While the days of taking your child to the library and picking out a tote bag of picture books for him are long gone, you can still point your teen in the right direction when it comes to choosing appropriate types of literature. Whether your teen can't stop talking about his infatuation with learning about outer space, he likes to read about alien adventures or he has an interest in futuristic classics, good science-fiction books can quench his literary appetite.
Although some science-fiction books may seem outdated -- after all, some of them include futuristic stories that are now in the past -- classics are typically well-written, time-tested reads that generations of kids have come to love. Choose a few books by well-known, and highly regarded, sci-fi authors. For example, George Orwell's "1984," Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey" are classic tales teen boys will enjoy.
If your teen boy is a true science-fiction fan, he may enjoy a series that allows him to explore concepts, follow characters and delve deeper into the imaginative stories over time. A popular contemporary choice is the three-part "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins. It follows a televised survival to the death game for teens in a post-apocalyptic world. Another older series your teen boy may like is Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." This series features the main character Arthur Dent and his journey around the galaxy after fleeing from Earth.
Books and Movies
Does your teen prefer to watch the big screen rather than read small-sized pages? If so, you may entice him into reading by encouraging him to try out a science-fiction book that has recently been made into a blockbuster movie. For example, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" are classic fantasy tales -- by J.R.R. Tolkien -- that feature elves, tiny-sized hobbits, wizards and other imaginative creatures. Teens who have seen, and enjoyed, the film versions may find interest in reading the book versions. Another option is "The Planet of the Apes" by Pierre Bouelle. This fanatical narrative of an Earth where the apes rule over the humans has enjoyed many film re-makes, such as the 1968 and 2001 versions.
Books for Young Teens
Not every science fiction book is made for, or appropriate for, every teen. Younger teens -- such as your 13-year-old seventh grader -- may need a read that is free from sexual situations, graphic images and complicated language. Good science fiction books for younger teen boys include more tween-type literature such as J.K. Rowling's ultra-famous "Harry Potter" series about a seemingly ordinary boy who is actually a highly powerful wizard. Another young adult science fiction series that will engage your teen boy is James Dashner's "The Maze Runner." Dashner tells an action-packed tale of a group of adolescent boys who are mysteriously transported to an enclosed environment and must take care of themselves. Another tween to teen option is the "Percy Jackson" series by Rick Riordan. This fantasy series follows the not-so-normal teen demi-gods as they confront both the human and mythological worlds.