Need some suggestions on which books the teens in your life would love? Let us help. Recently, I asked my students to share their picks for the best inspirational books for young people. And, yes, since by this time of the school year I’m pretty tired, I am shamelessly using my students to help me generate blog posts! Sooo . . . today’s book recommendation is courtesy of Layla.
Layla is a mature-for-her-years 8th grader. She makes straight A’s, plays sports, and plans to be a Navy pilot. She’s been all over the world with her parents and with a summer student ambassador program. She regularly attends galas and other social events. Though she loves to read, she can be tough to please. This year I’ve seen her zip through The Hunger Games Trilogy and several true-life military stories. When she came to me looking for new reading material, I gave her There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones.
What was Layla’s reaction to the story? I gave her the book on a Friday. Sunday afternoon, she messaged me through Facebook three times, “I’m almost done . . . I don’t want it to end . . . Finished. Loved the book!” That Monday, when I asked what she loved, she told me lots of spoilers. But what I can share is that . . .
- The book was a page-turner.
- Her favorite character was handsome heartthrob Beckett.
- A pure love story is “the best kind ever.”
- Finley seemed like a girl she could be friends with.
- And she loved what Finley learned about God, herself, and her brother in the end.
- After reading the book, Layla decided that maybe she should work at knowing God better, too.
Layla also told me that though we’ve read The Hiding Place and Through Gates of Splendor in English class, she had never read Christian fiction books before. Now she can’t get enough of them. She raided my classroom stash and took home House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson. Then she looked up Jenny’s other books and asked me to bring in Just Between You and Me. She recently finished I’m So Sure (which we call the cow book). Tomorrow I’m bringing her So Over My Head.
Considering the types of entertainment most kids encounter—I pray that this inspirational reading binge will last her lifetime. And it all started with one sweet story. Want to find out what Layla loved so much? You can purchase a copy of There You’ll Find Me at this link.
Here’s Amazon’s book blurb for the story: Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.
She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will’s travel journal. It’s the place he felt closest to God, and she’s hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.
Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.
Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise? Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she’s been looking for has been with her all along?
About the author in her own words: “I write Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. My novels include the Katie Parker Production series, A Charmed Life series, and my first contemporary romance, Just Between You and Me. I would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere I think I read you’re not supposed to lie. When I’m not typing my heart out (or checking email), I teach at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.” You can find Jenny at this website.