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Fridays Featuring Flintridge – Boys Like Hunger Games, Too!

“WHY do more than 50% of boys surveyed consider themselves to be “non-readers” by the time they get in to high school? And why do boys entering high school in grade 9 typically lag behind girls by 3 to 4 grade levels in reading and writing? It didn’t used to be like this, and we can’t blame TV and video games.” —–Andrew Smith

Once again in our ongoing Fridays Featuring Flintridge column, Catherine Linka of Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse in La Canada, California weighs in on what she believes are some other surefire hits for fans of HUNGER GAMES. For more about Catherine, please visit About Our Reviewers page.

HUNGER GAMES has lit a fire under a lot of young readers who hunger for high-stakes excitement. Many twelve and thirteen year-old boys abandon reading, because it doesn’t interest them anymore. Books that offer the excitement of TV or video games, BUT that introduce ethical questions and consequences can get reluctant readers to keep going through the story.



DIVERGENT and INSURGENT by Veronica Roth ($17.99 Hardcover; $9.99 Paperback, HarperTeen)

A huge hit with both guys and girls in my Teen Advance Readers club. DIVERGENT is now in paper and INSURGENT has just been released. An intriguing, futuristic culture where personality tests determine your clan and role in society. Romance, martial arts, war and betrayal. Very fast-paced. (12+)

STARTERS by Lissa Price ($17.99 Hardcover; $9.99 Trade Paperback, Random House)

My favorite of 2012. In this cinematic, futuristic novel, a young girl accepts a well-paying job–to rent her body to an older woman to have fun while her mind is dormant. But it turns out the woman intends to use her body to assassinate someone. How cool is that?! (12+)

LEGEND by Marie Lu ($17.99, Putnam Juvenile)

My favorite of 2011. Sequel PRODIGY  due in January. A twist on Les Mis where a boy who is enemy number one is tracked by a girl who is a brilliant, highly-trained and  relentless pursuer who thinks he killed her brother. Lots of action! Guys and girls love it. (12+)

THE ROAR by Emma Clayton ($ 12.59 Hardcover; $6.29 Paperback, Scholastic)

Finally, finally, finally in paperback. For a younger reader than ENDER’S GAME. A boy who’s very talented at gaming thinks he’s training to become a better player when in reality he’s being trained to go to war. The sequel is just released. Very exciting. (10+)

MORTAL ENGINES by Phillip Reeve ($9.99 Paperback, Scholastic) 

Finally, finally released in paperback this month. Four book series for 10+. The final book won the LA Times Prize for Children’s Books. The coolest concept ever: cities on tractor treads chase other cities, catch them and dismantle them –municipal Darwinism. In this book the historians are the heroes. Lots of action! (11+)


For teens or adults– thought provoking. I could definitely see an adult book club
discussing the ethical questions it poses. A young girl awakes from a yearlong coma and discovers that
her biotech father may have gone too far to keep her alive after a car crash.  (13+)

Please visit the Flintridge Bookstore today to pick up your copy of these great books, buy gifts, enjoy their extensive selection of other great reads  and relax over a great cup of coffee.  Also visit the website at to keep up-to-date with story times author events and other exciting special events.

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