I must admit, I prefer a good old fantasy novel over most futuristic novels. I guess I am drawn to mystery and love the idea that there might be other worlds working in concert with ours. The one possible exception is Gates to Women's Country by Sheri Tepper. If you are looking for a read for yourself this summer you should give it a try. As for your young readers, whether they are drawn to futuristic dystopian reads like The Hunger Games or are more likely to reach for Harry Potter, they should give Scott Westerfeld a try.
I just finished reading his novel the Uglies and it would be good for The Hunger Games lovers. Tally isn't immediately heroic, like Katnis, but she does grow on you in short order. She is bright and intelligent and eventually even admirable. This book addresses the "beauty" issues and effectively makes the point that, finally, beauty is about who you are not how you look. There are five books in the series.
If you've got a fantasy kid on your hands, they should try the Midnighters trilogy The first novel is called the Secret Hours. In it, 15 year old Jessica Day moves to Bixby, Oklahoma and discovers a new world or at least a new hour. Come to find out there are really 25 hours in a day and those people born at midnight, who are living in Bixby, get to participate in it while the rest of the world is fixed. As you can imagine, if strange things come out at night, even stranger things lurk in the special hour. I am about to start the next book in the series after I finish my reread of The Great Gatsby, and I will keep you updated on Jessica's adventures.
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