This list of 14 Christian books for teens contains our favorite must-reads!
So many books. So little time. Whether your teen devours books or would rather surf social media, there is no shortage of books out there for teens to read. Which brings us to the important questions:
- Which ones are the best?
- Which ones are truly must-reads?
- Which ones are worth the time?
To some degree, these questions can only be answered by you and your teen. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all list; but, I’d love to give you a list of our favorites. These are the specific books that every teen in my home must read.
You’ll probably find some you love. Might find some you haven’t heard of. And if nothing else, you’ll get a few good ideas of what types of books you probably want your Christian teens to be reading.
14 Must-Read Christian Books for Teens
1. God at Work
What am I supposed to do for my life’s work and how does being a Christian impact my occupation? This book by Gene Veith answers questions teens have by exploring the idea that the work we do day-to-day can be an act of worship to God. It pulls principles from Scripture and rich quotes from church leaders like Martin Luther who recognized that all areas of life can be a “ministry” unto the Lord. This book provides a foundation upon which teens can prepare for their future as workers, leaders, and citizens.
If your teen were asked to describe the Christian faith in its simplest form, could she do it? Does she know what the basic elements of that faith are as shown throughout time? C.S. Lewis outlines these thoughts and others in his classic book on the defense of the Christian faith. This book will help your teen understand what unites Christians around the world no matter when or where they live.
Corrie Ten Boom tells her family’s story with all the joys, struggles, tests, and triumphs. It’s an inspiring Christian book for teens that shows a faithful God in the lives of ordinary people who trust Him no matter what. Living in the Netherlands during WWII, the Ten Boom family chose to obey God and shelter His chosen people. Their trust in God that enabled them to do what was right continued to be tested and strengthened especially after they were reported and punished for hiding Jews. This book stands as a real-life example of what it means to love your enemies and pray for those who wrong you.
Does your teen understand why someone would leave behind everything they knew to know and follow Jesus? In this book, Rifqa Bary tells her testimony of how as a Muslim teen girl, she found true peace in Christ but rejection from her family. What makes the book even more relatable to teens is that the events in Rifqa’s story took place in America only 10 years ago.
Written by brothers Alex and Brett Harris when they were teens, this Christian book challenges your teen to rise above low expectations and make a change. The challenge to do hard things isn’t about doing the impossible or seeking to earn someone’s favor, especially God’s. Instead, your teen is encouraged to use their years 13-19 as an opportunity to make a difference. A good, lasting difference. Why not start today?
Culture tells our kids that religion is a private matter, not something to bring into every area of life. And definitely not something we publicly mention in political or social settings. Living a segmented life is not what God has called us to do, and we’ll only find ourselves frustrated and ineffective if we try. In this book, Nancy Pearcey helps your teen understand that Christianity is more than religious truth. Apart from God there is no reality—or truth. And we need to let that impact EVERYTHING.
Your teen will find this book an interesting read. Not only is each “chapter” set up as a letter between two characters, but C. S. Lewis imagines what advice an experienced demon would give his student to keep his “patient” (a human) from the “Enemy” (God). Talk about a reversed perspective! This fictional story brings to light good questions for your teen to think through as he considers living on his own, such as what motivates our actions and who do we listen to—God, others, or ourselves?
Does your teen understand how to create a budget or save money? These skills related to personal finances are important for your teen to know as she begins earning money and paying for things like gas, clothes, etc. Dave Ramsey’s practical workbook includes activities, graphs, and journal prompts to help your teen know and apply financial principles that will help them use money wisely. (It’s also a GREAT high school elective credit!)
9. Trusting God
Trust. It’s a word your teen might find hard to define, especially in connection with God. But it’s a concept they need to understand at an early age. As author Jerry Bridges found in his own life, trusting God is what will see us through both the easy and difficult circumstances of life. This book will teach your teen about God’s sovereignty and why we can (and should) trust Him.
