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#169136 - 05/24/19 08:39 AM Top 5 books for 12-years old boy
Kerr_Avon Offline
member


Registered: 05/24/19
Posts: 1
Loc: The Netherlands
My older son is 12 years old. Can you please recommend 5 books which are both formative and appropriate for his age?

He's an addicted obsessive reader, his level of intelligence and self-awareness I find remarkable, but I cannot pull him out of the age-appropriate hi-carb "random fun facts" pulp he's feeding himself with.

Thank you very much.
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There is no red pill.

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#169137 - 05/24/19 11:25 AM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Kerr_Avon]
Enright Online   content
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Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3556
Loc: CA
The World of Null-A was a pulp science fiction book that changed my life at 17 because it led me to read another, much more difficult book with enthusiasm, Science and Sanity, which Russell Meyers, a noted neurologist of the 20th Century once described as "far and away the most profound, insightful, and globally significant book I have ever read." If your son should read such a book at a young age, even if not understanding sections of it, there is no telling how far he could go. But start him off with The World of Null-A, a fun book.

Russell Meyers' education and career is described here:

http://www.societyns.org/society/bio.aspx?MemberID=17822

ETA: This is completely off your topic but if I had a son of 12, I would strongly warn him against ever smoking marijuana, to stay away from it. Marijuana smokers are eight times more likely to get schizophrenia, a devastating disease that strikes in the late teens, around 18 or 19. Marijuana smoking is also as predictive of anger and violence in time as cigarette smoking is of lung cancer. However, it's good for lopping off some points from your IQ, so there's that.


Edited by Enright (05/24/19 12:35 PM)
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Jim

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#169142 - 05/26/19 04:51 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Enright]
Deianus Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Finland
"Un Lun Dun" and "Railsea" by China Mieville, "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman, perhaps "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson and "Fires of Eden", by our esteemed host. I imagine those could be cool, for a smart kid.
As an irrelevant propagandist sidenote; any parent wishing for their child to do drugs, should tell them not to. Works incredibly well. Nearly everyone who does drugs, were told by adults not to do it.
_________________________
The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.

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#169147 - 05/27/19 05:13 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Kerr_Avon]
AuntJobiska Offline
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Registered: 05/02/17
Posts: 157
Loc: USA
 Originally Posted By: Kerr_Avon
My older son is 12 years old. Can you please recommend 5 books which are both formative and appropriate for his age?

He's an addicted obsessive reader, his level of intelligence and self-awareness I find remarkable, but I cannot pull him out of the age-appropriate hi-carb "random fun facts" pulp he's feeding himself with.

Thank you very much.


What a wonderful question, and what a fine father you are! Bravo!

I would not presume to offer the list you asked for. After all, a dedicated parent knows his or her child better than anyone.

I will offer my humble (and likely wrong) interpretation of your question, in the event an outsider might offer a perspective one so close might miss, even while knowing the answer (that trees-forest thing). Do feel free to dismiss my musings as the mere musings of an outsider. No hard feelings on my part, for sure!

You wrote your son is only interested in "random fun facts" type reading at present.

Ah,twelve is quite a wonderful and fearsome age, when what they call the "observing ego" begins to emerge. It's that pesky thing we adults have grown used to, that self-conscious part of us that observes ourselves as if in a movie, that thing which spells the end of the delightful un-self-conscious spontaneity of childhood. (Should any word be allowed more than one hyphen? I think not, but there it is.) It is also the age when winning the admiration of peers begins to assume prime importance, along with joining an admired group of peers, a sort of little tribe, becomes a paramount goal. At that age, it feels like one's very survival depends upon being accepted into that little tribe.

Could it be that his interest in "random facts" is a scattershot attempt at understanding the outside world better, while at the same time impressing peers? I don't know, but perhaps you do.

So, what we have here, if I understand your post aright, is a father's concern about his young fellow's turning to the outside world as "random facts" rather than constructing a coherent understanding of the world backed by fact, and more particularly perhaps lacking an inner coherence that will serve him better in his discovery of and attempts to find coherence in in the outside world. (In other words, as,a wise father, you recognize be will do far better at making sense of the outside world if he first has a coherent and well-defined sense of self.). Or maybe I am reading you wrong. Anyway, we all know a stable and coherent sense of self is necessary to making coherent sense of the world and living a good and rewarding g life based on sound and sensible principles, all depending on the ability to rightly judge and make sense of whatever comes one's way.

In my experience, kids are intensely interested in "who am I?" and "How did I get to be who I am?" from a very early age. And they naturally look to their biological parents to help answer those questions. They want to hear about what you did as a kid, how you handled perplexing (to a kid) situations, how you met Mom, who you are and how you came to be who you are.

Perhaps your son already has such a stable and coherent understanding of self that he is ready to turn to attempting to understand the outside world, but is doing so in a scattershot "random" way that rightly has you worried. Or maybe you sense that he would take a more coherent approach to discovering and understanding the outside world if he had a more coherent sense of self (the inner world directs how one compiles and makes sense of the various "random facts" of the outer world).

Oh dear, I am getting tiresome!

So. If your sense is that your son needs a stronger and more grounded sense of self, I offer the following suggestions.

