Earlier this week we shared a summer reading list for adults. In this post, we’re sharing both fiction and non-fiction recommendations for preteens and teens. These books are great reads that will expand your teen’s imagination, help them to know and love God better, or just simply distract them on a rainy summer afternoon.
The Green Ember series
This middle-grade fiction series is about extraordinary rabbits who are living ordinary lives until one day they are dragged into a series of events that is much bigger than them. They embark on an adventure that will transform them.
The Chronicles of Narnia
This classic set of 7 volumes written by the great C.S.Lewis is a perfect addition to a summer reading list! Both pre-teens and teens will enjoy the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy (+ others) in the world of Narnia.
Tyrants and Traitors
The author, Joshua McHenry Miller, is a former Madison pastor who just recently moved to Austin.
From the publisher: “Find the traitor hiding within Israel,” the seer warns Niklas, “or our nation will be enslaved and your hometown slaughtered.” So, no pressure. Niklas, a fifteen-year-old shepherd, spent his whole life dreaming of revolt against the hygiene-adverse Philistines, but when the all-but-impossible mission is thrust upon him, he starts to rethink the whole hero business. What chance does the daring schemer have when lions, the Mad King, and a literal giant stand in his way? As Niklas races to uncover the hidden traitor, conspiracies and armies converge on the nation—with his hometown directly in the crossfire.”
My Essential New Life with Christ
This book is for teens who are new in their faith. It addresses important topics that help new believers get off on the right foot:
- How to make sense of the Bible—and why it really matters
- Why prayer is crucial…and what to do if it seems God doesn’t answer
- Why you need other Jesus-followers…and why they need you, too
- How to handle doubts and questions about faith
- What to do when you run into temptation
My Faith (Middle School Survival Series)
From the publisher: “Life and faith can be hard for middle schoolers. But this book gives them all the tips and secrets they need to really grasp their faith and keep hold of it. My Faith is filled with quick and easy-to-read lessons along with funny stories from the authors. Plus there are quotes and questions from students just like yours.”
Don’t Forget to Flush: A Bathroom Devotional for Kids
From the Publisher: “Finding time for devotions with God isn’t always easy. But what if you could attach something you know you should do, to something you already do? You spend at least five minutes sitting on the toilet every day, right? What if you used that time to do devotions?
Don’t Forget to Flush is geared toward instigating the habit of a devotional routine in kids ages 9 to 12 years old. Written from the perspective of a snarky preteen boy, this devotional will make you think, laugh, and connect with God all while sitting on the toilet. Don’t Forget to Flush contains 99 devotions that connect ordinary bathroom items to faith-filled practices and character-building ideas to take beyond the bathroom into everyday life.”
From the publisher: “This sounds crazy to some: There’s a God, all-powerful and all-knowing, and He loves you. And not just any kind of love, this is the I love you so much I’ll send my Son to die on a cross to save you kind of love. And maybe it is crazy. Crazy in all the right ways. Think about it. God, the Creator of everything–from nitrogen to pine needles; from oceans to E-minor–That God, loves you. And after we rebelled and rejected Him, He loved us so much, He made a plan to rescue us so we might be with him forever. So yeah, that’s a little crazy. But it’s true and it’s the good news that has changed billions of lives over the past 2000 years.”
The Ragamuffin Gospel
From the publisher: “Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment. Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us to Himself with a “furious love” that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God’s grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock—the “ragamuffins.”
From the publisher: “In his sequel to The Ragamuffin Gospel bestselling author Brennan Manning shows how true and radical trust in God can transform our lives. Manning, beloved author and spiritual teacher, shows us how trust in God can transform our lives and open us up to deeper experiences of grace and love. In Ruthless Trust, he turns his focus from furious love to radical trust, revealing the ways in which trust renews our faith and helps us grow.”
From the publisher: “The Jesus I Never Knew uncovers a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying. ‘No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same,’ says author Philip Yancey. ‘Jesus has rocked my own preconceptions and has made me ask hard questions about why those of us who bear his name don’t do a better job of following him.’”
From the publisher: “Timothy Keller, the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, addresses the frequent doubts that skeptics, and even ardent believers, have about religion. Using literature, philosophy, real-life conversations, and potent reasoning, Keller explains how the belief in a Christian God is, in fact, a sound and rational one. To true believers he offers a solid platform on which to stand their ground against the backlash to religion created by the Age of Skepticism. And to skeptics, atheists, and agnostics, he provides a challenging argument for pursuing the reason for God.”
From the publisher: “One of the most popular introductions to Christian faith ever written, Mere Christianity has sold millions of copies worldwide. The book brings together C. S. Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks of the war years–talks in which he set out simply to “explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times.” Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, Lewis provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.”