Nonfiction books for teens
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Shine Bright by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal: Sisters Clark and Beal wrote this 60-day devotional to help young women grow in Biblical understanding and application to better reflect God’s image, not their own or the world’s. Each devotional includes Scripture and personal anecdotes—hair extensions gone wrong, sunburns, basketball aspirations, disagreements, and sharing about Christ with an unbelieving friend. Clark and Beal emphasize the devotional is meant to complement, not replace, personal time in Bible study and prayer. (Ages 14 & up)
Proverbs for You by Kathleen Nielson: Biblical wisdom is “God-breathed” and set apart from worldly understanding. Nielson seeks to show how Proverbs, considered a “wisdom book” in the Bible, addresses an array of daily activities and experiences, from eating and drinking to communication, relationships, and business dealings. Nielson examines Proverbs from start to finish, conveying overarching messages in each section and concluding each chapter with questions. The book underscores that wisdom infuses every part of God’s created world, but it is only found through relationship with the Lord. (Ages 15 & up)
Brave and Bold by Marty Machowski: In 31 short devotionals, Machowski offers manhood basic training. Biblical manhood is not about strength or stature, he writes, but about character. The book incorporates illustrations from Scripture and the military, including stories from Machowski’s time in the Army. Topics encompass prayer, honoring women, telling the truth, conquering fear, memorizing Scripture, confessing failures, and holding one’s tongue. Machowski challenges young men with a picture of manhood that reflects Christ, not the world, and with truths that take a lifetime to apply. (Ages 15 & up)
A Brief Theology of Periods (Yes, Really) by Rachel Jones: Jones takes up a mantle few have dared in addressing the physicality of menstruation—the pain, mess, emotions, and biological clock—in light of what the Bible says. The book assumes some knowledge about human reproduction, and its appendix includes a Q&A about hormonal contraceptives and intercourse within a Christian marriage while a woman is menstruating. Jones emphasizes what our bodies tell us about God, the world, and the gospel—a timely message when culture refers to women as “people who menstruate.” (Ages 16 & up)
Connor Boyack’s new Tuttle Twins guidebook series (Libertas Press, 2020) features three books with themes about courage, innovation, and good people willing to take risks and solve problems.
Courageous Heroes includes 22 engaging profiles of a variety of men and women, ranging from George Müller to Edward Snowden to Harriet Tubman. The book emphasizes how they overcame opposition and hardship. Inspiring Entrepreneurs introduces readers to 16 popular and lesser-known inventors, from Elon Musk to Hetty Green, with takeaways from their risks, failures, problem solving, and innovations. In Logical Fallacies, Boyack teaches kids to analyze ideas and arguments and separate the good from the bad. The book’s comic strips, anecdotes, and examples from current events make heady concepts fun and relatable for kids and adults.
Boyack is a Mormon and libertarian, but his series provides a springboard for children, parents, and teachers to talk further about the people and topics with Biblical understanding. —M.J.