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recommended books for a 12 year old boy..please

Discussion in 'English' started by the apprentice, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    l received my sons first secondary school report yesterday..and the english teacher suggested that my son reads at home...but really struggling to find anything that he seems to like. He's never been a reader and l teach nursery/ reception so l'm a bit useless in suggesting a book for him!!! A year 6 teacher suggested eion c... can't remember Artimis something ,but he doesnt like that..never been into Harry Potter. He 'reads' the Argos book at Christmas and quite likes Where's Wally!! He is bright and enjoys cars...but reading is a real ..no no!! Any ideas?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Typical boy who's not 'into storybooks'.Eoin Colfer is good for those who like them but sounds as if your son is not one of them.
    So try non-fiction information books about hobbies, manuals etc.
    I tried for years to find books which my son, who has dyslexia, would be interested in and then read to him for just one or two pages. Then if he was interested enough I hoped he would try and read on to discover what happens next.
  3. Have you tried Diary of a Wimpy Kid?

    Easy to read, I know of lots of year 5/6 boys that are very interested in these too, so may be worth a go?
  4. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    Yes... he has read a few Mitchel Symonds books...wobats bum...why boogey is good for you...etc. But would like him to read something a bit more 'grown up.' At school they read 'Boy in the striped pyjamas..extracts from it l think...l had that book as l've read it..but he said he read a bit of it as they have to do a spot of silent reading every so often..but he didn't really enjoy it!!
    l love reading (OH doesn't!!) and know that his teacher has mentioned it l'd love to get him keen!!! But could prove expensive...may have a look in the charity shops or the library...take him along and see if anything takes his fancy.
    l just loved reading at his age..Mallory Towers !! But l had very little else to do..where as my son has the wii, his bike,an ipod...etc, so reading is just ..'so last year' according to him!!!
    Diary of a Wimpy kid sounds promising...and isn't there a film out on that?
    Still up for more suggestions..looked at the Pullman books earlier they seemed interesting?
  5. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    I find it really sad that one of my boys won't read when the other won't stop, but I have found there is little to be done; you just can't force-feed reading. My reluctant reader will read joke books and books about his interests. He has read biographies of some very unsuitable heavy metal stars (he is a bit older than 12) and he quite likes Jeremy Clarkson. His books are good because they contain fairly short articles and can be read in small chunks. My only other piece of advice is to give him slim books. Doorstops can be very off-putting, even if they are only the lastest Chris Ryan.
    Oh and charity shops are the way to go - love them!
  6. Why not get him some books about cars? Or a weekly car magazine? The Wimpy Kid books are popular and if he likes non-fiction those horrible histories can be a good choice. A nice atlas?
  7. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    Thanks for the suggestions, yes he has an atlas, a cook book that he used to look through!, an several books and magazines on cars, even subscribed to the Top Gear magazines for children but they were looked at rather than read! Joke books, whitty history books, simple Dorling kingsly encyclopaedias about everything!!
    Actually may return to these now he's a bit older and see if I can get a bit more enthusiasm!!!
    Just think he doesn't enjoy reading... Never has, although as a youngster was read to every night! I have read bits at the beginning of books, a chapter each , but still no up take !
    He has read one book , just remembered Micheal Morpurgo kensukes kingdom.. He's just said' that was a good book that!!' but I mentioned that to a teacher friend and she said ' some of his stuff is good but a lot is rubbish!' think it said it was a modern day Robinson crusoe, so if someone could suggest someone has any ideas of some thing similar!?
  8. It doesn't matter. If your son liked it you should try him with others regardless of someone else's opinion.
  9. thefootballwitch

