A Summer Reading List For Your Teen

It's a big world, prepare your teen to face it

Yesterday I gave some simple guidelines to help you pick books for your teen to read during summer vacation. Today, I give you a list of book recommendations to help get your started. They cover everything from theology to money. 

Do Hard Things by Alex and Bret Harris
The Harris twins have one message for teenagers: Do something hard. Teens today might find it hard to believe, but life does not begin after college. It starts now, and they can actually do something great for God no matter what their age. They wrote a follow up book called Start Here

Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
John Piper is a small, unassuming man who happens to have a fiery passion for God. His message is simple: God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him. Spend your life living for the glory of God. This book, and the conferences and music they have spawned, have been a huge hit in college campuses. This is a great book to give a high school grad. 

The Universe Next Door by James Sire
Aimed at college students, this book can still be helpful in preparing older teens to face the variety of points of views they are going to encounter in college. Looking at views like marxism, secularism, and new age thinking from a Christian perspective, this book will prepare your teen to think about the world they live in. 

What's Your Worldview? by James Anderson
Dr. Anderson is a philosophy professor who challenges people to think about how they look at the world. This isn't a normal book either. It's more like a choose your own adventure book that takes a look at different worldviews, and how they as Christians can see from the lens of the Bible. 

So your teen is ready to date? Time to bring out some helpful guidance on dating. In a time when dating is just seen as a rite of passage where two people can just hang out, mess around and not think about the consequences, Harris call teens to date in a way that that will be both honoring to the other person, and glorifying to God. See also Boundaries in Dating

After a doing survey of the toughest questions Christians hate being asked, Mark Mittelberg decided to write a book answering them. If your teen is vocal about her faith, then this book will help her answer the though questions she's going to be asked. The questions range from gay marriage to the problem of evil. See also Tactics: a game plan for discussing your Christian convictions

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know by Wayne and Elliot Grudem
Grudem has written a very short intro to theology. It covers twenty topics (each coming from his massive book Systematic Theology) and gives a bite sized overview to help young Christians learn about the foundations of their faith. A great book for a teen or college student who wants to learn theology. 

In a college finance class I remember a teacher telling us that we had a responsibility to raise kinds who were money smart. Seeing how kids today are being called "the most indebted generation," that responsibility is even clearer. Dave Ramsey teams up with his daughter to teach parents how to train kids in the ways of wise financial planning. This is a book for parents and teens to read together. Who knows, maybe it will inspired your teen to find a summer job? 

What's going to happen to your teen when they go to college? Pastor and college prof. Alex Chediak fills them in on the ups and downs and the best ways to get ready for their time in school. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey
If you've read the original, then you know the advice here is solid. Based on the character ethic, Covey gives sound advice on the habits that can make anyone effective at what they do. 

Life on the Edge by James Dobson
Say what you will about Dobson, but he cares about kids and wants them to thrive in their teens and college years. This book covers a lot of the problems they are going to face: drugs, premarital sex, peer pressure, and more. I read this book in high school and I am pretty sure it played a role in keeping me out of a lot of trouble. This is one you want your kid to read. 

I love graphic novels. And someone decided to turn the Bible into one. It's been done before, but not like this. The art is amazing and would make for a great way for your teen to see what the entire Bible is about in a very unique way. 

I'm sure there's a lot of worthy books I could add to the list, but I wanted to give you a place to start. If you have any recommendations please feel free to leave a comment. 

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