What Should They Read?: Book List for Christian tween/teen Girls

A mother asked me to share a list of good books for Christian young ladies because it is incredibly hard to find suitable reading material for our tweens and teens.  With a world that promotes Harry Potter, Twilight, Vampire Academy, Shadow Kiss, and a thousand (actually a lot more than that) sexually-explicit and morally-damaging novels- where can our young ladies find uplifting, clean, educational, beneficial, and interesting books?

So, I tried to create a list of books, movies, and audio options that will keep our young ladies happy for awhile.  A lot of these on the list can be found in your local library or sent to your library if requested.  Other great places to pick up books, audio books, and movies are  http://www.focusonthefamily.com/about_us/bookstore.aspx and http://www.familytv.com/Default.aspx?type=Movies&t=20141049323174#MovieSearch and http://www.christianbook.com/ and http://www.clp.org/ and http://www.tgsinternational.com/t/category/books/.  I did not even begin to cover all the good books that are out there.  Keep your eyes open for quality reading material for tween/teen girls.  Also teach them to read with discernment and to pick good literature for themselves.  I was quite grateful (not only) for the trust my parents gave me when it came to picking books (but also) for their teaching me to compare what I read with the Bible.  Many times I threw books away or stopped reading certain literature because of its content.  I was not forced to do that, but I knew that I had God and my parents’ trust to uphold.  Enjoy reading through this list.  A few of the books, audio books, and movies are oldies and classics, but somehow they still remain timeless and enjoyable to the modern gal!

Items with a star are ones that I have not read/watched/or listened to, but have been highly recommended to me….

BOOKS

For Animal Lovers

Front Cover1.  Misty of Chincoteague– Marguerite Henry (Also a great movie)

Front Cover2.  Hope Rising and A Bridge Called Hope– Kim Meeder {Stories about animals that help abused children…use discretion concerning readers’ ages}

The_work_of_thy_fingers3.  The Work of Thy Fingers– Pablo Yoder {Excellent pictures to captivate young children, but also interesting content for the older ones as well}

Front Cover4.  Charlotte’s Web– EB White (Also a great movie)

Front Cover5.  Children’s Thrift Classics {There are a bunch of fun books in this series by Dover}

Front Cover6.  Stuart Little– EB White

Front Cover7.  Where the Red Fern Grows– Wilson Rawls (Also a great movie)

Front Cover8.  Stone Fox– John Gardiner (Also a great movie)

Front Cover*9.  Wind in the Willows– Kenneth Grahame

Stories about Girls Books

Front Cover1.  Caddie Woodlawn (Also a great movie)

Front Cover2.  Anne of Green Gables– Lucy Maud Montgomery (Also a great movie) {Be sure to check out all the sequels that Lucy Montgomery wrote}

Front Cover3.  Christy (Also a great movie)

Maria4.  Maria– Maria Von Trapp (Also a great movie known as- “The Sound of Music”)

Front Cover5.  Stories from Grandma’s Attic Series- Arleta Richardson {I loved reading the books in this series}

Front Cover6.  Dear America Series {Not Christian, but has interesting fictional stories set in historical times and events}

Front Cover7.  Daughters of the Faith Series- Wendy Lawton {Can’t recommend this series enough!}

Front Cover8.  The Journals of Corrie Belle Hollister Series- Michael Phillips {A fictional-type novel for older teen girl readers}

Front Cover9.  The Peasant Girl’s Dream– George MacDonald {Don’t stop reading after this one; George MacDonald has many more great books.  Recommended for older teen girls because of the harder-reading style}

Front Cover10.  Little Women– Louisa May Alcott

Front Cover11.  Little House on the Prairie– Laura Ingalls Wilder (Also a great movie series) {Laura wrote many other books in the Little House series; plus there are The Girls of Little House books which I enjoyed reading because it told stories about Laura’s mother, grand-mother, great-grandmother, and daughter}

Front Cover12.   Beezus and Ramona- Beverly Cleary  (Also a great movie) {I haven’t read them, but the other Beverly Cleary books are quite popular among tweens and teens}

Front Cover13.  Crying Wind– Crying Wind {Recommended for older teen girl readers; although I think I was about twelve or fourteen when I read this}

