Do you want your teen boy to read, but not sure what books to recommend?
Are you trying to find a book that will ignite a reluctant reader’s love for reading? Then there is something here for you!
Teenagers have a lot vying for their attention and unfortunately reading seems to fall by the wayside.
Even if your boy read a lot as a kid, and now, as a teenager, barely picks up a book, there are things you can do to get them reading again.
Ways to Get Your Teens Reading Again
- Find highly engaging books (like those below!) about subjects they are interested in
- Model reading yourself. Teens and kids are definitley from the do as i do camp.
- Place some limits around screens. Teens need time and space to be made for reading. Find a few opportunities to have “screen free” times or zones – for an hour after school, in the car, Sunday afternoon, etc. Once you find a good time for all, make it part of your routine.
- Talk about the books that you are reading. Again, modelling the excitement and interest in books can go a long way to putting that spark back in our teens.
- Remember, teens have to see an activity as being fun if they choose to pursue it.
- It’s okay if the book is a bit below your teen’s reading level. The point is to get them interested again.
And now here’s a big list of books to entice your reluctant teen boy and get them reading again:
Blood, Sweat, and Pixels by J. Schreier
Blood, Sweat and Pixels choronicles the highs and lows of video game development in a very riveting, yet honest way. This is a great pick for kids who want to get into game design because it tells them the truth about how difficult and how awesome the industry can be.
Schreier looks at both the games that were incredible successes and the ones that were epic failures. And guess what? There is a sequel called Press Reset for kids who want the story to continue.
The Comic Book Story of Video Games
The Comic Book Story of Video Games is perfect for teens who are fans of playing any video game. They’ll enjoy a bit of the back story from Pong to Minecraft. The book does a nice job of covering not only the games, but the people behind them, as well.
This graphic novel appeals to all levels of readers. The visuals are stunning and hide lots of references to video games your kids will enjoy discovering. Super fun and engaging!
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Fans of Nike Shoes will enjoy this candid memoir of Nike founder, Phil Knight. Shoe Dog starts at the beginning of the brand – the part where Knight started the company on $50.00!
The reader learns about Nike and the many, many hardships the company persevered to get to where they are today. Awesome read for someone going into business. Would make a nice graduation gift.
My 16 year old said, “It’s very inspirational.”
ready player one by Ernest cline
For kids who love Video Games, Sci-Fi, books and who are a bit (or a lot) nerdy, Ready Player One will be a page turner. What enticed my kids, was the tag line,” Willy Wonka meets the Matrix”.
The book takes place in 2045 and when the creator of a virtual reality world dies, the world goes in search for an Easter Egg he placed hiding his fortune. It’s exciting, for sure, but also has an underlying message that escaping into a game might not be the answer.
And if your teen loves it, guess what? There is a sequel, Ready, Player, Two.
The Reassembler by James May
If you don’t know James May, you should. He’s got many great TV shows – Top Gear, Grand Tour, Our Man About Italy, Toy Stories, just to name a few. (All worth watching with your teenagers.)
The Reassembler is a companion to a TV series where James May tries to reassemble old electronics and pieces of technology, like a record player, motorbike and a guitar. The book is perfect for gadgety kids and a great throwback to old “tech”.
It’s just fascinating for curious kids (and they’re parents) and a great author/actor to begin to follow. James May also has a cookbook out, which is a companion to his hilarious Amazon show, “Oh, Cook”
The Game Console 2.0 by evan amos
The Game Console 2.0 is a thorough history of the video gaming console. Literally, every generation of consoles, handhelds and controllers from Pong to the PS5 are shown in well done photographs.
My kids especially like the photographs of the internal workings of each console and handheld. Lots of images and a small amount of very informative text, make this an easy, “Yes!” for reluctant readers.
Artemis by andy weir
My son got to meet Andy Weir at a camp the summer after after 7th grade and just consumed all of his books to date. Artemis is a follow up to The Martian, which I read alongside my son. I quite enjoyed myself, despite it’s fairly long, scientific, explanations of things, I previously knew nothing about.
In fact, it’s those long descriptions of daily life trying to stay alive after being left on Mars, that make the book so fascinating. You feel as if you are there.
Sneaker of the Year
Presented by Complex, Sneaker of the Year is just really fun for sneaker fans, old and young, alike. The type is big and the pictures stunning, making it great for reluctant readers.
You can point out the shoes you had in high school!
Lots of images, make this an easy read and enjoyable to flip through sitting next to mom, dad, uncle, etc. Kids will see, “What’s old is new again, ” as many of today’s most popular styles mimic those of the 80’s and 90’s.
The hunger Games Series by S. collins
It’s great when you can get kids into an author and they’ll read their entire breadth of work. If your kids liked the Hunger Games movies – and even if they’ve never seen them – give the entire Hunger Games series a try.
If kids are into dystopian fiction and action packed drama, these books will not disappoint. The main characters are empowering and are what draw readers in and make this so appealing to kids as young as 12.
As usual, the books are way better than the movies! Even if your kids have seen the movies, they will enjoy the books. In fact, seeing the movies may draw them into the books.
The Drawing Lesson by Mark Crilley
If your kid or teen is at all interested in drawing, The Drawing Lesson is a great addition to their bookshelf. Most suited for a beginning artist, this book tells a story of a boy learning how to draw.
Even though it has a juvenile look, the topics covered are often overlooked in other drawing books. It is a fantastic “How-to” book for anyone interested in drawing. Easy to read and cute storyline. I read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it, too!
A History of Video Games in 64 Objects
A History of Video Games in 64 Objects is so highly visual, it begs kids to read about the “ancient artifacts” of video gaming from the 70’s and 80’s. Fun to see the old floppy disks again.
Your kids will recognize some of their faves, like Minecraft (2011), also. A great book to see just how far they’ve come with gaming!
The childish spirit of former NIntendo’s CEO, Satoru Iwata, is infused throughout this book. Compiled from interviews and personal writings, Ask Iwata, was published after Iwata’s death in 2015.
The book is organized in very short chapters filled with wonderful advice from a man who started from nothing and built himself and his company to be the leader in the industry. Nintendo fans will love the sneak peak behind the scenes, as well.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon is the first in a series your kids will most likely be unable to put down. Written by Christophey Paolini when he was 16, Eragon is a fantastical tale about a boy who finds a stone which turns out to be a dragon egg. The egg hatches and ……
The story is a bit of a cross between Lord of the Rings and How to Train Your Dragon with some Harry Potter thrown in. Both of my boys read the entire series and we listened to Eragon on a family road trip. It was enjoyed by the adults in the car, too.
I have not seen the movie of the first book, it did not get great reviews……again, the books are much preferred over the movies.
The Walking Dead: Compendium One
One of eight in this series, The Walking Dead graphic novel series was the inspiration for the Uber popular TV show. If your kiddo is into the whole Zombie craze this is a sure bet.
The book is just as graphic as the TV show, in subject, but the illustrations in the book are black and white and so, not quite as disturbing. Still, this content is definitely for 14 and older.