    thefootballwitch New commenter

    Does your son like Dr Who? They have a range of 'Decide Your Destiny' books that are fun easy reads, if he likes the TV programme - very short chapters with decisions for the reader to make. Because they're short, they're quick to get through and so less daunting than larger books.
  10. As an English teacher I'd just like to point out that 'read more at home' MIGHT be a 'can't think of anything else to put' suggestion for someone who is bowling along just fine in English. Anyway, does he like science/Maths etc? I don't know if something like Alex's Adventures in Numberland might be interesting? Or how about stuff by Marcus Chown, or The electric toilet virgin death lottery is something completely different. Why does the teacher want him to read more? To develop a specific skill, for pleasure, general knowledge, cultural benefit? There are other things to be done other than read fiction for almost everything. Maybe he could play wordy board games, listen to radio 4 programmes like The Infinite Monkey Cage, do spot the hidden object computer games etc etc instead?
  11. My son, aged 10, was like yours...wouldn't read unless I made him. I'm an English teacher so I felt like I'd failed somehow. Anyway, he read the Morpurgo you mentioned, 'Kensuke's Kingdom', and it was a like a lightbulb had been switched on. Ok, he wouldn't read anything unless it was by Morpurgo...so we've read ALL of them. After that, though, the sky was, and still is, the limit. He is now 17 and is weighing up between Philosophy at Uni or English Lit! His reading has now way surpassed mine. So...keep pushing books at your son and, who knows,eventually, one might just grab him like Morpurgo grabbed mine!
  12. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    Thanks again for your kind replies...l have re-read his English report again,and i think because 'reading' has always been a n'issue' with my son as he really doesn't like reading, and the comment was' reading at home is extremely beneficial to both reading and writing skills' so nothing really!!! He loves the english teacher and she had nothing but praise for him at parents evening.
    l will get a few other Morpurgo books and hopefully my son's lightbulb will be switched on!! Sounds like your son is a real convert now!! Will also check out the other suggestions..and if all else fails ..it will have to be the back of the cereal box and the argos book...well at least it's reading..and he can read!!
  13. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    ..So funny, my other son has been listening to our chats about reading...and although l put them to bed at 9 tonight..he's just come downstairs clutching his Dirty Bertie paperback..asking'should l put my light out now??!!' He sees the reading thingy as an excuse for later nights"!!! made me smile..he's never been keen either so maybe with a few Murpurgo books and the chance of 30 minutes later bedtime...i might be on to a winner!!
  14. Try Joshua Mowll 'Operation Red Jericho'.

    It's a fab book! It's the first of the Guild Trilogy and is written like a diary. The 2 main characters are a teenage brother & sister and they get on some James Bond stlye adventures. It's great for boys as there's lots of images, some of which are pull out technical style ones. Very easy to read & so far everyone i've recommended it to has really enjoyed it (reluctant readers & my father included!)
    You could also try looking out for these new books on mp3s. They're exactly the same as an audio book, but they come on a little black box which only plays that one. The library should be able to get hold of them. I'll pop back on later & let you know what they're actually called! This might be a good way in to a new genre or author. Being able to listen to the story might encourage him picking up other books by the same author?
  15. Hi, does your son like football?

    You could try getting "Mac B" by Neil Arksey- it is a modern re-write of Macbeth but based around football- there are two lads who go to a fairground to see a gypsy fortune teller who tells them one will become captain of the football team, cue a lot of competitive behaviour and a psychopathic mother of one of the boys (equivilant of lady macbeth) and the actual captain has an accident and can't play.

    It is quite a short book, fairly large print so doesn't look too daunting and it is really well written. My boys in class loved it!
  16. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    My lad has just started the Percy Jackson books. A modern boy who is a actually a greek god "Half God, Half Boy, All Hero" The first book "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" has the first chapter titled "I accidentally vaporized my teacher."

  17. the apprentice

    the apprentice New commenter

    Hi everyone!! No said child has no interest in football. starwars or Doctor Who etc. He did share some extracts from Percy Jackson in year 5, but nothing came of that , but we did enjoy the film at the cinema.
    l have bought 16 Michael Murpurgo books...on offer from the Book People.....He was a bit suprised, but l said just pick one or two out to see how you get on!! Also Diary of a wimpy kid...4 of those books! My younger son seemed keen on those. l did look at all the books suggested in the earlier posts..l quite liked some ideas...esp the ones about maths. But l think the thing is l can see past the idea that they are 'just books'..which l love and my son hasn't really experienced the 'joy' a book can bring yet so sees them as monotonous!!He would much rather down load an app...maybe a kindle would appeal?..See a kindle does nothing for me!! Thanks anyway, lets hope the Murpurgo books do the trick!!!
  18. Anthony Horowitz all the way. Alex Rider in particular is excellent for engaging hard to reach boys- he is the king of the one liners, really funny and fuss free. An excellent boys writer.
  19. Charlie Higson's Young Bond stuff is good.
  20. jereni

    jereni New commenter

    I also have a 12-year-old son, mildly dyslexic, who was a reluctant reader until a few months ago. I am a big reader and I used to insist he took a book to bed - for years he used to flick through The Guiness Book of Records and other non-fiction books, and he also read the odd page of the Horrible History series. But he never really got hooked by any book until my eldest son passed on his books by Garth Nix, a series called the Keys to the Kingdom. He's become seriously addicted to reading these every night! T

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