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Old 11-24-2011, 02:57 PM   #1
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Teen military fiction?

Hello Folks.

I have been lurking for some time and really enjoying the site so I thought I might see if anyone has any ideas for me. I am trying to encourage my son to read more. At the moment even a 1:10 reading to video game ratio would be an improvement. He does quite enjoy Military fiction ranging from WW II to present. He also really enjoyed a couple non fiction accounts written by young soldiers of their experiences during WW II so non fiction is not out of the question. Right now he is starting a series Andy McNab has for young adults so I suppose recommendations along those lines would be what I am looking for.

Anyone have any similar age kids or tastes?
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Chris Ryan has the 'Alpha Force' and 'Agent 21' series, I haven't read any of the Alpha Force books, but Agent 21 was quite good. 'Department 19' by Will Hill is a book popular with teens about a secret military organization fighting vampires.

There are a lot of books and graphic novels based on popular video games out there - I haven't read any of them myself so can't vouch for their quality, but maybe some of them would interest your son if he is in to gaming?
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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Maybe you could get him started on video game spinoff series? The HALO books by Tobias Buckell are quite popular.

(Come to think of it, Tobias Buckell's Carribean Steampunk series might also be of interest. Lots of action and cool fight scenes. The first book is Crystal Rain.)

You might also try Star Wars books, starting with Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Hello Folks.
I have been lurking for some time and really enjoying the site so I thought I might see if anyone has any ideas for me. I am trying to encourage my son to read more. At the moment even a 1:10 reading to video game ratio would be an improvement. He does quite enjoy Military fiction ranging from WW II to present. He also really enjoyed a couple non fiction accounts written by young soldiers of their experiences during WW II so non fiction is not out of the question. Right now he is starting a series Andy McNab has for young adults so I suppose recommendations along those lines would be what I am looking for.
Anyone have any similar age kids or tastes?

Perlease.... I'm sorry, but how old is he ? I'm afraid you don't give a hint.

No chance of perhaps expanding the range of his reading ? What has formed his inclinations so far ?
I'm not trying to preach here, and I'd be interested in the age - 'cos that would help - for example, do all his peers follow the same course?

It's the 1;10 ratio that's sad - has his school any awareness of this, surely they must have some sort of a reading plan in place.
Or is it perhaps the school/Shakespeare syndrome - get told it's wonderful enough times and you'll never touch it again...
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #5
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If you want to try him on Sci Fi Military stories try Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein.
Not an ebook but Proud Legions by John Antal.
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YA-A contemporary techno-thriller that departs from the usual format. Instead of the heroes being pilots of cutting-edge aircraft, the characters are soldiers of an American tank battalion in South Korea. The story begins when rogue elements of the North Korean Army stage a coup d'?tat. Faced with a failed economy, the new regime decides to make a lightning military strike into South Korea with the hope of solving its financial woes. After some spectacular initial successes, the North Koreans are on the verge of capturing Seoul. The only unit standing between them and victory is an American tank battalion, equipped with M1A2 Abrams tanks. What follows is a tense, fast-paced story that draws readers into the unit's fight for survival. The author served as the commanding officer of such a battalion and thus writes with authority about the weapons, tactics, and terrain that are so pivotal to the story. Although the book contains much technical data and military jargon, Antal does a good job of explaining the terms. This book will appeal to fans of Tom Clancy and Harold Coyle.
Historical try Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Dick Winters with Cole C. Kingseed. This man was a true Hero in every sense of the word.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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Lois McMaster Bujold's "The Warrior's Apprentice" springs to mind (it's also available in the omnibus "Young Miles"). It's Science Fiction military fiction with a teenage protagonist.

Dudley Pope's "Convoy" and "Decoy" are WWII fiction set on navy vessels. You might want to flick through Convoy yourself to confirm it's age-appropriate. I don't remember it as being a bodice-ripper but YMMV...

Rafael Sabatini's "Captain Blood" is a fun pirate adventure.


Does your son like comics? If so, I recommend "Hellboy".
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:09 PM   #7
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Maybe you could get him started on video game spinoff series? The HALO books by Tobias Buckell are quite popular.

(Come to think of it, Tobias Buckell's Carribean Steampunk series might also be of interest. Lots of action and cool fight scenes. The first book is Crystal Rain.)

You might also try Star Wars books, starting with Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.
i'll 2nd the Halo books, they're really good. they contain typical sci-fi video game shenanigans, no hardcore gore or language.theres probably a series or book for many video games he likes.

classics like Starship Troopers or The Forever War may be good bets as well.

or theres something like Keith Laumer's Bolos series about sentient tanks engaging in war throughout the universe. They're compilations of short stories so its not a drag or chore for someone who doesn't read much.

Larry Nivens Man-Kzin Wars may also be worth checking out. same deal as Bolos ie compilations of short stories.

Last edited by xg4bx; 11-24-2011 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:32 AM   #8
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It's the 1;10 ratio that's sad - has his school any awareness of this, surely they must have some sort of a reading plan in place.
My apologies, but I feel compelled to contest the implied criticism towards the school and the parents in this statement.

There are a lot of reasons why a teenager might prefer video games to reading, and not all of them have anything to do with parenting or teaching styles. Children with sensory processing disorders, dyslexia, high-functioning autism or an auditory learning style, for example, all find it difficult to concentrate on written words. Video games provide a medium to engage with stories on terms that are less strenuous.

