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  1. #26
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    Isaac & Janet Aasimov did a REALLY enjoyable, light-hearted sci-fi series that I loved around that age called the Norby Chronicles. They've been out of print for decades so can be tough to find locally, but I like to scour used books store to pick up them up here and there when I find them. If you guys have any kind of e-reader or tablet, I actually have the first couple books on a pdf, which I'd be happy to e-mail you. PM me your e-mail address if you're interested and I can shoot it to you. I just found my copy in an old e-mail to Amazon to have it put on my Kindle.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norby
    Also just looked it up on Amazon, and you can pick up used copies for like $2 each. Been meaning to complete my physical set. There are 11 books. They're fairly short, easy to digest, and I remember them being a ton of fun to read. A really good jumping off point for sci-fi before he starts getting to the likes of Dune, which I read when I was like 11 or 12, but Frank Herbert was probably a bit over my head at the time, even if I enjoyed it.

    I also second the Orson Scott Card Ender's series mentioned above. Freaking awesome series that he should have no trouble with but I'd start with Ender's Game (1st in the Ender's series) then Ender's Shadow (1st in the Bean series, a parallel story).

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Maybe someone can explain why this book is such a classic. I read it to my daughter not long ago and we both thought it was pretty bad.
    I haven't read it in ages so I can't explain. I remember liking, not loving it as a kid. I do remember that the concept of a tesseract was really exciting to me at whatever age I read it, I think I was maybe 9?
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  3. #28
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    What's the right age for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Tortoise View Post
    What's the right age for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?
    I read that one at 12 I believe. Always enjoyed it, but might be best for a kid to get his toes wet in sci-fi first before going Douglas Adams. Not that it's too advanced or anything, but I'd imagine it would be vastly more enjoyable if one's been introduced to the genre beforehand. Otherwise it might come off as way too "out there."

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Maybe someone can explain why this book is such a classic. I read it to my daughter not long ago and we both thought it was pretty bad.
    I think it gets even better read as a trilogy with A Wind in the Door & A Swiftly Tilting Planet but mostly the idea of the tesseract as mentioned and good v. evil with the religiosity or preconceptions with it. Also deals with conformity & non with out being heavy handed or saccharine. treating "kids" as adults is big too.

    The movie made me angry

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsy View Post
    I think it gets even better read as a trilogy with A Wind in the Door & A Swiftly Tilting Planet but mostly the idea of the tesseract as mentioned and good v. evil with the religiosity or preconceptions with it. Also deals with conformity & non with out being heavy handed or saccharine. treating "kids" as adults is big too.

    The movie made me angry
    It's not the ideas that bugged me, it was the writing. I get good vs evil, but this was boring good vs evil, because the evil was so bad it couldn't be described, it was just IT. And very bad, trust me it is evil. And oooh, when they actually found IT, it was a brain. And Mrs. Who and Whatsit or whatever their names were, good lord couldn't that have been written better? Described better?

    There are so many great stories about good vs evil, or kids who aren't conformists becoming heroes, this one just bored the crap out of me.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
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  7. #32
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    dunno Danno, I read all 3 books till their covers came off.
    Different strokes I guess.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCMtnHound View Post
    Lots of good recommends. Also another vote for alternate genres. James Clavell and the Bond novels were fun when I was that age.
    Interesting.

    I finally completed my James Bond novel collection this summer (I had all the Fleming, now I have the 30-odd post-Fleming ones, too!) and re-read many of the originals over the past few years.
    I grew up on the somewhat campy Roger Moore films (my dad and I would go see those and the Pink Panther films when I was a kid) and I gotta say that I found the original Fleming novels to be really dry, really dated (in terms of language), and I felt one needed to have a strong grasp on WWI and WWII history (which I don't). Some of them were decent, but the only Fleming book that I really, really stood out for me was The Spy Who Loved Me, which was completely different from the movie in every way and completely different from all the rest of the Fleming books that I still supsect it might have been ghostwritten.
    Again, I found them to be a bit dry and Old World espionage (i.e. not terribly exciting) more than anything. Interesting from a cultural perspective when placed in relation to the films (I made myself watch the films in order of the books and then read each corresponding book and then wrote reviews on the differences because...well, I'm a nerd).
    As a full-on pop culture geek, I would only recommend the Bond novels after seeing the films and when one is older (late teens or even college) and has had the basic WWi/WWII history class under their belt.
    But that's just me.
    I like the pulp ish.


    PS
    I am reading the first post-Fleming "official" Bond novel right now and it's pretty damn bueno, but requires one to have read all of the originals to get the full effect. James Bond: The Official Biography by John Pearson. About to delve into the other 30-odd post-Fleming novels in order when I finish this.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsy View Post
    dunno Danno, I read all 3 books till their covers came off.
    Different strokes I guess.
    Obviously, and your opinion is the more popular one!
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  10. #35
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    In regards to my previous suggestion of Ray Bradbury...

    Both Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes have young male protagonists (12 and 13, respectively), fwtw.



    I think I read The Illustrated Man when I was in 7th or 8th grade (I know, a bit older than 11).

    Also, file away for High School (9th Grade at least): Harlan Ellison. His short story collection Deathbird Stories warped my mind at age 14/15
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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  11. #36
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    Playboy was the most interesting science fiction I was reading at that age. Just sayin'.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    I read that one at 12 I believe. Always enjoyed it, but might be best for a kid to get his toes wet in sci-fi first before going Douglas Adams. Not that it's too advanced or anything, but I'd imagine it would be vastly more enjoyable if one's been introduced to the genre beforehand. Otherwise it might come off as way too "out there."
    I think it has more to do with understanding cheeky British humor than scifi, but ok.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Obviously, and your opinion is the more popular one!
    not in the late 70s/early 80s I was a raging dork

  14. #39
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    Good YA Science Fiction for Boys

    Not science fiction, but my 11yo son really enjoyed the Maze Runner books. Kicked off an interest in reading that he didnít really have before, which, frankly, is 97% of what I care about.
    focus.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    I think it has more to do with understanding cheeky British humor than scifi, but ok.
    Yeah, now that I think about it, you're 100% spot on. I was a big Monty Python fan as a kid, so that probably helped my appreciation of Hitchhiker's Guide immensely.