Front Cover*14.  Kisses from Katie– Katie Davis

Front Cover15.  Pollyanna– Eleanor Porter (Also a great movie)

Front Cover16.  Heidi– Johanna Spyri

Front Cover*17.  Lightkeepers Girls Series- Irene Howat {I have never read this Christian girls’ series, but I wished I would have…there are some interesting-looking stories in this set}

Front Cover18.  Sarah, Plain and Tall Series- Patricia MacLachlan

Front Cover*19.  Elsie Dinsmore Series- Martha Finley

Front Cover20.  The Secret Garden– Frances Burnett (Great movie and audio version as well)

Front Cover21.  A Little Princess– Frances Burnett (Also a great movie)

Not_regina22.  Not Regina– Christmas Carol Kauffman {A really good book for teen girls}

Front Cover23.  Treasures of the Snow– Patricia St. John (Also a great movie)

*24.  Sisters in Time Series- Norma Lutz

Joy Sparton and the Mystery in Room 7 / New edition - eBook25.  Joy Sparton Series- Ruth Johnson

Light Romance

Front Cover1.  Classics for Girls Series- Janette Oke

Front Cover2.  Pride and Prejudice– Jane Austen {If you like this one, be sure to read some of her other works}

Front Cover3.  Song of Acadia Series and the Love Comes Softly Series- Janette Oke {I never read very many romance novels and do not recommend girls to do so because of the impossible expectations and fantasies it produces.   But if looking for something on the more romantic side of life, Janette Oke does write clean, Christian “love stories” that are much better than most on the market}

The Inheritance4.  The Inheritance– Louisa May Alcott {I have not read the book, but I loved the movie!}

Front Cover10.  Jane Eyre– Charlotte Bronte

Mystery

Front Cover1.  Sherlock Holmes Series- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Front Cover2.  Father Brown Series- GK Chesterton {Recommended for older teen girls because of the reading style}

Front Cover3.  Sadie Rose Adventures Series- Hilda Stahl

Front Cover4.  Nancy Drew Series- Carolyn Keene (I also enjoyed the old and new movie versions of Nancy Drew)

Front Cover*5.  The Red Rock Mysteries Series- Jerry B. Jenkins

Mom and Daughter Partner Reads:  Excellent books to read and discuss together

Front Cover1.  Les Miserables– Victor Hugo

Front Cover2.  Screwtape Letters– CS Lewis

Front Cover3.  Lies Young Women Believe– Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Front Cover4.  Silas Marner– George Eliot

Front Cover5.  The Scarlet Letter– Nathanial Hawthorne {Excellent lessons in this book…although recommended for older teen girls}

Front Cover6.  The Ultimate Gift– Jim Stovall {Check out the sequels to this book!}

Adventure Series

Front Cover1.  The Cooper Kids Series- Frank Peretti

Front Cover2.  The Riverboat Adventures Series- Lois Walfrid Johnson {One of my favorite fictional series when I was a teen}

Front Cover3.  Trailblazer Books Series- Dave and Neta Jackson {Fun and interesting to read about fictional kids joining up with true missionary/and other great Christians’ adventures}

Front Cover4.  Real Kids, Real Adventures– Deborah Morris {True stories of kids who survive all kinds of disasters}

Front Cover5.  Christian Heritage Series- Nancy Rue {There are the “Salem Years”, “Williamsburg Years”, “Charleston Years”, “Chicago Years”, and “Sante Fe Years”…although the “Charleston Years” were my personal favorites}

The Mayflower Adventure (The American Adventure, #1)6.  The American Adventure Series

A Way Through The Sea7.  The Young Underground Series- Robert Elmer {Another favorite series of mine when I was a teen}

Adventures in the Northwoods Vol. 4: The Vanishing Footprints8.  Adventures in the Northwoods Series- Lois Walfrid Johnson

 

