She has neices aged 10 to 16 where she'd like to find better books with strong female characters in them (they don't have to be the lead) that would be appropriate for their age ranges.
Go to this post and drop her some recommendations.
I gave her seven books with my take on them:
- Abarat and Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker
- The Trixie Beldon mystery series
- Newbury Award Medal Winning-book Hoot by Carl Hiaasan
- A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle (didn't like the later books in the series)
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken along with other books in the cycle such as Blackhearts in Battersea, Nightbirds On Nantucket and so on. Aiken was still adding books to the series when she died, but I haven't read the newer ones. It looks like she was heading in a direction featuring Dido Twite investigating both natural and supernatural occurances. Here's the complete list.
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Disc World series by Terry Pratchett
Okay, technically, seven bullet points with a hell of a lot more books. Trixie alone as 30 books in her series and I've totally lost count how many Tarry Pratchett has spanning Disc World.
I've always said, if you don't like a book, than by god, point out the books that do it better. And at least half the books listed on the list above would definitely appeal to boys in that age range. Hell, in Hoot the main character is a 12-year-old boy.
So go, give her ammunition. Give her recommendations.
ETA: To correct the status of Aiken's Wolves series. I was not aware that she had died and that the series had grown quite so much and so far afield from the first three books in the series I loved when I was a kid. But, as I said, buy for the Charles Gorey covers, read for the fun.