Great Books for Young Teens and Up
Some of these books will be perfect for 13-year-olds. Others may be more appropriate for mid-teens or older.
If there's any doubt, you can click the icon and go read more about the book on Amazon.com.
Tom Barton and his Uncle Jack are smugglers. They start out smuggling almost anything for a profit. Then they get to know a man named William Tyndale, who is translating the Bible from Latin into English. Tyndale is that Hawk that Dare not Hunt by Day because his enemies want to murder him for his translation work. As Tom and his uncle begin smuggling Bibles into England, Tom begins seeing Tyndale as a friend and eventually as a father. He does not suspect what lies in wait for Tyndale. Written by a great, award-winning author.
This is a true story about a young boy who has a near death experience. His soul leaves his body and he experiences Heaven for several minutes before being revived. Some of the knowledge he reveals could not be known by natural means!
This is the powerful life story of Nicky Cruz, a boy who became one of the toughest of the tough gang members in New York City. Social workers and parole officers had given up on Nicky. Then a courageous young pastor walked into the middle of the killing streets and stood up to him with the gospel.
A fresh, contemporary look at the teens of the Bible that is remarkably relevant to the young people of today. Teens will read this book and benefit!
Louie Zamperini flew in the massive U.S. bombers during World War 2. His bomber was shot down, he lived with fellow crewmen in a life raft in the middle of the Pacific. They were captured and taken to a hellish Japanese prison camp. Would they all die in the camp? Would anything change their spiral into increasing military disaster?
This is purportedly a true story about an amazing young girl from the streets who is brought home by a young man known to us only as Fynn. You will be moved emotionally by this little girl and her relationship with a God she seems to know and trust in a remarkable way.
Romey and Lowell are unlikely friends. Lowell's dad is a "big time Christian" who Lowell does not like. Romey's dad is a poor father and example, yet Romey still cares about him. When a misguided prank turns deadly, a tough confrontation between fathers, sons, and the town is inevitable. This is some of the rather rare Christian fiction that speaks to us subtly and powerfully without smacking us over the head with pious prayers and multitudes of quoted Scriptures. Very good.
This is the true story of Richard Wurmbrand and the years he spent tortured in prisons behind the Iron Curtain. His story will pierce your heart and will make you even more determined to stand up for your faith, no matter what the opposition.
Even if a kid doesn't love baseball in particular, he or she will still love the sports stories in this book. Dravecky has some of the most entertaining and interesting baseball stories you'll ever hear about. His insights for a Christian are excellent too. This may be one of the best sports books you've read.
This is the story of Lass, a worthless animal thought to be untrainable, who becomes a magnificent and valuable sheepdog - not terribly unlike how God's love can transform our worst characteristics into blessings that serve to further His Kingdom. Keller's book continues with his fascinating stories that provide insight into our relationship with God.
In 1961, at only age nineteen, Bruce Olsen entered the Colombian tribe of Molitone Indians to evangelize them. This is his amazing story. Then in 1988, Olsen was kidnapped for nine months by Communist guerilla fighters. This account has become a true missions classic.
This is an award winning book about a bitter young man who is intent on avenging the death of his father by crucifixion by the Roman oppressors. He is part of a band of Jewish renegades bent on violence, but then he meets a young Jewish carpenter who refuses to join the band. In fact, he keeps talking about a love...surely not a love for enemies! Powerful story.
A Roman soldier named Marcellus and his band are selected to prepare a man named Jesus Christ for crucifixion. The soldiers get drunk and lead the man up to Golgotha. Marcellus watches a dying man who behaves uniquely. When the soldiers gamble for Jesus' robe, Marcellus wins it. Gradually he becomes intrigued with the man who wore the robe, and he traverses Galilee, tracking down Jesus' acquaintances and disciples. This was a terrific bestseller that has not lost a bit of its power and excellence as a story.
Everything seemed great in the Telchin family until their daughter, Judy, called from college and reported that she had become a Christian believer. This is the true story of how Stan Telchin, in his rage, began studying the Scriptures to convince his daughter of her extreme ignorance and stupidity. In the process, he began questioning his own convictions. What happens when a staunch Orthodox Jewish believer collides with biblical prophecies and such? Surely he rejects it immediately. Check it out.
The Christians in a town get excited and develop over-the-top ideas for evangelizing the unbelieving. Their grandiose ideas only snowball as their minds are flooded with new ideas. Before long, to their surprise and great chagrin, they find that their ideas are not proving very effective in converting the lost. What are they doing wrong? How could such great ideas not work? Do these Christians give up witnessing forever? Wouldn't you?
Using the storytelling style of an ancient philosopher, renowned pastor, William Barton, charmingly began teaching Christian lessons through the profound insights the philosopher gained from the most ordinary of daily incidents. You will laugh in spite of yourself while you also learn. I hope this book is still available; if not, you have lost out big time.