  16. #41
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    My kid refused all the ďclassicsĒ

    I got Dune at the library for him and he balked. So I read it again since it was in the house. It has not aged well. The tech and the pseudo-foreign language and mysticism was transparent by modern standards. I donít think he did much more than eyeball the publishing date before putting it down (at least heís learned one thing I taught him: check the publish date for context on any book)

    Iíll see what he suggests for recent titles.
    One thatís waiting to go back the the library here is Calibanís War. Not sure if that fits YA or not; Iíll ask

    I liked The Silo, but again, not YA

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustonen View Post
    Kicked off an interest in reading that he didn’t really have before, which, frankly, is 97% of what I care about.
    yeah, my 8 year old has been devouring graphic "novels" lately, and I don't give a crap if they're not great, I'm just psyched that she's wanting to read all the time now.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  18. #43
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    I was also gonna recommend Ringworld / Ringworld Engineers.

    A couple of authors I didn't see mentioned: Fred Saberhagen - Berserker, and Fredrik Pohl - Gateway. Both would be great intros to Sci Fi for a younger fella.
    °”rale, vato!

  19. #44
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    from the boy...

    Leviathan Wakes (violence & language) (Calibanís War is #2; he was disappointed by it tho)

    I am Number 4 (7 books, some teen kissing/dating talk; he says this was his favorite)

    Legend by Marie Lu (3 books)

    The Palladin Prophecy (he knows of 2; thinks there are more)

    Enderís Game (bunch of them; old but he liked it anyway; others not worth it)

    The Testing (3 books?)

    Sylo (3 books; different than The Silo)

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustonen View Post
    Not science fiction, but my 11yo son really enjoyed the Maze Runner books. Kicked off an interest in reading that he didn’t really have before, which, frankly, is 97% of what I care about.
    Pretty sure that Maze Runner qualifies as sci-fi.

    Dystopian future? Check.
    Evil scientists conducting evil experiments? Check.
    Giant robotic sentinel monsters? Check.
    Crazy mechanical death-mazes designed by aforementioned evil scientists? Check.

    Also, from the Wikipedia entry: "a young adult post-apocalyptic dsytopian science fiction novel..."

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  21. #46
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    Time Machine by H G Wells is still in my head.

    Didn't see it mentioned, so wondering if it's still relevant or as good as I thought it was? Asking for a friend...
    Screw the net, Surf the backcountry!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddy View Post
    Time Machine by H G Wells is still in my head.

    Didn't see it mentioned, so wondering if it's still relevant or as good as I thought it was? Asking for a friend...
    That's a GREAT read. Short and sweet too. Funny you mention that one as I just unpacked it and it's sitting right here by my desk. My little paperback copy's only 125 pages long with pretty short pages. Would probably be like 80 pages in any other form. Absolutely amazing that Wells released this one back in 1895! 124 year old sci-fi. That blows my mind. I think it still holds up well and is one of the all time classics. Victorian era science fiction FTW!

    If we're going to talk about classic sci-fi that teens might enjoy, I also have to throw in a vote for the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs (same dude who wrote Tarzan). Have him start with A Princess of Mars. Amazing to me that Burroughs concocted this stuff back in 1911. I REALLY REALLY enjoyed this series. Perhaps OP's kid is already familiar with the Disney flop, John Carter? As in John Carter of Mars. It's a shame that Disney fouled up the marketing SOOOO bad on that one, because it was actually a pretty fun movie and because it did so poorly at the box office we likely won't see more of the franchise. A shame because the movie barely scratched the surface on what happens. Great book series though that holds up great even today and should be an easy and fun read for a teen.

  23. #48
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    Modern: Maze Runner, The Giver, Legend. Not YA but he might like The Martian.

    Pretty much everything written before about 2008 (Hunger Games) has a male protagonist, so there's a lot to choose from for older books. If he liked Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Heinlein wrote a bunch of other YA books (but avoid anything written after 1960 unless you're ready for him to read about sex). Rocketship Galileo, Farmer in the Sky, Starman Jones, Red Planet, Citizen of the Galaxy, Starship Troopers (a little violent but not by today's standards). Also The Green Hills of Earth (short stories).

    Also Asimov's Foundation and I, Robot series. Not really YA but I loved them at that age. And the first 3 Dune books (but skip the rest).

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by teledad View Post
    Modern: Maze Runner, The Giver, Legend. Not YA but he might like the Martian.
    I bought my son the Martian. He hasnít cracked it open yet, but Iím hopeful he likes it.

    Add the Red Rising series to that list. Shoot, I really enjoyed those.

    Also, my 11yo really dug I Am Legend by Matheson.
    focus.

  25. #50
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    Is Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH too young?
    I recall reading that in grade school (5th Grade).

    Seems that the author wrote a couple of other sci-fi oriented novels, too:
    A Report From Group 17
    Z For Zachariah

    Also, The Borribles (not sci-fi, but more fantasy). I only read the first one, which I recall really loving. Just learned that it was ultimately a trilogy.

    Also, what about Neil Gaiman? Again, not particularly sci-fi, but he's got quite a few YA novels out there...
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