Advanced Reading Recommendations For Pre-Teens and Early Teens

I let my 11 year old start Mistborn. He’s a pretty advanced reader, so I wasn’t worried about the difficulty, just the context. So I read it first, and decided it was fine. The beginning deals a little bit with implied rape, and there’s a decent amount of violence. I talked to him a little bit about rape before he started the book (like a month before), and he didn’t really know what it was. After he read the beginning where a nobleman took a young skaa woman away in the night, I asked him why everyone was so angry about it. He said he didn’t know, but I’m not convinced he just didn’t want to talk to me about it.

Anyway, he’s 4 or 5 chapters in, and I’m enjoying talking about it with him and hearing his guesses around what’s going to happen.

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I would suggest reading Ranger’s Apprentice. A fun read and has many situations that can help spark some of these sorts of discussions.

Yeah, he’s read that entire series. I read the first one. Part of my problem is that this kid devours books. I was the same way when I was young. It’s a constant struggle to keep up with him to make sure he’s reading age appropriate stuff.

I am excited he’s starting into the world of Brandon Sanderson though. Lots of stuff to read there, though I don’t think he’s quite ready for some of the harder stuff like the Stormlight Archive.

Might also try the Recluse series by L.E.Moddisitt.

I’ll check it out, thanks! I know I have at least 1 book from that author.

In addition to the Recluse series, he also has the Imager Portfolio with several books as well. (The latter has a different sort of “magic” than the former.)

I was similar as a kid. I started reading Tom Clancy and John Grisham books around age 11 or 12… probably not the “most age appropriate” but I really enjoyed them.

YA dystopian novels are usually pretty engaging and age appropriate.
Hunger games, Divergent, Matched, Maze Runner, etc

Sanderson’s YA stuff could be good.

Harry Potter obviously.

Jack Reacher books aren’t really YA, but they are relatively clean content-wise if he likes the hero guy archetype.

Codex of Alera is a PG-13 content fantasy series if he is moving to more adult books as well. Not as complicated as Stormlight Archives.

You can also take him to the library YA section and let him choose books based on their covers. That’s what I did and it always worked out for me.

It can be surprising to realize how un-age-appropriate some books are until you re-read them 20 years later (Terry Goodkind, I’m looking at you).


Ya, his YA stuff is good. I really like the Alcatraz books, and we’re working on the Skyward book 3 right now.

I’ve read Jack Reacher but not the other one. Thanks!

I know. My wife and I both liked the Sword of Truth, but EVERY book has one sex scene. It’s not necessary and adds nothing to the plot. WHY??

Separated out content from another thread as it seems to be a useful topic in its own right (and prevent thread drift for the Sanderson Appreciation thread).

FTR, there is one book where the thread of rape is part of the storyline (don’t recall which one right off) . . . and a willing acceptance by another character to effectively be raped to protect a key character.

Plus, way too much graphic torture.
Yeah, we get it. They are Bad Guys.

I have read Hunger Games and Maze Runner with my son and found them enjoyable; so I give a recommendation for these as well.

With that, I would also recommend the Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman. I had the chance to meet Neal who was promoting the final book in the series at our local library (we’re near Po’ FWIW). He also has several other books that can also be engaging and humorous–I read The Schwa Was Here aloud to my kids . . . a very fun read!

The Book of Ember series is also an interesting read. However, I would recommend the following sequence for reading it: Book 1, 3, 2, 4. I think for a young reader, this will make book 2 more interesting to read since you have more of the “back story” as to why Ember was created in the first.

Ahhh I forgot about that whole aspect with the slave collars.

My son liked the Artemis Fowl series at that age.

I was a big Stephen King fan starting at age 13 but most is probably not in the BF approved wheelhouse but he does a pretty good stand alone YA book called “Eyes of the Dragon”.

The Dragon Lance Series might be appropriate at least from a sex stand point as I recall but it’s been decades since I read them.

Shadow and Bone series is supposed to be good, I haven’t read it but from matching the first season on Neflix I don’t recall anything age inappropriate but maybe someone who read the series could comment.

11 is probably a few years too young to appreciate the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

Percy Jackson books are all pretty appropriate as I recall. And I believe the characters are few years younger in the books than they are portrayed on screen.

The Hobbit has always been a family favorite.

He’s read artimis fowl I believe. I know he’s read Percy Jackson and all the books in that world. I’ll look into the others :+1:

Does he like anything from the real world?

Probably Hobbits.