Cloister and the Hearth9.  Adventures in History Series- A Beka Book

Madame Roland—Abbott Series10.  Abbott Series- A Beka Book

Front Cover11.  Boxcar Children Series- Gertrude Warner

Front Cover12.  The Railway Children Series- Edith Nesbit

Front Cover*13.  Baker Family Adventures Series- CR Hedgcock

Christian Fantasy and Allegory

Front Cover1.  At the Back of the North Wind- George MacDonald

Front Cover2.  The Princess and the Goblin– George MacDonald

Front Cover3.  Chronicles of Narnia Series- CS Lewis

Front Cover4.  Pilgrim’s Progress– John Bunyan

Front Cover5.  Hind’s Feet on High Places– Hannah Hurnard

Adventures in Odyssey Passages ® : The Marus Manuscripts Books  4-6, Volume 26.  Passage Series- Paul McCusker

Interesting Biographies and Missionary Tales

Front Cover1.  Christian Heroes:  Then and Now Series- Janet and Geoff Benge

The Hiding Place2.  The Hiding Place– Corrie ten Boom

A Chance to Die: The Life a...3.  A Chance to Die– Elisabeth Elliot {Recommended for older teen girls because of the reading style}

Mimosa: A True Story4.  Mimosa– Amy Carmichael

I Dared to Call Him Father:...5.  I Dared to Call Him Father– Bilquis Sheikh {Recommended for older teen girls}

They Would Not Be Moved6.  They Would Not Be Moved– Harvey Yoder {Excellent true stories in this book}

Tears Of The Rain7.  Tears of the Rain– Ruth Ann Stelfox

The Cross and the Switchblade8.  The Cross and The Switchblade– David Wilkerson

One-woman_s-quest*9.  One Woman’s Quest to bring Christ to Tibet– Harvey Yoder

Trailblazer-new*10.  Trailblazer– Rachael Lofgren

Amalyah*11.  Amalyah’s Search for Love– Harvey Yoder

Journey_to_joy*12.  Journey to Joy– Rachael Lofgren

A_heart_to_belong*13.  A Heart to Belong– Johhny Miller

Elena*14.  Elena– Harvey Yoder

Hidden_riches*15.  Hidden Riches– Romaine Stauffer

Sandi's Anchor of Hope16.  Sandi’s Anchor of Hope– Romaine Stauffer

Fanny Crosby (1820-1915): T...17.  Heroes of the Faith Series

Devotionals

Mountain Trailways for Youth1.  Mountain Trailways for Youth– Mrs. Charles Cowman

Grace for the Moment: Inspi...2.  Grace for the Moment– Max Lucado

Operation World: When We Pr...3.  Operation World– Patrick Johnstone {Perfect for increasing tween/teen awareness of how other Christians are living and showing ways to pray for them}

His Princess Warrior: Love ...4.  His Princess Warrior– Sheri Rose Shepherd

5.  Strong’s Concordance {Every tween/teen girl should have a “Strong’s Concordance.  I have used mine countless times}

Armed and Dangerous6.  Armed and Dangerous– Ken Abraham {A little book which holds verses and references on all types of subjects}

Teen/Tween Spiritual Input

It's Not About Me Teen Edition*1.  It’s Not About Me (teen edition)- Max Lucado

To Save a Life (To Save a L...2.  To Save A Life– Jim and Rachel Britts (also a great movie- but recommended for older teen girls)

In His Steps3.  In His Steps (What Would Jesus Do?)- Charles Sheldon

The Book of Virtues4.  The Book of Virtues– William Bennett

A Treasury Of Great Christi...5.  A Treasury of Great Christian Stories– Stephen Fortosis

The New Answers Book: Over ...6.  The New Answers Series- Ken Ham {Lots of great reading in this series…older teen girls will really appreciate learning what these books hold}

Don't Check Your Brains At ...7.  Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door– Josh McDowell (for high-schoolers)

The Case for a Creator: A J...8. The  Case for a Creator The Case for Christ– Lee Strobel (also in children’s and student’s editions)

Set-Apart Femininity: God's...9.  Set-Apart Femininity– Leslie Ludy {Very highly recommended!}

The Lost Art of True Beauty10.  The Lost Art of True Beauty– Leslie Ludy

The Princess and the Kiss11.  The Princess and the Kiss– Jennie Bishop {May seem like a little girls’ book, but is good for tween/teens to read as well!}

The Way Home: A Princess Story12.  The Way Home:  A Princess Story– Max Lucado {Another short story which seems for younger ages, but I have read this to tween and teen girls because of the power in the story}

