Archives For Books Teens Love

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.

This week I’m linking up with On Your Heart Tuesdays, Women Living Well,

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. Today’s choice is courtesy of a sweet sophomore named Alissa.


Alissa approaches life with joyful enthusiasm. She maintains an A average, sings in our chapel choir, plays every girls’ sport, volunteers for community service, and takes part in school plays and concerts. Her heart is tender towards God, and her passion for Him inspires me.

I enjoy having Alissa in my English class because we both respond to the power of stories. And another interest we have in common, Alissa loves to write. She wants to be an author and is working on an epic fantasy. So when she came to me looking for reading material, I knew just what to pull off the shelf—Sharon Hinck’s The Restorer.

To say Alissa loved this book would be an understatement. Alissa lived this book. She lost herself in the story. As she devoured the novel during study halls, she would periodically burst out with, “Now that’s a game changer” or “Wow, I really didn’t see that coming” or “I love this part. I have to read it again.” Each time she saw me she would say, “By the way, this is the best book ever.”

Alissa's pick to play Tristan, actor Ed Speelers from the movie Eragon

What drew her in? She enjoyed picking out similarities between The Restorer and the Old Testament—the elements that brought to mind the twelve tribes of Judah, the divided kingdom, and the work of the prophets. She especially loved how the Lord was woven through every part of the story and considers author Sharon Hinck on par with JRR Tolkien and better than Christopher Paolini. She fell in love with a character named Tristan—part guardian, part avenging angel—and even chose an actor to play him.

After finishing this expanded edition, Alissa hung onto my copy so she could delve into the devotions, songs, recipes, and other bonus material. She now has my book two but has added all three books to her wish list because she wants to own them for herself.

So what are you waiting for? I bet you or someone you know would enjoy this story. Follow this link to buy The Restorer for the fantasy-lovers in your life.

Sharon Hinck

About the author: Sharon’s undergrad degree is in education, and she earned an M.A. in Communication from Regent University in 1986. She spent ten years as the artistic director of a Christian performing arts group, CrossCurrent. That ministry included three short-term mission trips to Hong Kong. She has been a church youth worker, a choreographer and ballet teacher, a home-school mom, a church organist, and a bookstore clerk. One day she’ll figure out what to be when she grows up, but in the meantime she’s pouring her imagination into writing. She’s published dozens of articles in magazines and book compilations, and released her first novel in 2006. In April, 2007, she was named “Writer of the Year” at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

Connect with Sharon on her website.

Connect with Sharon on Facebook.

Alissa’s favorite recipe from the book: Tara’s Pepper Soup

  • Saute your choice of veggies in butter
  • Add 2 cups of diced chicken
  • Add 2 cups cream of potato soup
  • Flavor with Worcestershire Sauce
  • Don’t forget the cracked pepper!

This week I’m linking up with Miss Elaine-ous Monday, Playdates with God, The Better Mom, On Your Heart Tuesday, Thought-provoking Thursday, Heart 4 Home Thursday.

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. Today’s pick is courtesy of freshman book-lover Anna.


Though fifteen-year-old Anna loves Facebook and iPods and all the perks of modern technology, she is totally enchanted with Amish stories. One of Anna’s favorites is The Englisher (Annie’s People Series #2) by Beverly Lewis. She loves this book because she can relate to the main character, Annie Zook. What do the two have in common? A big heart for hurting people and a rebellious streak that shows itself when the folks in their worlds least expect it.

According to Anna, the main character of the book, Annie, promises her father she will forget all about her love of art—which is forbidden among the Amish—in order to join the church. However, then she ends up in a relationship with an Englisher named Ben. That’s when she hides what she’s doing from her father. Anna and Ben secretly go places together, but things don’t always go as planned.

My student Anna was impressed by Ben’s love for Annie and Annie’s love for everyone—including her tormented friend Zeke, who has domestic violence issues. Zeke’s history touched Anna’s heart and brought a few tears to her eyes. She can’t wait to move on to book #3 and finish this series.

Maybe, like me, you assumed the teens you know wouldn’t be interested in Amish fiction. But I found that students from the most difficult backgrounds (my dear student Anna was taken from a dangerous home and placed in foster care until her present loving parents adopted her and her little brother) love the caring community and simple life presented in the Amish books. You can find the Annie’s People Series at this link.

About the author: Beverly Lewis was born in the heart of Amish country—Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the tender age of nine, she began writing short stories and poetry. Prior to that, she made up lyrics to the “little fingers” piano pieces she learned, at the age of five. “My mother saved everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years,” Beverly says.

One such tale is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford to give her piano lessons. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled “She Shall Have Music,” penned under the shade of a lone willow tree. “Reading, writing, and playing piano have been top three on my list of favorite things,” she says.

Not until her own children were well into middle school did Beverly seek to publish her work, first in magazines such as Highlights for Children, Dolphin Log, and Guideposts for Kids. Her first book followed in 1993—Mountain Bikes and Garbanzo Beans—presently retitled Big Bad Beans (book #22 in the popular Cul-de-Sac Kids series of chapter books—see list of Bev’s children’s books). You can connect with Beverly at her website here.

Follow this link for more books teens love.