I totally concur on the science fiction point. You want high-school boys to read? Give them sf. Bill Bennett’s reading list gets partial credit for 1984, a classic of the genre. Other great works of literature that also represent the best of sf: Frankenstein, Brave New World, A Canticle for Leibowitz, and Fahrenheit 451. Also worth sharing: Childhood’s End, The Space Merchants, Starship Troopers, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, and Ender’s Game. This list is growing long, and it could grow much longer.
Not sf, but an obvious choice for the same demographic: The Lord of the Rings.