Five Fantasy and Science Fiction Authors to Share with Your Son

Five Fantasy and Science Fiction Authors to Share with Your Son — Write RightSince I wrote about books to share with one’s daughter, I felt I shouldn’t neglect the sons. I would argue, however, that the books listed here, as well as the ones found in the daughters’ post, could be read by both genders. The Keyes’ novel stands as a particular example; it entails how people with developmental disabilities are treated. In any case, here are some books for the boys.

Orson Scott Card, Pathfinder

Orson Scott Card probably claims the most fame for his Ender’s Game series, but if you want to introduce your son or daughter to the author through a different route, consider using the Pathfinder trilogy. It encompasses many of the themes found in Ender’s Game through Pathfinder protagonist Rigg. The series’ use of time travel could make your head hurt, particularly once Rigg discovers he possesses more than an ability to see people’s past “paths”: He also claims the ability to change them.

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Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book retells The Jungle Book, albeit with a more ethereal cast and crew. Nobody “Bod” Owens, the protagonist, grows up in a graveyard, spending most of his days talking with spectres. When he leaves the graveyard to see the living world, he, like Mowgli, begins to yearn for a different life. Bod must ultimately overcome the adversary who spawned his arrival in the graveyard, as well as decide whether to leave his home and the ghosts he knows. The book blurb calls this novel “a glorious meditation on love, loss, survival, and sacrifice,” and it is that and then some. If you enjoy The Graveyard Book and its “borderlands” guards, check out Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It, too, is an excellent book to read with your son or daughter.

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Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

Daniel Keyes’ novel endures because it raises a question every person faces, no matter the year: “Just because we can do something, should we do it?” Charlie Gordon, protagonist, acts as the center point of the book. He undergoes an experimental procedure to increase his intelligence from an IQ of sixty-eight. The process works, but Charlie discovers his newfound “smarts” are temporary. The book follows Charlie’s original state, rise, and fall via a first-person narrator, making the story that much more powerful. I suggest reading the book prior to your kid reading it so that you can work through the issues and questions it raises together.

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Taran Matharu, Summoner

The Summoner trilogy concerns Fletcher, a boy who believes he is nothing more than a blacksmith’s apprentice. He discovers he may be made for more when he summons his first demon, a salamander. Fletcher, like Kel in Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small, defends the weak—in Fletcher’s case, the “weak” entail dwarves, elves, orcs, and goblins. The three books are fast-paced, but they offer a chance to talk about social justice and racial inequality with your kids.

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Brandon Sanderson, Reckoners

The Reckoners series, like all of Brandon Sanderson’s work, belongs to his vast universe in which people possess a variety of abilities according to the planet on which they live. The Reckoners trilogy takes place on planet Earth. Its protagonist, David Charleston, wants revenge on Steelheart, the man responsible for his father’s death. David exacts it. However, he ultimately comes to understand redemption and forgiveness are worthier pursuits than revenge. The three books gear toward a young adult audience, which may be why they aren’t some of my favorite books even though Sanderson is a favorite author. I personally find more satisfaction with The Rithmatist. It caters younger, too, but without the teenage “lingo” that drove me a little crazy in Reckoners.

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Looking for other books for your son? Ask me for recommendations in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do.

Image: Tim Pierce (Creative Commons)