Although he hasn't actually written a book in years and farmed out his name for all those spin off books written by others, a good chunk of my teen years were spent reading his ten million page Jack Ryan techno thrillers.
And of course, I've seen all of the movies based on his Jack Ryan books.
I loved all of his books up until Jack became President then it got weird. The books were wonderful distractions and insight into the military for a 14 year old boy. Red October and Red Storm Rising are two of my favorite books.
I still remember his 9/11 CNN interview as it was either going or the next day where they asked if he thought anything like this could happen since most of his books are based on incidents like this. He was flat out stunned and said he could not comprehend the religious nature of a person who would attempt this let alone multiple people. It was my general feeling as well and it totally caught the interview off guard. It was probably my favorite moment out of any of his interviews. RIP Good man.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
I'll second Terry Brooks' Landover series. And the first 3 Shannara books are worth a read and shouldn't be any more dangerous than Tolkien. The Prydain Chronicles might be a little light for a 13-year-old, but I loved them.