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Age 12 is when I read To Kill a Mockingbird. And when I started enjoying mysteries--and the James Bond books, the complete Sherlock Holmes, and sci-fi (Heinlein, Arthur C Clark…). Lord of the Flies. I read some girl-centered books like Island of the Blue Dolphins. How about The Count of Monte Cristo. They weren;t aroud when I was 12, but might not be too young to get into Tony Hillerman. Josephine Tey…I'd start with The Singing Sands. Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam.

He might manage The Grapes of Wrath and some Dickens. Robert Louis Stevenson. Light in the Forest.
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