My fourteen year old is reading again. I mean he's still on the computer far, far too much (other Mums tell me this is "normal") but still, when he isn't, I see him on his bed reading. He is constantly asking me whether I have any books for him. He'll read the John Rebus' I get from the library, so I know he doesn't necessarily need a teenage, male protagonist, but still, its probably a bit soon to be reading about middle-aged, functioning alcoholics. (No offence to Ian Rankin. I LOVE John Rebus.)
So, I am sort of stumped. I just want to find something he will love. And ideally, laugh at. There really does not seem to be many funny books recommended for teens. And there is no shortage of angsty ones. And so many sad ones. Good lord, I want him to read but still. Divorce, death, abuse, its all there. But what about the funny stuff, wheres that?
The lists online all suggest The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Dickens but my memories of the former from my own teenage years were that only annoying boys read it (I know, I should really read it myself and see, but sadly, I am too prejudiced now. Maybe one of those annoying boys said something unflattering about my hair? Either way, for the moment, unless I see it in the library, I'm not buying it.) And Dickens? Well, The Tale of Two Cities is on his bedside table but so far, understandably I think, its a base for glasses of water. (Which never, ever get taken downstairs.)
And then I thought of Starter for Ten - hilarious and wonderful. That's next on our library reserve list. And last weekend this book for ages twelve and up got glowing reviews. Its still only in hardback and is a bit pricey but the previous book by the same author Close to the Wind gets equally great notices, I've ordered it. From what I can see its a well written, rollicking adventure. Then I thought of John Irving? Surely The World According to Garp and Last Night in Twisted River would appeal to him? My husband tells me he read Garp at about nineteen and loved it, so maybe its a bit soon it. I'm not sure. And, while it is sad, theres Peace like a River which I LOVED and I think, he will too. And of course! There's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 and three quarters. That should go down well.