April 5, 2015

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One of the more frequent questions I get on the blog is: ‘how can I make my teenage boys read?’

Part of me wonders if our assumption that teenage boys don’t like reading, is part of the reason why some of them don’t?

Many of the teenage girls I teach aren’t reading, either, yet people seem less concerned with them – assuming they will develop a love of reading again, later on. I’m not sure how I feel about this prognosis but I’m sure it will appear in another blog post.

Let’s not discount how both genders do enjoy reading blogs and online news following fashion, sports, business, entertainment, etc.

Anyhow, for those looking to encourage their teenage boys (and girls) to discover a love of books again – here is a Book Dumpling list of books that will hopefully encourage them to enjoy reading again:

You Are Not That Smart_Book Cover

Based on the popular blog, this fantastic read is perfect for anyone interested in psychology in small snippets: dig in to learn everything from the way advertising hooks us to the biases we live with (of which we are completely oblivious, of course).

Perfect for:
• Learning complicated lessons in small, fun doses
• Those looking for a good holiday gift.
• Anyone who’s ever thought they know everything.

Quarantine_Book Cover

A massive explosion detonates McKinley High and all of the students have been infected with a virus that is fatal to adults: in this fast-paced book, David Thorpe must navigate a school without teachers, where violent gangs abound, and where his world is about to get a whole lot worse.

Perfect for:
• Teen readers (13 and older)
• Most readers who enjoyed The Hunger Games
• Readers of dystopian/sci-fi thrillers

Playing with Fire_Book Cover

Former NHL player, Theo Fleury, co-writes his autobiography chronicling his tumultuous experiences with drugs, alcohol and abuse in this gripping story about a skilled athlete dealing with personal demons.

Perfect for:
• Boys who hate to read.
• ‘Coach’ Shane Joseph.
• Readers interested in an athlete’s personal journey.

Little Princes_Book Cover

When Conor Grennan decides to travel the world to impress girls, he can never imagine how much his life will change: while volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal, he comes to understand the human trafficking problem in the country and its horrific consequences. On a mission to reunite these orphans with their real-life parents from whom they’ve been kidnapped, Grennan creates life-long bonds (and finds love) in this inspiring tale of making a difference (in the non-cheesy sense).

Perfect for:
• Those looking for armchair travelling to Nepal.
• Anyone interested in global issues, specifically child kidnappings.
• Readers looking for an inspiring, true story.

The Art of Racing in the Rain_Book Cover

Who can resist this wonderful story told from the perspective of Enzo, a race-car loving, History Channel-fanatic of a Golden Retriever?

Perfect for:
• Dog Lovers
• Most readers (male & female)
• Smile-while-reading-yet-not-cheesy types.

Kane and Abel_Book Cover

A modern-ish take on the classic Cain and Abel story, this page-turning tale from Jeffrey Archer (from his early years as the master storyteller) follows two men – born on the same day – living vastly different lives:
William Lowell Kane, born into wealth and privilege, grows up in Boston while Abel Rosnovski enters a world of poverty in Poland.
Through delightful plot twists, the two men become powerful adversaries as we follow them into old age. A must-read for anyone who hates reading.

Perfect for:
• Reluctant readers – 14 and up
• Those interested in a fast-paced, much loved read.
• Anyone who enjoys following characters from birth until old age.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian_Book Cover

Meet Junior: through cartoons and insight, he shares with us his often-times hilarious, but always-challenging, life as a teenager who leaves his Indian reserve to go to an all-white school.

Perfect for:
• Teens and adults who would like to learn more about reserve life from one of the leading First Nations writers.
• Those interested in cool, funny cartoons.
• A different take on the coming-of-age story.

The Glass Castle_Book Cover

When Jeanette Walls spots her mother sifting through a dumpster, she realizes she must come to terms with her bizarre past: in this intriguing memoir (a favourite amongst most readers) about a, let’s say, interesting family that makes up its own rules, Walls explores family dysfunction with wit and humour.

Perfect for:
• Lovers of seriously dysfunctional families.
• Reluctant readers (male and female).
• Anyone who enjoys a tragi-comic memoir.

Leave no Doubt_Book Cover

Respected hockey coach, Mike Babcock, and his friend, Rick Larson, offer inspirational advice – using hockey as a platform – about succeeding in any field and the rewards of real determination. An interesting read.

Perfect for:
• Reluctant readers.
• Sports fans.
• Those looking for the proverbial kick in the a** – athlete or non-athlete alike.

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