some of the best answers, below, to the question “What is a book that you would recommend to a teenage boy/girl?”
1. “If that boy was thirteen, I would recommend The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon. It’s about Michael Collins, the third astronaut on the Apollo 11 space mission. He’s the one who was left in the capsule all alone while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Armstrong had a walk on the moon. It’s presented as a sort of scrap book and has loads of incredible facts e.g. “Together the astronauts bring: 15 packs of chewing gum, audiotapes with songs that have the word ‘moon’ in the lyrics and with taped sounds from earth: jungle noises, trains, dogs barking.””
2. ” Same book. “After 8 days, 3 hours, and 18 minutes in Columbia without washing, the entire body itches. It is hard to breathe in the spacecraft now. It smells like wet dogs and rotten swamp.””
3. (For a teenage boy): “This is difficult. Maybe some of those terrifying Shirley Jackson short stories. I don’t know why, anything that creates a healthy confusion but doesn’t bring on an existential crisis would be fine.”
4. “An actual teenage boy or aspirant, “intellectual” male teen? For an actual teenage boy – on the young side (13-15) – I’d recommend the perks of being a wallflower or this book I can’t remember about a teenager growing up in Oakland who has terrible parents and meets this perfect girl at a trailer park vacation spot and there’s lots of teen sex. I wish I could remember the name. A youth on the run? A youth in revolt?
For a 14/15 year old nerd – maybe slaughterhouse 5 or something (that’s what I read at that age – and I wasn’t even a boy).
15-18 – either very alienating stuff like the stranger or bromance stuff like on the road. But honestly I wouldn’t really recommend either, as like a gift to society. I don’t think the world needs 16 year old alienated, mysoginistic atheists.
A responsible recommendation – a sentimental education by Flaubert; a heartbreaking work of staggering genius; the Rachel papers.”
5. (Teenage boy) “The Art of Fielding”
6. “The Art of Fielding”
6. “Maybe The Art of Fielding, because sports and having a crush on Pella”