Franciscan Spirit Blog

6 Clean Reads for Catholic and Christian Teens

Summer break is upon us, and that means bored teenagers who might need something to do besides play on their phones! If you’re looking to encourage a teenage reader with faith-filled books that offer escape, adventure, and food for thought, look no further. Here are six recommendations for clean books for teens from Franciscan Media.

Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace

This book of essays by Brian Doyle offers reflections on life, family, and faith, written in Doyle’s signature meandering prose style that makes each tale feel like a journey. Doyle effortlessly connects the everyday with the inexpressible and consistently marries searingly honest prose with interruptions of humor and humanity. These essays bear Doyle’s trademark depth and deliver with eloquence his piercing observations on mohawks and miracles, vigils and velociraptors, syntax and scapulars, jail and jihad, and mercy beyond sense.Readers will love the humor and insights contained in each story. 

Read an excerpt from Eight Whopping Lies.

At Home in Persimmon Hollow

Romance readers will fall hard for the Persimmon Hollow Legacy books by Gerri Bauer, which chronicle life and love in a 19th-century Florida town. At Home in Persimmon Hollow follows Agnes Foster, who arrives in the town from New York, ready to create a new life for herself.With nothing but her strong Catholic faith to sustain her, she leaves behind the only home she’s ever known and the little girl she hopes to adopt, and encounters a wild and beautiful new landscape, and a town full of hardworking, faith-filled people. She also meets the difficult, yet handsome and hard-to-ignore Seth Taylor, a man whose heart has been hardened to God after a terrible loss.

Stitching a Life in Persimmon Hollow

The Persimmon Hollow Legacy continues with Stitching a Life in Persimmon Hollow, in which we meet Josefa Gomez. Josefa longs for the glamorous life of a fashion designer far beyond her small town. But her dreams of designing exquisite gowns for rich women in Paris and New York alarm her Tia Lupita, who fears that Josefa’s ambitions are unrealistic for a girl of her station. Will Josefa follow her dreams of glamor or submit to her aunt’s plans for stability and security? Can she find a way to use her gifts in a truly productive way? 

The Pilgrim

Worldwide bestselling author Davis Bunn takes readers on a journey through an ancient landscape in his novel telling the story of the search for the True Cross. Abandoned by her husband, in danger because of her faith, but with an implacable will to do what God calls her to, Helena takes a perilous pilgrimage, making friends and angering foes along the way. Miracles seem to follow this humble but determined woman as she wins many over to the faith, and changes lives forever—including her own.

Read a selection from The Pilgrim.

The Fragment

In Davis Bunn’s second True Cross novel, skepticism vies with faith amid the grit and grandeur of post-World-War-I Europe. It’s 1923, and a resilient Paris is starting to recover from the ravages of World War I and the Spanish Flu Epidemic. Muriel Ross, an amateur American photographer, is asked to photograph an astonishing artifact: a piece of the True Cross, discovered by Empress Helena—a historical figure familiar to readers of The Pilgrim. When rumors surface that another fragment has been unearthed, Muriel becomes enmeshed in a covert international alliance dedicated to authenticating the fragment—and protecting it from those who will stop at nothing to steal and discredit it.

At Play in God’s Creation: An Illuminating Coloring Book

For those who prefer visuals to words, this adult coloring book offers a rich experience. The pages take colorers on a spiritual journey, aided by quotes from saints for reflection as the path unfolds before them. This imaginative, spiritually rich addition to the growing genre of coloring books for adults encourages color and contemplation, allowing a safe and comfortable place for anyone to find their way in prayer and silence. This book offers the perfect way for teenagers (and adults) to pray with creativity.

All the books described above are available in Franciscan Media’s online Catholic bookstore.

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