Random Books

Letter Art1.  Letter Art:  American Girl– Becky Higgins {Just a fun little book on cool writing skills}

Personality Plus. Florence ...2.  Personality Plus– Florence Littauer

The-celestial-message*3.  The Celestial Message– Morris Yoder

                                                               MOVIES

Feature Films for Families/Stepping Stones

{Check out their website for lots of family-friendly, teen-approved films}

1.  Inventor’s Specials (A series about historical inventors)

2.  Artists’ Specials (A series about historical artists)

3.  Composers’ Specials (A series about historical composers)

4.  On Our Own

5.  Alan and Naomi (Good for teaching children how to relate to those with mental/emotional disabilities)

6.  The Best Bad Thing

7.  The Penny Promise

8.  Hiroshima Maiden

9.  Rigoletto

Walmart Family Movies

{There are a lot of great, clean, family movies in the Walmart Family Series which even teen girls will find interesting}

1.  A Walk in My Shoes

2.  Secrets of the Mountain

3.  Game of Your Life

Clean Family Series

1.  The Waltons

2.  Dick van Dyke (modesty is an issue in some episodes)

3.  Andy Griffith Show

4.  Herbie (The Love Bug) Series

Random

1.  Akeelah and the Bee

2.  Silent Night (Great movie of how a woman has Christmas with opposing soldiers who sought refuge in her home)

3.  Mr. Magorium’s Emporium

4.  Hoodwinked

5.  Ratatouille

Animal

1.  Hachi (Perfect for dog lovers)

2.  Paulie (Fun story about a parrot…there are some language issues)

Christmas

1.  A Princess for Christmas

2.  The Christmas Choir

Adventure and Drama

1.  Journey to the Center of the Earth (action-packed…modern-day film based on Jules Verne’s novel)

2.  Hidden in Silence (A captivating story of a young girl who hides Jews during WWII)

3.  Nim’s Island

4.  Last Chance Detectives

World-Wide Pictures

{There are lots of great Billy Graham films through World-Wide Pictures}

1.  Last Flight Out (some violence)

2.  Something to Sing About (some violence)

Christian

1.  Amazing Grace

2.  Though None Go With Me

3.  The Book and the Rose

4.  The Inn of 6th Happiness

Louie Giglio

1.  Indescribable

2.  How Great is our God

                                                             AUDIO

*Jonathan Parks

Adventures in Odyssey

*Boxcar Children

*Lamplighter Theatre

Little House on the Prairie

Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

1.  Anne of Green Gables

2.  The Secret Garden

3.  Screwtape Letters

4.  The Hiding Place

5.  Chronicles of Narnia

6.  The Legend of Squanto

7.  Les Miserables

8.  Ben-Hur

9.  Little Women

Your Story Hour

*Kingdom Series

Children’s Bible Hour

Uncle Bob Devine

1.  The Fish with a Pole

2.  Colonel Corn

3.  Helicopter Bird

Sugar-Creek Gang

*Nature’s Corner

I would love to hear what books you would recommend for tween/teen girls!

 

Advertisements

How To Celebrate On Halloween

pumpkin

It’s that time of year again- the time of year when stores are full of witches, monsters, and ghost costumes; houses are hung in spiderwebs; and skulls adorn every candy wrapper.  Have you ever noticed the suffocating darkness and heaviness that fills the air on Halloween night?

 

It’s no wonder, Halloween is a holiday dedicated to the evil.  It was a Celtic holiday and believed to be a time when the dead could come back into our world and destroy.  How did costumes get involved?  Well, the people would wear them to pacify the evil spirits.  Although a lot of society believes that Halloween is a harmless holiday in today’s world…it is still a night when the Dark Kingdom is honored and glorified.  Witches, demons, monsters, ghosts, and everything grotesque and opposite of pure and lovely is made to be harmless, imitated, and posted for all eyes to behold.  Those involved in occults use October 31 as a special time of worship.

It’s completely understandable why a lot of Christians stay away -as far as possible- from Halloween.  We lock ourselves up in our cozy little homes and pretend that it is just another normal evening.

 

BUT Ladies and Gentlemen- it is not another normal holiday!  And as unbelievable as it might sound, I wish Christians would celebrate on Halloween.

