Trips to bookstores are one of my favorite ways to relax and even splurge occasionally. I enjoy lingering through many sections just to see what interesting books are being published. I have even been known to purchase a children’s book so I could read it for myself.
There is one section though that disturbs me. The next time you walk into a place selling books, amble over to the teen section. Most likely, you will find it overflowing with very dark books. Yes, the covers are almost all dark now, but what lies inside the covers is often worse. Stories are crammed with demons, wizards and dark magic. Not to mention the ones encouraging ugly behavior or making girls think they are somehow defective if they aren’t experimenting with alcohol, sex and/or drugs.
In my search for positive teen books I stumbled upon an author who has written a delightful set of books for girls. Erin Davis has written four lovely books: My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Journey to Discover Truth, My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Journey to Discover Who She Is, My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Mission to Make a Difference, and My Name is Erin: One Girl’s Plan for Radical Faith.
Each book covers its subject in a balanced, non-threatening way. Ms. Davis explains things clearly and uses research and the Bible to explain her points. The book on truth is perhaps my favorite. Instead of focusing on converting a girl who may be questioning the very existence of God, she takes a step back. Davis focuses on convincing girls of the dangers of relative truth. She does probably one of the best jobs I have seen of breaking down the problem and showing how God’s absolute truths are really the answer to the questions they may have.
One could say that some of the information in the other books is somewhat derivative of adult works, but honestly there are only so many ways to teach the same basic truths. I believe Ms. Davis does a great job of taking basic concepts like having radical faith or missions and writing about them in ways that make them accessible to teen girls. She even handles the subject of how to be a godly young woman in a balanced way that still reinforces the biblical truths sometimes viewed as out-of-date by critics.
My main criticism is actually an aesthetic one. I handed one of the books to my sixteen year old daughter, who summed it up well. “Mom, these books look like they have some great stuff in them. The problem is the fonts and some of the ways the book is set up make it look like it is written for an older elementary or middle school student. Teens in high school need the information and much of it is probably written to our level (because of quoting research, etc.), but a lot of girls wouldn’t read it because it looks too young.” I would highly suggest the author/publisher consider publishing an edition that combines all of the books into one regular sized book with fonts and wording aimed at girls in senior high and college.
If your daughter has questions about the idea of absolute truth, her place in God’s Plan as a woman or her mission, these would make great books for her to read. They are quick reads and non-threatening in their approach. If you want some good, Christian, non-fiction books for your upper elementary or middle school daughter, I would suggest considering these as an option. If your older high school daughter is really struggling with these ideas, there are two ways these books could help you. First you could purchase and read them yourself and then use the author’s points in your discussion. Or if your daughter is struggling but open to any help, let her read the books for herself or read them together and discuss them.
I would love to hear what you and your daughter think after reading the books. Did they open your daughter’s mind to some new biblical ideas? I would love for you to share your thoughts and experiences in a comment below.
This book was provided to me by Moody Publishers free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I loved the books and will keep them to share with others. The links are affiliate links. Using them will not change your costs in any way, but will help support this blog in its efforts to help parents.