Books for a 13 year old (or a 30 year old!)

My friend’s daughter Kitty doesn’t read. No, let me correct that. “Playstation” could well be her middle name. It’s probably a sign of the times that this 13 year old wants an iPad to play more games but refuses to touch a book. I suggested a Kindle but she was insistent that the iPad is what she wanted!

It’s Kitty’s 13th birthday and I thought I should do my bit to get her into the reading habit. But what do I get a 13 year old? My favorite goto place when I have questions of such grave importance is Twitter. 

The crowd favorites did turn out to be Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter, Asterix and Enid Blyton’s books. Here’s a more comprehensive list: 

@TheHumerus suggested Ruskin Bond.

The ladies @fauxfleur and @pjux turned out to be fans of Roald Dahl short stories. Judy Blume too. Have no doubt about what these said short stories are as @pjux helpfully added, ‘The ones that aren’t for children.’

@Gunmaster_G9, @Gradwolf, @AtlasDanced’s choices overlapped: Gerald Durrell, Jules Verne, O Henry, Douglas Adams, Neil Gaiman, Saki, Jeffrey Archer. This whilst reminding themselves and others, “Dei! 13 yrs old normal child” and then turning around to quickly add Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat to the list. 

@Sumants’s choices threw out all notions of age with this brilliant list: Coraline. The Graveyard Book. Inkheart. The Colour of Magic. H2G2. Wodehouse. Three Men on a Boat. Stardust. Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. If you’re 13 or 30, those would be some good places to start. Pay heed!

@_logik was the lone wolf holding post for Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and his set of educated Rodents.

@Kazarelth had a point about “NO FIFTH RATE FANTASY TRASH LIKE HAPPY ROTTER OR ARTEMIS FOUL.” Ever the voice of reason @UberSchizo countered that with something about how “fifth rate beats pretentious shit anyday because pretentious kids dont sway they just topple under the weight of their own self importance.”


Their suggestions: The Hobbit, Harry Potter. Any Artemis Fowl, Alice in Wonderland, Grimms’ Fairy Tales

I know @ActuallyAisha reads and reviews quite a bit of Young Adult Literature. She suggested Emily Lockhart and added, "That’s a rec for you as well as this kid, btw. She’s a geekly delight.“ I’m not one to pass up a rec like that. I’d suggest you don’t either!

@SurajMenon sent in a list featuring Jack London, Wodehouse, Illustrated Alice in Wonderland and added a word of caution "Whatever you do, don’t give nancy boys and hardy girls!" 

@Slckrqn and @StrideWallops thought the Hungry Games Trilogy would be a treat for a 13 yo. 

Thirteen is pretty late to start reading, thirty is later still. Better late than never? @Vallath says try Percy Jackson and The Olympians. If everything fails, resort to Harold Robbins genre.

Pretty Mommy @AratiRao lists The Kane Chronicles, Percy Jackson series, & Mysterious Benedict Society. If I were you, I’d have bought these the moment she listed them.

@Wastrelette’s list read like a list from my own childhood: Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, The Naughtiest Girl, Malory Towers & St. Clare’s series (last 3 by Enid Blyton)

My personal favorite would be @kramkumar1’s suggestion of Rushdie’s Haroon and the Sea of Stories.

How could we forget Sherlock Holmes? Thanks, @Abhility for the timely reminder. 

Let me know if you have any other book to add to the list, I’d love to update this list often.


If you’re on Twitter, do yourself a favor and follow the people linked. Thank me later. :) #FF