My sister and her daughter are not what I would call 'Readers'. My sister loves those true story weepies about children with terrible lives who grow up and cash in on the cash cow that is 'my childhood was terrible and now I'm an author' genre. OK I'm harsh I know, they really did have terrible childhoods, and sharing their story of triumph over adversity can be really uplifting. Sadly I can't read them as I find them far too distressing, and now they're everywhere and it's become rather cliched.
I have been trying to tempt my sister into the glorious and limitless world of fiction, but so far to no avail (she's a newlywed now, so you know she's pretty occupied in the evenings). I could have done 10 books each in the end, but I decided to limit myself to two groups of 5, though some of these could work for both of them. By the way, my sister is 36, and my niece is 13.
I got her reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, she has a copy of all the books in the series and if she could put her new husband down for a while I think she'd really be enjoying them!
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. she liked this at school and when I said I'd reread it and it was better the second time around reading it as an adult, she said she'd like to reread it. I bought her a copy as a gift, but that was 2 years ago and she still hasn't started it.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I recommend this to everyone, it's astonishingly brilliant, and I think it speaks to everyone young and old. My sister doesn't read my blog so I think I'm safe to say I will be buying her a copy for Christmas this year. It's also a recommendation for my niece too.
The Lies of Lock Lamora by Scott Lynch. In Locke's own words; "it's so much fucking fun!". EVERYONE should read this!! It's not for kids though, so my niece will not get a copy til she's 16 at least!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I think this would be right up my sisters street. It has something of that 'real life - hard life' about it, it's well written and is a fairly easy read for someone not into reading.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente. Wonderful, heartwarming and beautifully written. I think it works on so many levels, this is one that I would recommend for my sister as well as my niece. I feel another Christmas purchase coming on.
Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais Recommended by the lovely Helen at Fennell Books it sounds like great fun, a way to get my niece into mystery books. Despite recommending The Master and Margarita a while back I still value her recommendations highly. This one sounds great!
Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I saw the film first, and then realised it was a book (shock horror I'd never heard of Gaiman before the Stardust film). The film was great, and the book better. Lots of fun and high jinks to keep a young teen entertained.
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. These are great fun, easy to read, a little educational too. I know she enjoyed the film, and it's nice to see some strong female characters.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. A classic, fun for all, lots of action and drama and dragons. What's not to love!?
Honorary mention to the Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. I'd love to recommend these as well, though it would cost me too much to get her into these, unless I can treat my niece to the wonders of the library.