What Teens Love: Fiction Books that Teach Truth

Renee Ann Smith —  May 13, 2013 — 16 Comments

One of the things I love best about my job—teaching in a Christian high school—is sharing my love of stories with my students. I usually end up talking movies with the boys and books with the girls. I even keep a little library of Christian fiction books in a special place so my girls can borrow them easily.

bookcases 1

These shelves are pretty popular. And what I especially appreciate about the authors represented here is that I can trust them with my girls. These Christian authors have penned stories that focus on characters coming to grips with their Savior. The wise guides in these stories share advice from a biblical world view.

So as my students satisfy their cravings for adventure, drama, and romance, they also receive great messages like—God delights to give second chances or that He helps us forgive when we find it impossible or (one of my favorites) that a woman’s true beauty is her inner character and the men worth loving value her for that.

Author Susan May Warren is an expert at presenting truth through what she calls the main character’s “Lie Journey.” When she writes, she focuses on the lie from Satan that her main character believes. As the story develops, God slowly disproves that lie and shows the hero or heroine how His Truth can free them.

I believe that each time a novel explores the Lie Journey and depicts a hero or heroine finding freedom in Christ, God is lifted up. We see that He is real and relevant and reaching out to anyone who seeks Him.

And whether they understand all that or not, my students always love those books the best!

One young lady working her way through my books is 10th grader Sonja-Liisa. She’s one of those kids who can keep an A average (while taking tough classes) and yet still be involved in church, youth group, 4-H, and a national leadership group. Her most recent read was Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz—which she pronounced “AMAZING!”

Top Picks

What she loved: The heroine and hero: Eden’s gentle, quiet spirit and Silas’s integrity and kindness. The scenes where Silas shares Scripture with Eden, who is hungry for God and His Word. The beauty of the writing. The dramatic—almost like an Old Testament story—plot twists. She was so drawn into this novel that she pushed herself to finish assignments so she could get back to reading. Now she can’t wait for book two.

Spiritual Takeaway from the story: What impressed her most was how one righteous man can change the lives around him. And how God can bring that person along at the perfect time—the heroine just has to keep her eyes open for him. Sonja-Liisa’s description reminded me that God finds a way to shine His light into every dark corner of the world, revealing each man’s heart.

Here are the rest of Sonja-Liisa’s Top Picks. Each of these novels also rated an enthusiastic: “AMAZING!” These make great gifts for the young ladies in your life!

Take a Chance on Me by Susan May Warren (Another story where we can’t wait for book 2! My review.)

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (On sale right now. My review.)

There You’ll Fine Me by Jenny B. Jones  (Our review.)

The Bailey Flanigan Series by Karen Kingsbury

GIVEAWAY: And speaking of Susan May Warren, she’s holding a contest right now on her blog. Since her most recent novel, Take a Chance on Me, is all about forgiveness and second chances, all you have to do is share a time when someone took a chance on you, and you can win a Mystery Book Pack, Ice Cream Maker, and Ice Cream Maker Cook Book. Don’t miss this chance to win some wonderful novels! Follow this link to enter!

This week I’m linking up with Miscellany Monday, Monday Musings, Hear It on Sunday, Soli Deo Gloria, Unite @Rich Faith Rising, The Better Mom, Covered in Grace, Modest Mondays, GraceLaced Mondays, Raising Arrows, A Mama’s Story, Teach Me Tuesdays, Gratituesdays, Just Write, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teaching What Is Good, Mom’s Library, Tuesday Tips, What I Learned This Week, Heart and Home, God-Sized Dreams, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, Wise Woman Builds Her House, Tell His Story, Wholehearted Home Wednesdays, Thursday Favorite Things, Thriving Thursday, Hearts for Home, Legacy Leaver, Thoughtful Thursday, Raising Mighty Arrows, Share the Joy Thursday, Loves on a Thursday, Time Travel Thursday, Thumping Thursday Blog Hop, Favorite Things, Faith-filled Friday, Bloglovin Bog Hop, Fellowship Friday, Friendship Friday, Freedom Friday, and Weekend Whatever.

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

16 responses to What Teens Love: Fiction Books that Teach Truth

  1. Wow! This is a great collection of books, Renee! Love Jenny B. Jones (hope she has something new coming soon!). And Susan. And Rachel. 😉

    Sonja-Liisa has excellent taste. Jenny is a unique writer with great humor and she lends a very mature, believable voice to her teen characters, and golly, Susan! That lady is multi-talented. She writes every genre and shines in all (I am also excited about her next book!). Then, of course, Rachel is great – Sonja will likely also enjoy her latest. Karen’s “Bailey” series is probably my fave since the main character was so young and therefore much more relatable.

    I wanted to thank you for dropping by my blog, reading my post (I realize it was very long!) and leaving a kind comment. Enjoy your feedback very much. Thanks, Renee.

    • Yes, all these writers are super talented! And I realized after I read your comment that Sonja-Liisa is holding Bailey Flanigan. That’s the series she read. (Another student is reading through the Baxter series.) You mentioned Rachel Hauck’s latest book—I’m reading Once Upon a Prince right now. Can’t wait til my girls see THAT cover! And, of course, SMW—she’s my go-to author when I need a book to lose myself in.

      Thanks for sharing book talk here, Rissi. I’m glad we connected!

  2. What a great list of fictional books for my kids. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. I always enjoy your book reviews and I liked your student’s review too. I think it is wonderful that you can teach in a Christian school. What an impact you must have on your students. It is so refreshing to find good Christian books with great lessons and morals. In our faith we have many great authors that have written similar books.
    I liked the review on the “Wedding Dress”. I did read this one.
    Loved this one and blessings to you!

  4. How fun to share with students your love of reading! I used to work in a middle school library and I sure miss that interaction with the kids. Trying to find just the right book to keep their interest was a great challenge. Love your “Classroom Happy Place”!

    • Oh, Julie, I can understand why you miss the kids. They can be frustrating, but they can also be such a joy! If I weren’t a teacher, I think my next choice would be librarian. A library is one of the best “Happy Places” there is!

  5. It’s so encouraging to see teens loving such great books. Bless you for being an influence on their reading, Renee! I loved “Love’s Reckoning” too, and “The Wedding Dress”. I need to read SMW!

    • Yes, Gwen, try SMW! She has so many great books. But my current favorites are Take a Chance on Me and My Foolish Hear. Let me know what you think after you read one. Blessings!

  6. Renee, Thanks to you for your encourging, book-loving spirit. And many thanks to Sonja-Liisa (what a beautiful name) for taking time for Silas and Eden’s story and sharing what she especially liked. You both bless me.

    • Laura, did you notice The Frontiersman’s Daughter on the bookshelves between The Wedding Dress and Love’s Reckoning? That book has also been popular with my girls! So glad I could share Sonja-Liisa’s review with you. Thanks for sharing such great stories. Blessings!

  7. Such a delight to see young girls with a love for such books. My faith is new to me so my grown boys did not grow up going to church… but I pray daily for them to seek Him. Thank you for the impact I know you must be having on many. Blessings.

  8. Thank you for sharing about these books. Going to recommend this post in our moms group for those raising teen girls!

  9. PS I was your neighbor at Fellowship Fri. 🙂

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