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    Books & Reading

    A Teen Boy’s Year in Books

    January 9, 2017 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]S[/dropcap]ome of you have asked why I don’t do lists of “girl” books (meaning books read by my girls). The answer is simple: thus far, I cannot get my girls to keep a running list. Only E-Age-Fourteen will do it. So, for now, his is the only list you get (other than mine, of course).

    One thing to keep in mind is that this is a list from a boy who truly loves to read. Are you ready?

    What he read, what he loved: a reading list by a teen boy for teen boys.

    His Favorites:

    (In chronological order of when he read them.)

    EmmaDon QuixoteA Wrinkle in TimeThe Innocence of Father BrownAn Acceptable TimeValue Investing Today (yes, really) • The Mason BeesThe Life and Diary of David BrainerdHow to Win Friends and Influence People

    I asked him about Emma. It surprised me that it was a favorite. He said it was interesting to him, the way the different classes interacted — and also it was just plain entertaining.

    I was also surprised by Don Quixote because he often found it annoying. Insanity can be that way, you know. Anyhow, it must have grown on him because it was on the favorites list.

    It was my father’s idea that he read the investing book. When I was only a little older than my son, my father gave me a book on investing — different book, but still, I remember that I loved it.


    Honorable Mentions:

    Not favorites, but still glad he read them…

    The History of MedicineA Swiftly Tilting PlanetMany WatersTaran WandererThe House of Arden


    It’s interesting, how his reading is changing, and how his philosophy of reading is, too. Don Quixote took him months to read, and cut the number of books he read for the year in half. He didn’t have any books he hated, but he did mention that he feels like he has less time to read, and so he plans to get pickier. This must be genetic because I keep finding the same thing — that limited time isn’t all bad; it helps you focus.

    Do you have a teen boy? What did he love reading this year?


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  • Reply Patty B. January 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I have another question that doesn’t really have anything to do with Free Reading.

    Last year, I was forced to start working part time. I tried to continue with AO 7 for my son, but didn’t complete the year. This year, because I am still working, I decided on something different-more out of the box. I have tweaked it to look more like a Charlotte Mason Education, and have included some books from AO on and off. It is going well, be we really lack direction.

    I am thinking that I would like for my son, who will be in 9th grade next year, to start back on AO. However, as I look through the Y8 booklist, I am not at all motivated, and I am afraid my son, who has enjoyed a lighter year this year will struggle with it. As I look at Y9, though, it looks like a better fit. I’m not sure why it does other than the time period is more familiar to us both.

    Do you think this is a good idea? Would skipping Y8 be such a terrible idea? Can you talk me into doing Y8?

  • Reply Patty B. January 10, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Are these free reads, or assigned?

    Thank you for posting them. Several of them are new to me, and I think my 14 year old son would enjoy them.

  • Reply Mama Rachael January 10, 2017 at 6:38 am

    It’s my own scenibilities match the teen boy! I loved Count of Monte Cristo, loved the L’Engle books, though I disliked enough of Austin’s stuff as a teen, I’ve never ventured to try any more even as an adult.

    Your boy is my kind of reader! I’ll give Don a try and Emma 😀

    • Reply Mama Rachael January 10, 2017 at 6:40 am

      Ugh…. should be “my own sensibilities match the teen boy’s”. I’m still pre coffee on the tablet….

  • Reply SarahD January 9, 2017 at 8:16 am

    My 15 year old son is about to finish The Count of Monte Cristo and lived it. In fact it’s probably ruined him to other “lesser” books in his opinion. Any suggestions for him after this?

    • Reply SarahD January 9, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Loved, not lived.☺️

    • Reply Brandy Vencel January 9, 2017 at 8:36 am

      What about another Dumas? Has he read The Three Musketeers yet? That was my first thought…

      • Reply SarahD January 12, 2017 at 8:45 am

        He’s excited about the 3 muskateers. Thanks! I’m going to give him some L’Engle too and see what happens.

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