There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
Then Libraryman - the worlds second coolest librarian (he doesn't say "oook" quite often enough to top the list) - shared this article by the novelist Michael Prescott on Rand's hero, the not at all venerable William Edward Hickman. Read it. But not while you're eating.