Our family was introduced to the Harris brothers about the time the first edition of this book came out several years ago. Our then young teen daughter loved reading the book and realizing she wasn’t the only kid on the planet who made God, serving others and sharing their faith priorities in their lives.
Do Hard Things (New 5th Anniversary Edition) by Alex and Brett Harris is a must read for all tweens and teens. It does a great job at banishing the myth that the teen years should only be about playing and avoiding responsibility as the way to have fun and enjoy life. Instead, they make a strong case that actually living a life doing the hard things is where real joy and fulfillment are to be found for young people.
I love this book! It is an easy read and approachable for teens as it was written by teens. (The authors are still in their early twenties in this expanded version of the book.) The authors break down the history of the idea of being a teen and the problems with playing away your teen years instead of doing the hard things.
Although this book has a lot of ideas and support for helping teens change the world, it really is about more than just that. The authors also encourage teens to accept responsibility for their own lives and faith. The author’s Christian beliefs are woven throughout the book, but this is not a Bible study. (I was a little disappointed when they discussed becoming a Christian, they didn’t mention the need to do the hard thing of being baptized. I would love for them to research scripture and early church history to realize that was always a “hard” thing expected in the early church and it wasn’t until modern times the idea of a believer’s prayer was introduced.)
Ultimately, the book isn’t about ending world hunger or converting people to Christianity or starting successful businesses or make great grades in school. It is about young people stepping up and embracing the idea of reaching their God-given potential and doing the things God has put in front of them to do -serving others and sharing their faith – starting now. It is about realizing God has used teens to change the world for a very long time and that they too can impact the world for God. In fact, now that I think about it, this is a great book for adults to read, too!
As a side note, this expanded edition is the original book with added stories of teens making a difference and a list of 100 hard things teens can do in a variety of areas. There are also questions in the back should someone want to discuss the book with a group of young people. If you don’t own the original, this book is definitely worth buying for the young people in your life. Although it is marketed to teens, I think it is appropriate for any child who is able to read and understand it (possibly 4th or 5th grade and up). Just be ready for those who read it to want to make a difference!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.