1. What did you read at his age? He may very well be eager to read the books you read, whether he admits it outright or not. You might be surprised! I am dead serious! And I encourage you to discuss those books. You will both be rewarded in so many ways.

2. If you think he needs or might be interested in a surer sense of self and history (after all, we humans tend to make sense of things best when we can put them into story form), look into a family genealogy project. In my experience, kids eat this up with a spoon in the most surprising ways. I think it is connected with their craving a deeper sense of self and understanding who they are how they came to be who they are and who they might be in future.

A kid can become super curious about history upon learning an ancestor (one who contributed to "who they are") lived in a certain place at a certain time. They love and crave to visit those places and learn about those times .... because they rightly have an innate sense those people and places and times helped shape who they are. They become avid little researchers who demand to be taken to the library and will become little detectives leaving no stone left unturned. They see it as a great adventure of dscovery, not only into other time and places, but into the heart of themselves, really.

3. The books your son reads over the next few years will have a profound lifelong influence on his life and how he lives it. What is it you want to gift to your son? what values and lessons do you wish to instill in him and his children and theirs? What do do consider most important for living a good and noble life? Then find those books.

4. A father's influence on his son begins at birth and lasts a lifetime. In, again, my humble experiemce, the importance of a father's guidance is crucially important between the ages of 12 and 14. I cannot understate this.

5. What "random facts" fascinate him most? Whether it involves doing home scientific experiments, going on a camping trip to test out some of them, whatever, give him a chance to try out his new-found knowledge and "facts" in the real world in your company. These will be moments that will stick with him for life.

okay, there it is. For better or worse, my five suggestions, none of them books.

Best wishes to you and your son!

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#169148 - 05/28/19 01:08 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Deianus]
Enright Online   content
Super User


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3556
Loc: CA
 Originally Posted By: Deianus
"Un Lun Dun" and "Railsea" by China Mieville, "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Philip Pullman, perhaps "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson and "Fires of Eden", by our esteemed host. I imagine those could be cool, for a smart kid.
As an irrelevant propagandist sidenote; any parent wishing for their child to do drugs, should tell them not to. Works incredibly well. Nearly everyone who does drugs, were told by adults not to do it.


Do you have a link? It is also quite possible that nearly everyone who doesn't do drugs were advised at some point by an adult not to do them. I remember my father, who repeatedly warned me away from cigarette smoking. I never became a smoker.
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Jim

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#169151 - 05/29/19 08:24 AM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Enright]
Deianus Offline
member


Registered: 08/17/18
Posts: 18
Loc: Finland
Perhaps drugs should be under "Hot Button Issues", but Ididn't start it myself so...

Yeah, afterwards I started thinking, in middleschool, all teenagers were told not to do drugs, so that includes everyone who never did any. However I think those kids who had a moral or religious reasons, either learned from parents, or as an individual choice, probably weren't affected either way, by anti - drug propaganda. Other kids said "well I'm gonna do drugs now, since these clueless adults are telling me not to". It's also likely they would've done drugs in any case. I was neither really; when my friends had amphetamine, I declined, when they had weed, I partook.
_________________________
The mind commands the body and it obeys. The mind orders itself and meets resistance.

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#169159 - 05/31/19 04:33 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Deianus]
Rabbit100 Offline
member


Registered: 04/01/19
Posts: 5
Loc: Western Cape
I could easily recommend four books by our favourite author:


Black Hills
The Crook Factory
The Fifth Heart
Phases of Gravity

All of these are great for people interested in history with a brilliant story thread. None are too intimidating in length.

Great insight into American History and famous real life characters make fantastic appearances.

I speak under correction but I don't recall any excessive adult only content either.

I put Phases of Gravity last since I feel it had more of an impact with me since it revolves around an older protagonist (and god did that book have an impact). Might not have the same effect with a youngster just starting his life.....but only good things could come from him reading it, and it is a very quick read.

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#169160 - 06/01/19 01:33 AM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Rabbit100]
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5663

I may be remembering this particular part wrong, but I don't know that I would recommend BLACK HILLS to a twelve-year old. There's a section in there about Custer and his wife that I wouldn't want my twelve-year old to read. I would wait a little bit on that one, unless you're okay with your twelve-year old's maturity when it comes to depictions of sex. If I am misremembering that particular section, Dan can correct me.

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#169163 - 06/01/19 02:49 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: jmill]
Shrike1 Online   content
veteran


Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1316
Loc: Greenville, NC
 Originally Posted By: jmill

I may be remembering this particular part wrong, but I don't know that I would recommend BLACK HILLS to a twelve-year old. There's a section in there about Custer and his wife that I wouldn't want my twelve-year old to read. I would wait a little bit on that one, unless you're okay with your twelve-year old's maturity when it comes to depictions of sex. If I am misremembering that particular section, Dan can correct me.


No, you are remembering correctly. And even though some 12-year-olds could probably handle it I would recommend waiting on that one as well for your son.

Greg
_________________________
Words can't define what I feel inside
Who needs them? -- Smashing Pumpkins "GEEK U.S.A."

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#169164 - 06/01/19 10:29 PM Re: Top 5 books for 12-years old boy [Re: Shrike1]
jmill Online   content
Full Shrike


Registered: 04/01/06
Posts: 5663

Well what do you know, we actually agreed on something! \:\)

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