John Piper challenges your teen to live for God and make Him look big in the eyes of those around them. This practical book on Christian living shares what it looks like to live all-out for Christ’s sake both in experiencing ultimate joy and the suffering in this world from being identified with Him. If your teen is looking for their life’s passion, this book shares biblical principles and motivation to give their life to God no matter what they find themselves doing in the future.
We know that without faith it is impossible to please God. But has your teen ever asked you whether there’s historical or scientific evidence that Jesus is who He claimed to be or that He rose from the dead? Former atheist and Chicago Tribune journalist Lee Strobel had these same questions. This book is the result of his search for the truth. He interviews experts and scholars, includes archeological findings, and responds to criticisms by skeptics. Your teen will be able to see the facts that further support his Christian faith.
There’s no denying that teens have questions about life. Authors Bodie Hodge, Tommy Mitchell, and Ken Ham have set out to provide biblical answers to things teens want to know. This book answers the following questions: If God is good, why is there pain and suffering? What difference does it make how old the world is? How did the world populate from just two people? How do we know there’s only one way to God? Why do Christians seem to hate gay people?
This second book continues in the same format, providing biblical answers to questions teens have about the Bible and its relevance to society. It includes answers to these questions: Did a world-wide flood really happen? Don’t fossils prove evolution? Who really wrote the Bible? How do we know the Bible doesn’t contradict itself? What does the Bible teach about slavery? What about abortion, cloning, and stem cells? It’s important that we help them answer these questions before they leave home.
Watching teens navigate guy/girl relationships is one task every parent struggles with. Even if your teen doesn’t seem interested in dating, relationships, or your advice on this topic, secretly, they really want to know how not to mess things up. Not your average dating book, it challenges your teen to shape her perspective around why God designed romantic relationships—to find someone who will live out God’s purpose with you. Gary Thomas lists practical day-to-day things that influence relationships and ultimately impact the kind of marriage your teen will one day have. Lay this foundation NOW before they become influenced by other ideas for choosing a spouse!
How to Fit More Christian Books Into Your Teen’s Day
Make it an Assignment
If you homeschool, all 14 of the Christian books for teens listed above will fit into your curriculum. For example, you can read The Hiding Place for History and The Screwtape Letters for British Literature.
If you are using a curriculum that doesn’t already have these classics, simply add to it or replace a book you are not as fond of. We also use books like this for special projects or papers.
Several of these books can be used to form high school electives, as well. We use Foundations in Personal Finance as part of a personal finance course for elective credit. You could use God at Work and Do Hard Things as part of an elective course called Career Exploration, which I highly recommend!
Teens need to be processing their personality, passions, and talents as they explore possible careers. It’s VERY costly to do this DURING college like most teens today.
Make it Practical
Reading a book is great, but we really need to make sure our teens are applying the knowledge they get out of the books we’ve given them to read. We typically do this by assigning it as a course. That way there are practical ways teens have to process the book, such as papers, projects, and discussions.
But another favorite is through devotional type discussion.
Often, I will read (or at least listen to) a book as my teen goes through it, especially if it’s something like The Sacred Search. I want them to have someone to discuss the content with and share ideas they have.
To make it fun, we meet weekly to discuss it. I will take them out for “coffee” or even lunch. They love the one-on-one time and it gives them my undivided attention for discussion. We don’t do this for all of the books, just typically the ones that aren’t included in our homeschool coursework.
More Christian Books for Teens Resources
- Looking for great Christian books for every age level? You’ll love this homeschool booklist!
- Check out this language arts homeschool curriculum plan for K-12!
- Is reading a constant battle in your homeschool? Try the Reading Journal, a reading curriculum that fits ANY book.
Through practical tools & Bible-based resources, Kim Sorgius is dedicated to helping your family GROW in faith so you can be Not Consumed by life’s struggles. Author of popular kid’s devotional Bible studies and practical homeschooling tools, Kim has a master’s degree in education and curriculum design coupled with over 2 decades of experience working with kids and teens. Above all, her most treasured job is mother and homeschool teacher of four amazing kiddos.