5 Books That Every Older Child Should Read


The following list is suited to an age group of 13 and above.  Some of these books you may not have heard of but they will certainly teach older kids some life lessons. I would definitely recommend one for Christmas!  By the way, I cannot defiantly say that there is no swearing or inappropriateness but I’m sure they hear a lot worse at school!

1.  Force of Nature, Mind body, soul (and of course surfing)  - Laird Hamilton

Health & Wellness

If you haven’t heard of this guy, he is renowned as one of the world’s greatest big wave surfers.  He also made stand-up paddle boarding cool again.  Force of Nature reflects Laird’s life journey and subsequent philosophies on peak health and fitness.  Talk about a guy who is well in touch with his body.  He is an amazing role model for all children and lays out a simple health blueprint for them to follow.  What I admire about this living legend is that he doesn’t follow the masses and despite amazing personal success, he remains very humble and grounded.


2.  A Survival Guide for Life - Bear Grylls


Most of you would have heard about this mad guy who eats just about anything.  What a lot of people don't know is that he actually broke his back very badly while he was in the British SAS.  Shortly after recovering, he went on to become the youngest Brit to climb Everest.  Today he may have become a global marketing machine but his stubbornness to never give up combined with being a true gentleman has lead to his success.  In this book, Bear shares some home truths that are often not taught at school but are critical to success in life.  Along with his devotion to his religion, he walks his talk and is a total rarity in the media today.  Behind the British charm is a doggedness that many children could learn from.


3.  Into The Wild - Christopher Johnson (Jon Krakauer)


Okay, so this book may not end on a positive but aside from not camping in an Alaskan winter, there are many lessons to be learnt.  Basically, this guy dropped everything and went on walkabout.  Without money or any resources, he made it happen and had an amazing time in the process.  Today, adventures amongst youngsters need to be planned or set aside in an expensive holiday.  The spirit of Johnson is a great reminder for youngsters that life is for living and not just to be on the rat race.  There is only one crack at life and when we look back on the whole thing, we remember the amazing moments.


4.  Wildlife Warrior - Steve Irwin (Richard Shears)


Having lived near Australia Zoo and being a huge Irwin fan, I took a lot of energy from this guy.  To some he was a lunatic Australian who wrestled crocs but to many, especially the kids, he was a real life hero.  Steve had a vision and nothing was going to stop him.  His legacy lives on today and his contribution to wildlife conservation has been matched only by a few individuals.  This book teaches kids that when passion and ability combine then success is inevitable.


5.  The Power of One (Bryce Courtney)


When everything seems a little overwhelming, taking a trip to a South African township will shed light on how many opportunities are available to you and me.  The main character in this book, Peekay, dreams of being a welterweight world champion from the age of seven.  Today, we almost beat crazy dreams out of kids.  Be realistic.  Don’t take a risk.  In Peekay’s life he goes on to achieve a heck of lot more than boxing despite the chains of racism, tribal segregation and hate.  This book opens the mind to the amazing opportunity that lies in us all.