Summer Books for Older Boys

Summer Books for Older Boys

Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of assigning any book a gender preference. And as children move past the tweeny choices into YA and adult lit, I think themes start to become more gender neutral on their own. But sometimes, when you are raising a reluctant reader, it helps to bring home a book that is a little more attention-getting.

Here are a few suggestions for summer reading for older boys:

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Living with a Seal by Jesse Itzler

If profanity ain’t your thing, I’d pass this up—that said, Itzler’s memoir on better living by inviting a Navy SEAL into his home for a month is thoroughly engaging, entertaining and inspiring. As a rule, the last thing the typical college freshman wants to do is read for pleasure, but mine picked this up and didn't put it down.

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Grunt by Mary Roach

I’m actually hoping to read this myself this summer—an insightful look into the behind-the-scenes science with our nation’s armed forces. Some of it really insightful and interesting, including the use of movie studios where actors that are also amputees help medics prepare for war; other parts a mix of the odd with what probably common sense, and still more information that's weird and gross and intriguing (Bears like used tampons? Eww!).

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The Hour of the Innocents by Robert Paston

My middle read this two summers ago and loved it—it was a no-brainer for a kid that was already way into the music of the late 60s, which serves as the backdrop for this rock and roll coming of age story.

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Lucid by Jay Bonansinga

The author behind the Walking Dead series has several other novels to his credit, including this tale of an 18-year-old girl talking on an alternate universe’s demons in her sleep. It’s spooky, surreal and light enough on the gorier aspects of the supernatural that it won’t give a teen nightmares.

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Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

A love story for guys and girls—this Iranian-born author tackles teen love set in the world of ComicCon, a comic geek paradise. Roxy and Graham first bonded over Harry Potter, and now Graham finds himself looking for ways to express his true feelings to his best friend. But, as the teaser for the book promises, fictional relationships can often be easier than real ones.

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How Not to be a Dick by Meghan Doherty

I love, love, love this alternative to the traditional etiquette book in that it shoots straight from the hip, offers spot-on advice and covers areas few other etiquette guides have, from social media and sexting to manspreading on public transportation. I will recommend this forever. Great grad gift, too!

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