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DD has asked for 'hard books'

44 replies

Mercedes · 14/12/2014 08:58

Hi my dd (13) has asked for 'hard books' for xmas. she is a voracious reader and been through most teen fiction. I am looking for recommendations for adult fiction that she could read and enjoy that would stretch her but not be inappropriate. Any ideas?

OP posts:
CitronVert · 14/12/2014 09:01

What about some classics? Jane Austen etc. have lovely storylines that would appeal to teens.

JellyMould · 14/12/2014 09:04

Jane Austen?
I capture the castle?
E m Forster e.g. Room with a View?
Brick lane?
Some Daphne Du Maurier eg Rebecca, my cousin rachel,
The world is your oyster really, what kind of stuff does she like and where is you draw the line of inappropriate.

ThinkIveBeenHacked · 14/12/2014 09:10

Pride and Prejudice

The Hunger Games trilogy (not a hard read but interesting plot)

Anything by Jodi Picoult

Chillyegg · 14/12/2014 09:27

Little women by Louisa May Alcott

The secret garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

The curious incident of the dog in the night time by Alex sharp

ZeroSomeGameThingy · 14/12/2014 09:32

Have you read the teen fiction that's around nowadays? Hunger Games, Noughts and Crosses? I doubt there's much that would shock her after those ...

To my mind 13 is the perfect age for

Mary Shelley
Thomas Hardy
George Eliot
Georgette Heyer
Simone De Beauvoir
Dorothy L. Sayers
Josephine Tey
Christina Stead
George Orwell
The Brontës
Anthony Trollope
Agatha Christie (not hard but very engaging.)

The Compleet Molesworth would make a rather fine present if she hasn't read any of them.

And Shakespeare of course, if she can separate him from school.

(I would suggest some poetry and plays but again, school gets in the way ...)

Oh - John Buchan. Stupendous stories but his now very old fashioned slang is quite challenging for modern teens.

furryleopard · 14/12/2014 09:40

Gone With the Wind - I read it at 14 - I know I was 14 as I loved it so much I wrote my name and age in my copy.

agoodbook · 14/12/2014 09:43

Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger - one of my daughters favourites
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
The Hobbit by Tolkien
Little Women Louisa Alcott

northernlurker · 14/12/2014 09:50

I would go with Jane Eyre, The tenant of Wildfell Hall and Wuthering Heights. A set of Austen. Some Margery Allingham and Dorothy L Sayers. Possibly Hard Times. Animal Farm. Also some good non fiction - Tony Benn's diaries or similar. There's a fantastic biography of diplomatic wives called Daughters of Britannia. Something like Bad Medicine as well.

victorianhomedreamer · 14/12/2014 09:51

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Chillyegg · 14/12/2014 11:06

The I am malala biography is interesting and written by a teenager

FairPhyllis · 14/12/2014 11:24

The Lord of the Rings.

WeirdCatLady · 14/12/2014 11:29

Lord of the rings trilogy or a song of ice and fire series?

FridayJones · 14/12/2014 11:30

Anne mcaffrey if she likes dragons.

FridayJones · 14/12/2014 11:33

Sorry, Anne mcaffreys not "hard" just teenage appropriate.

InMySpareTime · 14/12/2014 11:34

The Strangeling's Tale

ShipwreckedAndMerrilyComatose · 14/12/2014 11:36

George Orwell: 1984 and Animal Farm

Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

ShipwreckedAndMerrilyComatose · 14/12/2014 11:37

Jennifer Connelly: A Gathering Light.

CheckpointCharlie · 14/12/2014 11:37

Chaos Walking trilogy is absolutely amazing.

unweavedrainbow · 14/12/2014 11:44

How about some philosophy? Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder is a fantastic introduction to some of the big questions. It really makes you think. Other than that, Plato is pretty accessible, especially the Republic, as he writes in a fictionalised style, but, really, in terms of philosophy, the world is her oyster. Locke, Berkeley, Sartre, Derrida... All accessible at 13.

CalamitouslyWrong · 14/12/2014 11:49

I'm not sure that a song of ice and fire is really appropriate for a 13 year old. Incest and rape and stuff...

DS1(14) enjoyed patrick rothfuss's 'the name of the wind' and 'wise men's fear'.

tonsattingforbjudes · 14/12/2014 12:01

Room with a view- EM Forster
Girl with a Pearl Earring- Tracey Chevalier
Jane Eyre
Lord of the Flies
The Great Gatsby
I know why the caged Bird sings-Maya Angelou
Siddhartha- Herman Hesse

All very different but all devoured by my niece at about the same age.

ZeroSomeGameThingy · 14/12/2014 12:21

A couple more:

P. G. Wodehouse - as many as you can get hold of.

Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast Trilogy.

(I haven't recommended anything more contemporary purely because, as a voracious reader. she'll come to everything else later anyway and if she's spent some time on, for want of a better phrase, things that have stood the test of time, she will for ever afterwards be able to recognize lines of influence in whatever she reads.)

TheBogQueen · 14/12/2014 12:24

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley -an absolute classic

Rebecca - daphne du Maurier

Sherlock Holmes

Do androids dream of electric sheep?


Huckleberry Finn

Becca19962014 · 14/12/2014 12:55

The Hobbit
The Lord of the rings
Northanger abbey and the book it is based around 'the mysteries of udolpho' udolpho is a hard book, but I think worth reading.

Those are the ones I loved reading then, and still do now.

Takver · 14/12/2014 13:55

I'd second Sophie's World, dd really enjoyed it and has read it several times. The Philosophy Files was recommended on here & went down well too.
Also if she likes maths 'How to Cut a Cake' and other books by the same author are definitely thought provoking.

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