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Topic: New HF authors for a Teen

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Subject: New HF authors for a Teen
Date Posted: 4/7/2010 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2005
Posts: 76
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Hopefully someone can give me a recommendation for authors/titles so I can get my son some new books!  He generally likes the 20th century.  He is withholding title information at the moment (he is a teenager, enough said!) but I know he read a book called Emile and Karl (??) and really enjoyed it.  He also recently read something about a Jewish girl during the Holocaust and couldn't put it down.  I know I haven't give much information, but hoping someone could help so he will continue reading!  :)

Date Posted: 4/7/2010 6:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Well, The Book Thief by Zusak comes immediately to mind, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's the one about the Holocaust that your son couldn't put down.

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, while not strictly historical fiction (published in 1960 and set during the Great Depression), is a must read -- don't know how old your son is but this certainly can be read by high schoolers and probably a number of middle-schoolers.

Other suggestions: Heller's Catch-22; Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (WWI), O'Brien's The Things They Carried (Vietnam war).

There's also a thread entitled "Historical fiction for boys 10-15" on Historical Fiction online that you might want to try: http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129.

If you want non-HF, let me know -- I can give you a list of my son's favorites, most of which are probably science fiction.

ETA: Would help to know his age/grade.

Last Edited on: 4/7/10 6:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/7/2010 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I'd recommend Night by Elie Wiesel with the caution that it's a harrowing read about a boy in a concentration camp - based on the author's real-life experience. I think he'd need to be a mature 14 to handle it.

YA isn't my area, but I think Bernard Cornwell would be enjoyed by an older teen. He doesn't do 20th century though.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/8/2010 8:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Scott O'dell is always good for YA Historical Fiction, though most of his books are not 20th century.  my daughter is 15 and her friend (15) is into the Jeff Shaara military historical novels. She just got him a book on Vietnam (not Jeff Shaara), but I cant remember the title,. I will have to ask her and let you know.

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I read John Jakes from 8th grade onward. He's done some 20th century stuff (Homeland & American Dreams). Mainly he does 19th c.

The Knight, Death and the Devil by Ella Leffland - fictionalized biography of Hermann Goering. Excellent 5 star book.

Broken Trail by Alan Geoffrion - western, but takes place around 1899. A great movie was made of it.

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 10:31 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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What about Stephen Lawhead? Doesn't he write some YA? He doesn't do WWII, of course, but I think any teen boy would enjoy his books.

I just wish my own teen boy would read!! It's hard for me to believe sometimes that a child of mine could hate reading. *sob, sniffle, snort*

Oh, well, I shouldn't complain...he is reading the book "Forest Gump"! He's been reading it for about a year now and only when there is absolutely nothing else to do, but he is reading it! He's about half-way through and he should finish it in another ten years, easy. ;-)

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 8:48 AM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2005
Posts: 76
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Thank you for the suggestions!  I believe he did read the book thief and really enjoyed it.  My son is 13 and in 7th grade. 

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,634
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You may want to check out Hampton Sides. His book "Blood and Thunder" was excellent and he has another entitled  "Ghost Soldiers". I haven't read Ghost Soldiers yet, but it is a WWll account of a rescue mission in 1945.

Alan Furst writes a lot of spy novels, many around WWll. Since I don't know your son's level of reading, I can't say for sure that he would enjoy these, but you may want to look and decide for yourself.

"The Terrible Hours" by Maas is also a good one. Then there are the accounts of the USS Indianapolis in books such as" Abandon Ship" and " In Harms' Way".  "Catch-22" is in it's own category. I second Deb on this being a great book!

Lots of stuff out there, if he is interested.