Finding fantasy for teen guys is never easy. Like I mentioned before, the teen male brain develops differently than females. Many feel that guys tend to prefer more practical and realistic literature since that part of their brain develops more quickly during this stage. On the other side, teen girl brains tend to develop the areas more in charge of creativity and imagination more quickly.
With this being said, everyone is obviously different. Also, for a long period of time, most teen guy lit was only realistic fiction and nonfiction. The majority of it even concentrated on sports—despite the fact that not all guys like sports! Thankfully the industry and authors are starting to come around. There are plenty of fantastical dudes…like Ash Mistry from The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda.
Ash spends a large portion of his summer vacation in India where he stumbles upon a golden arrowhead like that used to defeat the evil King Ravana. Obviously, Ash assumes the item is just a cool bit of Indian culture to take back home. This assumption does not last long as he is soon becomes hunted by monstrous shapeshifters called rakshasas.
This book is amazing and is a great look into Indian mythology. Many people have been linking it (obviously) to Percy Jackson. It is quite similar in terms of bringing an ancient fantasy culture into the modern world. However, The Savage Fortress is WAY more grown-up. People seem to forget that Percy is actually just 12 years old, and the adventure is toned down for that reason. Ash Mistry is more intense though. Several deaths occur and in a rather gore-based way. The actual listing says that the reading level is fifth grade, meaning the increased story, action, and gore can be great for older YA guys who might have a lower reading level or be struggling readers. It is a win-win either way though.
Bring It to Life (BITL)!
Indian fun time party!
Pull out the kurtas and sarees! Get all dressed up in the most extravagant way. Order authentic Indian cuisine. Gather plenty of friends and have a mythology storytelling session! Each person can tell their favorite story about the Hindu gods and goddesses while everyone is beautifully dressed and chowing down.
P.S. – Bollywood flashmobs can be fun too! :-p