Kids across the country are out of school, and now we’re at the beginning of hot days, summer vacations, and of course, the proverbial summer reading lists.
Because summertime is a great time for catching up on reading, I think it’s worthwhile to share what I think are the most important Catholic books out there for youths and young adults to dig in to. From kids in their pre-teens up to late teens, these formative years are very important ones to encourage your kids to read books that will inspire them to the great things in life: truth, goodness, and beauty.
I admit that this list is completely biased by including only books that I have personally read and enjoyed. I encourage you to comment and leave other books that you think every Catholic young adult would be better off reading. Here is my list of top Catholic books for young adults (in no particular order):
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings is one of the best stories of all-time and it has powerful christian themes and tones. Depending on your children’s age they are likely familiar with the movies, but if they are old enough (high school more than likely) then you should certainly encourage them to the books. And read it with them too!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia is very similar to the Lord of the Rings in that it is a fiction/fantasy story with many christian themes and tones. These books are a far easier read, but can still be enjoyed by a high schooler (I personally read the Chronicles in High School).
Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly – In my opinion this books is one of the best books to light a fire under a young Catholic for the faith. I see Catholic teens everyday that are simply going through the motions of Catholicism (they probably learned it from their parents), this books has the power to change that. This book inspired me to revert to the faith in my younger days and I would encourage anyone to read it, especially if they need a kick in the pants.
Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft – This book does a phenomenal job of taking the Catechism of the Catholic Church which can be hard to understand and breaking it down into much more easily understandable language. If you want your child to read the Catechism, well good luck, if that doesn’t work, then I would urge them to try this book. Peter Kreeft, if you didn’t already know, is one of the great Catholic writers of our time.
Triumph – The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, a 2000 Year History by H. W. Crocker, III – This book is one of the best Church History books I have read by far. It is very engaging and easy to read, which makes it ideal for teenagers. If your son or daughter does not know or love Church history, then this an ideal book for them. In my opinion this book is not dry, but riveting as history ought to be told.
This Catholic book list is just my simple, humble suggestion. There may be lots of other great Catholic books that you would recommend for young people. Please comment below and share what books you think every Catholic youth ought to have read and be familiar with before they leave the nest.