Need a book for a teenage boy? Maybe he’s a reluctant reader, or just a guy who doesn’t like fantasy or dystopia? Look no further. These three books are each unique, realistic, and well-written reads for guys. All three offer compelling looks at functioning families, and particularly the relationship between brothers and/or friends, but these aren’t sentimental books. Instead they are well-paced, high-interest reads.
Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon
Tate and his crew dominate the skating scene in Spokane, where they hang out at the skatepark under the bridge. But they live close to the seedier elements of the city, and there are things under the bridge even more dangerous than their stunts. When Tate’s younger brother, Indy, gets caught up with a ruthless drug dealer, Tate is determined to save him, their crew, and their family. The skating scenes steal the show here, but the well-drawn characters and compelling family dynamics make this a thought-provoking read.
Pieces by Chris Lynch
When Eric’s brother dies in an accident, the family donates his organs. A year later, still grieving and unsure what to do with the rest of his life, Eric decides to meet the donor recipients. The novel is short, but not too sweet. The memorable cast of quirky characters, a likable flawed protagonist, and lots of dry humor, make this grief novel a great read.
Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian
Tom has everything a high school senior could want: he’s a soccer star, he dates the hottest girl in school, and is ranked third in his class. When his small Maine town becomes a secondary settlement for Somalian refugees, Tom’s world shifts. With some new Somalian players his team has a chance to make the playoffs, but not everyone is pleased with the influx of refugees. Tom finds himself in the midst of cultural clashes and racial tension. A thoughtful realistic portrait of a guy trying to make sense of the world around him.
Under the Bridge by Michael Harmon; Knopf; $16.99
Pieces by Chris Lynch; Simon & Shuster; $16.99
Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian; Knopf; $16.99