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Books to educate a teenager

(13 Posts)
wigglybeezer Mon 24-Nov-14 09:32:04

Ds1 has left school prematurely, he will be going back to college to do some more exams next summer, including higher English.

He is a rather reluctant reader although English was his best exam pass last year. His general and cultural knowledge is distinctly lacking and I am planning on encouraging him to read a few books to broaden his horizons beyond the set texts he has studied at school.

Any suggestions for modern classics to appeal to 16 year old boys? I liked Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy at that age so have never read the likes of Catch 22 ( maybe I need to broaden my horizons too!).

BakewellSlice Mon 24-Nov-14 09:40:07

My son's favourite book has been All Quiet on the Western Front - he was already interested in modern history though. I read it too and found the language accessible and it's a very thought provoking book.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 24-Nov-14 09:44:40

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
Catcher in the Rye
1984
Brave New World
Fahrenheit 451
Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Clockwork Orange

wigglybeezer Mon 24-Nov-14 10:06:59

I had forgotten about All quiet on the Western Front.

I loved catcher in the Rye but DS is more into action than angst ( rugby player!).

I also want to find some classic films to watch, I have a six month window to de- philistine him without putting him off. I think the prevailing you tube culture means some kids never read or watch the whole of anything, I read and watched a very eclectic mix due to boredom and having to make do with what was available or ferreting stuff out.

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 24-Nov-14 10:11:36

oooh how about Papillon by Henri Charriere - the book?

iseenodust Mon 24-Nov-14 10:48:47

The Green Mile
The Kite Runner
Snow Falling on Cedars
Dracula
White Fang
The Secret Footballer (insider view written anonymously by premier league player)

wigglybeezer Mon 24-Nov-14 17:53:18

Thanks all, as i thought you would, you have come up with some I had not thought of.

twentyten Mon 24-Nov-14 18:03:25

Shaws hank redemption?
The mission?

skolastica Mon 24-Nov-14 18:45:33

The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay (boxing, South Africa) very powerful and readable
The Silver Darlings - Neil Gunn (herring fishery,boats)
Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee and the follow up
John Wyndham
The Kno Tiki Expedition - Thor Heyerdahl
Tim Severin - the Brendan Voyage

Campaspe Mon 24-Nov-14 18:52:14

Anything by George Orwell.

Portrait of Dorian Gray - lots of pop culture references to this that you can really only understand if you've read the book.

The Liverpool or Beat poets.

Some Bill Bryson - very readable but gets a lot of knowledge into his books.

BakewellSlice Mon 24-Nov-14 21:42:53

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick is an unforgettable non-fiction book. It contains eyewitness accounts of North Koreans who have made it to the South.

Agggghast Tue 25-Nov-14 18:16:02

Red Badge of Courage
War of the Worlds
Any Conan Doyle
Touching the Void
Passage to Africa, a fascinating account of being a war reporter
Fever Pitch

spidey66 Fri 28-Nov-14 20:24:03

I'd recommend any of khaled hosseini's books, especially A Thousand Splendid Suns. I learnt so much from it about life under the Taliban, especially for women.

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