(Ok, I'm backing down off my soapbox now. Sorry. This just happens to be a hot-topic for me.)
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:23 AM   #9
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My apologies, but I feel compelled to contest the implied criticism towards the school and the parents in this statement.
There are a lot of reasons why a teenager might prefer video games to reading, and not all of them have anything to do with parenting or teaching styles. Children with sensory processing disorders, dyslexia, high-functioning autism or an auditory learning style, for example, all find it difficult to concentrate on written words. Video games provide a medium to engage with stories on terms that are less strenuous.
(Ok, I'm backing down off my soapbox now. Sorry. This just happens to be a hot-topic for me.)
No, the soapbox is the place to be !

(I'm an ex-teacher, so.......)

Sorry if it came across that way, Nancy - I really did want to know if the school did in fact have a policy in hand, were aware of this case, and in general, if it was a common trait. It is, sadly, not a given, but it should be.
I also wanted to have an idea of the age group, which 1Ebbokfan omitted, as recommending without having an idea of that, UI felt would be a tricky thing to do sensibly. And the question of peer activity is also an important consideration.

And obviously, if there were other factors as you detail, this is really not the right place to offer suggestions from a position of ignorance of them.
I also do not think, anyway, it is the right place for 1Ebookfan to seek suggestions he/she might act on if that were the case.
"Distance" learning is difficult at the best of times, but without at least having a reasonable idea of the individual situation, far harder.

Children do latch-on to games, videos and TV at ever earlier ages, and most wean themselves off at various age and developmental stages. A host of factors apply, the usual - school, home, peer pressure, girls/boys, hobbies, parental habits, advertising, sport - endless really.
There is a school of thought that believes any reading, with certain caveats, is better than none, and the school or 1Ebookfan may ascribe to this policy. I'm not too convinced, frankly, as the influence of the caveats can be crucial in the outcomes.
And I feel it can lead to such policies becoming too "child-led".

But I do make my questions and comments as a parent who has dealt with the "teaching" of reading, and seems to have come through our own games/video v reading benchmark without too much angst !

And there is a corner of a bedroom in our house where there moulders a fairly impressive pile of DVD's, games, PS2/3s, Nintendos etc...
And we're still not too sure if it was anything we did or not !

Mind you, the guitars, amps, and fencing equipment , as well as what was once "my" PRS350, have gone travelling along with the now occasional occupant, so things could have turned out worse I suppose....
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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I'm not sure how I omitted the most obvious fact but he is 14. He doesn't have any disorders or anything and I am likely exaggerating the 1:10 ratio. I just remember books really sparking my imagination at that age and I would love to see some of the same with him. It is such a different world now with anything you might be curious about only a Google search away.

Probably unlike a lot of parents, I don't see the video games as a complete waste of time as I play quite a few of the same ones myself now and then. They require far more thought and attention than TV for instance. It is definitely the group culture with all of his friends.

I really appreciate the EXCELLENT suggestions from everyone. (Don't know how I didn't think about Starship Troopers as I read that first at a similar age) He does really like the HALO games so I think that might be a great place to start too. I will look into some of the historical suggestions too. I watched Band of Brothers with him and got him the book after, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn't agree more that Dick Winters was an amazing and inspiring man.
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Old 11-25-2011, 01:55 PM   #11
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I'd agree with Starship Troopers and maybe add in The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. As well the W.E.B Griffin books from the Corp series might be an interesting read.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:34 PM   #12
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I'd agree with Starship Troopers and maybe add in The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. As well the W.E.B Griffin books from the Corp series might be an interesting read.
I forgot about The Corp by WEB Griffin. I agree that the 10 books in the series are good reads.
D Day by Stephen Ambrose
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On the basis of 1,400 oral histories from the men who were there, bestselling author and World War II historian Stephen E. Ambrose reveals for the first time anywhere that the intricate plan for the invasion of France in June 1944 had to be abandoned before the first shot was fired. The true story of D-Day, as Ambrose relates it, is about the citizen soldiers - junior officers and enlisted men - taking the initiative to act on their own to break through Hitler's Atlantic Wall when they realised that nothing was as they had been told it would be. D-DAY is the brilliant, no holds barred, telling of the battles of Omaha and Utah beaches. Ambrose relives the epic victory of democracy on the most important day of the twentieth century.
Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany by Stephen Ambrose.
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In this riveting account, historian Stephen Ambrose continues where he left off in his #1 bestseller D-Day. Ambrose again follows the individual characters of this noble, brutal, and tragic war, from the high command down to the ordinary soldier, drawing on hundreds of interviews to re-create the war experience with startling clarity and immediacy. From the hedgerows of Normandy to the overrunning of Germany, Ambrose tells the real story of World War II from the perspective of the men and women who fought it.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:49 PM   #13
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I have not read this yet, myself, but I bought the first book in a new series for my eldest and he really liked it. The book is suggested for middle school and up.

The series is called:Vietnam. It is about four friends who agreed that if one got drafted they all would enlist. I believe each book is dedicated to one of the friends. The first book is called I Pledge Allegiance.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:19 PM   #14
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Not exactly military, but what about Ender's Game?

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Old 11-29-2011, 03:09 AM   #15
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I'm not sure how I omitted the most obvious fact but he is 14. He doesn't have any disorders or anything and I am likely exaggerating the 1:10 ratio. I just remember books really sparking my imagination at that age and I would love to see some of the same with him. It is such a different world now with anything you might be curious about only a Google search away.........................
I so agree - that screen and it's amazing capabilities has changed things forever.

'Till the apocalypse, of course.

Then we'll all be back to popping into the library again ........
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