This is a true story told by Mike Adkins. Little did he suspect when he moved into his house that a neighbor would be the old eccentric that every town seems to have and most everyone tries to avoid. Yep, it was a guy known as Weird Norman. His first encounter with Norman almost blew his mind. But, believe it or not, the two men were destined to get to know each other and maybe even develop a friendship? This book will prove the most direct example possible of the biblical command to love thy neighbor.
If you buy this book about God's truth about families, you will treasure it for the beautiful illustrations, the beautiful design, but, most of all, both older and younger ones will enjoy its stories read over and over again as a family. Truly a keepsake.
Rabi Maharaj descended from a long line of Brahmin priests and gurus and was trained as a Yogi. In this book, he describes his painful search for meaning in life. As a Hindu, he felt unbelievable pressure to be a leader of the faith, but he could not forget the message of the Bible. This is the fascinating story of his conversion and growth.
A young slave girl during the height of the Roman Empire is torn about her love for a sophisticated aristocrat. This is one of the finest Christian romance writers and almost every teen girl likes to read romances. These are well written and spicy, yet clean.
Contemporary teens across the nation wrote candidly about their toughest times and greatest personal triumphs. This is a great book because Christian young people are able to relate with others just like them who are struggling with some of the same questions and problems.
During the early and late teen years, kids make some of the most important and influential decision of their lives. It's absolutely vital that they learn how to make them wisely. Writing creatively and humorously, the authors help kids figure out how to think through those personal decisions and make the best choices.
This is a classic. A few decades ago, Brother Andrew wrote about how he had miraculously smuggled Bibles across borders illegally. Communist and Islamic nations often confiscate any Christian literature and sometimes even jail or punish those who try to bring it in. This is still just as amazing a story as when it was first published.
Don Richardson was a missionary but he just couldn't get through to the tribespeople who lived and thrived on hatred and constant killing between tribes. Then he was told about an old tradition in which tribes exchange young boys. Does that sound crazy? Read the book to see how God used this tradition to cause the tribes to reach out to God through Christ.
Corrie Ten Boom and her family were arrested by the Nazis during World War 2 because they were Jewish. They were placed in prison or death camps and family members began dying. Would any of them survive the war---the sheer brutality? Read this book to find out.
Rick Dial, former high school quarterback, crippled and depressed after a car accident. Now he does online video gaming. US Government Agents have come across a cyber threat from a Russian genius, who has created a digital reality that can control and disrupt American computer systems. Rick masters complex online games, and is approached by an American agent who wants Rick to enter the Realm and stop the Russian before damage to America.
Here is some more fantasy that is of fine quality. It may be that younger guys and girls can read this, but at 404 pages, it would probably be someone who really enjoys reading. In any case, three kids wind up in a magical land named Anthropos. It's enchanting fantasy, but it also has a Christian message subtly in the background. If you love it, there are more in the series.
This is an excellent novel as told by an 11-year-old named Reuben. This is all about a family and their love for each other. Jeremiah is the dad, Davy's the oldest child, Reuben almost died at birth, and Swede is the sister who loves poetry above all things. Davy shoots two intruders in their home, and when the trial comes up, suddenly it looks like he might actually be convicted. He escapes and much of the book is about the rest of the family's desperate search to find Davy before law enforcement tracks him down. This is one of the best written Christian novels ever produced.
This is a fictional personal journal written by Caitlin, a 16-year-old girl, who writes honestly about all the crushingly difficult struggles of teenage life in the 21st century. Any teenage girl will identify with this book and will be encouraged and challenged.
During the time of Nero, a Roman named Vinicius happens to meet a Christian young woman. As he begins to get to know her, he is strangely drawn to her character and becomes gradually intrigued by her beliefs. So, in this sense, the book is both a romance, a story of earliest Christianity, and a drama. This is not written for kids, and requires good readers. Also, for the very squeamish, I must tell you that such things as Nero's brutal treatment of Christians is not glossed over. However, anyone who invests the time in this book will be incredibly rewarded.
This book is for all teens who love a great medieval novel. A monk named Aidan must deliver a rare hand-painted book to the Byzantine emperor. On the journey, he is captured by Vikings, forced to labor in a caliph's mine shaft, and faces intrigue in the Byzantine court. In light of such troubles, Aidan even questions his faith in God. This is a lengthy novel, but for fans of this genre, the longer the better to get lost in the ominous, mysterious centuries of the past.
In a world in which everyone seems to want the easy way out and instant gratification, this book challenges young people to choose the hard things sometimes. All the people who have really succeeded and achieved significant things in life have done so because they've accepted challenges instead of taking the easy road.
Frederick Buechner is a fine Christian writer. In this brief book, he tells of his childhood and growing up years. When he was only ten, his father committed suicide. He tells of this experience and many others without self pity. He also explains how he moved toward faith in God. Any Christian teen would find the book interesting and would identify with difficult emotions that every young person must somehow learn to understand and master.