Great Summer Read for Christian Teens

Great Summer Read for Christian Teens- Parenting Like HannahStill on the search for quality summer reads for your teen? I have already had a couple of teens I know ask if I am aware of any good books for them to read. I think the new book Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants For You by Dan Dumas, might just be a summer “must read” for teens.

Dumas has been a college minister and currently works for a couple of universities. His exposure to young people in that age range has given him some rather keen insights into the things that cause them trouble, questions they have and more.

He divides the book into four main sections:You and God, You and Others, You and Yourself and You and the Gospel. Each section contains several chapters, breaking down the topic into several key areas. His advice is practical and straightforward, but he also manages to avoid the trap of appearing condescending or “preachy”.

I tend to tab sections of books I think are particularly well written ways of communicating important information, so I can think on them further or quote them in my work. This book ended up with quite a few tabs. I loved that he didn’t hold back as people often do when speaking to young adults, but was able to be blunt without being ugly. Comments like “Reading your Bible and praying is not about doing something just because it’s a luxury. It’s about survival.” “That’s greatness: being willing to serve others, even when nobody else is.” will give teens and young adults a lot to ponder.

The biggest criticism I had was probably that in the service chapter, I think he underestimates the abilities of this generation. He includes a list of ways to serve others, which is fine, just a tad generic and simple for teens who have often been involved in service projects they created that impacted entire communities in major ways. For many, it’s not the lack of time spent serving that is the issue, but the underlying attitudes of sympathy v. empathy, personal spiritual growth while serving others and hearing and meeting others felt needs and their need for God that need to be addressed.

My other two concerns are minor. He refers to ministers as the leader of the church when scripturally it is the elders who God put in charge. Also, I noticed he put the scriptures in the body of the text, which I love, but for some reason chose to put where they are found in the notes in the back of the book. Although, not a huge issue for most, it makes it awkward for those who want to look up and read the entire passage or read it from a different version than the one quoted.

If you have even a relatively young teen who is beginning to think about the future, I think this book has a lot of value. Older college students may find it a bit basic, but honestly I know some “really old” adults who could learn some important things from it’s pages. It’s most definitely a great summer read for your teen.



This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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