.
Hunger Games.
Can't beat a bit of Calvin & Hobbes (good vocab)

Stircrazyschoolmum Thu 30-Jan-20 13:01:20

Does he like fortnite or similar? You could try some SAS style books, Chris Ryan brought out a series specifically for teens last year. Andy McNab is pretty readable. Bear Grylls has written a series of survival skills books that might work too?

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