 

Before you send me away for Christian counseling since I obviously need it after that statement…let me explain.

When we, who are warriors of God’s Kingdom, look the other way on Halloween or ignore it; we are allowing the warriors of the Dark Kingdom to advance.  Maybe it does not seem like a big deal because we can’t always see physical and spiritual battles lost and what has been destroyed, but there is damage done nonetheless.

 

What can we do?

  • Well, first of all, we have to realize that Satan and his evil are truly a mighty force.  We do not have any idea how much power they have and use.

 

  • BUT- we need not despair or fear because God is ALWAYS and WILL ALWAYS be more powerful.  Without His protection and Spirit, we are helpless; but with His protection and Spirit, “we are more than conquerors”!

 

  • We need to explain to our children why we do not participate in Halloween traditions or decorate our houses in “harmless” black cats, skeletons, and bloody eyeballs.  Trying to ignore the issue will make our children all the more curious and may cause them to become involved in the evil because of where they received answers to their curiosity.

 

  • We can celebrate on Halloween that we have been saved and do not need to live in the darkness, fear, and evil that surrounds those on this night who do not know Jesus.

So how can we celebrate on Halloween, but yet, not celebrate Halloween?

  • For those who still trick or treat and come knocking at your door- have cute little bags of candy ready for them, but put a kid’s tract or Bible story book in along with the candy.  There are some amazing, powerful, yet fun little booklets that can speak God’s message into kiddos hearts.

 

  • Have a party at your house or church for the local neighbor children.  Tell them that you won’t be wearing costumes, but there will still be a lot of fun things to do anyways.  Have food, games, little favors/gifts for each child to take home, easy crafts (painting t-shirts is always fun), share why you don’t celebrate Halloween, and then before they leave pray and read a meaningful story or Bible lesson that captivates the kids.  You can even do bag skits on Bible stories from the Bible…that way the children can still get to dress up, but it is for God’s Kingdom instead of for the Dark Kingdom.  It will be a lot of work, but there will be amazing battles won in the lives of children who otherwise would have been on the side of the Evil One.  Our church did this one year, and the children loved it…but they also walked away with lessons engrained upon their hearts forever.  We also did something unusual and had two hallways- one was marked Heaven and the other was marked Hell.  The children could then choose which hallway to walk.  Heaven was bright and beautiful, but Hell was dark and ugly.  Those who reached the end of the Heaven hall received a lovely gift, but those who reached the end of the Hell hall either did not get a gift or were given a not-so-nice one.

 

  • Allow your children to decorate pumpkins with sayings like “Jesus Loves Me”, “Trust in the Lord”, “Jesus is the Light of the World”, “Your Word is a Lamp to my Feet”, “God is our Refuge and Strength”, “For God so Loved the World”….  Then fill your porches and doorways with your kiddos’ cute creations that shout out great messages to all who pass by.

 

  • Take time to kindly and sweetly tell those who wish you a “Happy Halloween” or wonder how you will be partying that you do not celebrate Halloween, but you do celebrate on Halloween that you are a child of God who has been saved from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light.  If said without a condescending, self-righteous attitude, those simple words could leave a profound impact.

 

  • Do not think that by fighting the Darkness, you have to learn all about it.  You do not have to research the land of witchcraft and ouiji boards to properly combat Satan and his army.  Evil has a way of laying traps that can snare even the strongest soldier of Light when he starts treading upon their grounds.  All that you need as your weapons are God’s Holy Spirit, prayer, God’s Word, and The Armor of God!

 

  • Most importantly—–pray!  When the disciples tried to combat powerful evil, but could not, Jesus replied that it could only be done through much prayer and fasting. [20And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.- Mark 9:20-29]
  • Ask God for spiritual, physical, and emotional protection for you, your family, and other Christians on a night when the Light is attacked by the Dark.  Ask God to show Himself powerful.  Ask Him to keep the innocent from falling prey to things that lead to only more and more evil.  Ask God how He wants you to share His light on one of the darkest nights.  Bring your family together in prayer as well.  Your children will always remember seeing the power in a warrior on his knees.

I would love to hear your ideas about how you celebrate as a Christian on Halloween!