Summer is a perfect time to reconnect intellectually with your kids. I bet you didn't think connecting intellectually with teenagers was even possible - much less 'reconnecting'. It's true, the last time I had a remotely intellectual conversation with my son was when he was six. He told me he was having a hard time sleeping because he couldn't stop thinking about infinity. That was cool! That was so long ago!
Then last summer, my brother-in-law recommended that I read Holes by Louis Sachar.
Holes is about a boy sent to a juvenial detention camp for a crime he did not commit. While there he is forced to dig holes every day, apparently because the warden is searching for something. Reading this in the heat of the summer really helps set the mood. I loved it! I gave it to my son. He loved it! We discussed it. We actually spoke to each other about something that was not related to household chores and no there was no yelling or sarcasm. This was very promising.
The next book we read was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
This science fiction book is about a boy sent to Battle School, where he learns how to fight insectoid aliens called "Buggers" This book ties really well into the whole video game experience, something I thought my son would find engaging. I loved this book. He loved this book. More conversation ensued.
From there we went on to Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas.
One thing my son and I do share is a similar sense of humor. This book was funny - and about a fry cook who sees dead people. Odd Thomas has vivid characters, a great, fast-paced story and I found it to be very sweet and charming (I didn't mention that part to my son). We both enjoyed it and eagerly looked forward to the next installments of this story (four in all and one graphic novel).
A summer of reading well spent. He's still a teen-aged boy and still has all the unpleasantness that goes along with it and I'm still a middle-aged Mom and I still have all the unpleasantness that goes along with that - but it's nice to know we can find things that we can enjoy talking about.
By the way - as a girl, I can tell you that these books are great for girls as well. Enjoy!