I have the wonderful/difficult task of picking out my 16 year-old son's required reading for his last two years of high school (he'll be completing high school at home with me, while also working part time). I was all excited about this until he confessed that he doesn't like reading: it's too boring.
That was depressing.
This is the boy who knew the names and sounds of letters at 18 months and was reading by 3 because he had in insatiable curiosity and drive. By 2nd grade, he started coming home from school each day sapped of life and energy, and no amount of intervention & alternate schooling has been able to rekindle his love of reading and thirst for knowledge.
Now that I've got everyone depressed, let's move on to happier topics: picking books and making book lists. As I mentioned about a gazillion years ago, my ideas about required high school reading have evolved, but basically I want to show him the possibilities, giving him a taste of what else is out there. I want him to see the approachable side of quality literature, and most of all? Enjoy himself.
He's read multiple Shakespeare plays already, so the bard is out. He liked All Quiet on the Western Front, said that To Kill a Mockingbird was fine. I'd like to move him into more modern literature, perhaps, and definitely a short story unit. His current interests? He's a musician and a surfer who loves anime and video games. If he reads a whole book, he likes fantasy. We will be doing some formal writing, but I'd like to keep literature analysis on the informal side. He's not planning on jumping straight into a four-year school, so I'm more concerned with the experience than how it will look to colleges.
Got it? Now it's your turn. Who would you suggest that would spark an interest in literature? Murakami? Vonnegut? Any ideas?