Every year right around Easter, I start to feel drawn to religious topics. I don't often write about religion here, but I try to keep my eyes and ears open to questions and things my readers want to know. More than once I have been asked by readers who are the members of my same faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints what I recommend for their teenagers to read. Easter, combined with the launch of the new Deseret Book e-book and audio book plus app made it the perfect time to recommend these wonderful books.
Deseret Bookshelf Plus is a new an amazing subscription service for $6.99 you can get unlimited access to their entire collection of ebook and audio books. They have more than 500 audio books and 1500 ebooks all included in the price. As a mom who loves to download audiobooks for traveling in the car with my kids, I can tell you the audio books alone make this price worth it. It even includes Dragonwatch the latest in the Fablehaven stories. They have a free 30 day trial right now, so you can try it for free!
There are books of every kind, including cookbooks like Our Best Bites, Biographical books like The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, Fiction like Charly and so many more. Since I am asked most often what books I would recommend to teens and young readers I have compiled my favorite books you can read AND listen to with Deseret Bookshelf Plus. These are all amazing books that I have personally read and felt inspired by. They are clean, fun and uplifting.
Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites- Jim is an adventurous boy who is a little bit of a rebel. Garth, his best friend, loves to read and study the Book of Mormon. The two find themselves thrown back to the time of the Nephites and experiencing the Book of Mormon first hand.
I devoured these books as a kid. They were adventurous and the characters very clever. Jim is funny and Garth is endearing. I stayed up really late reading these books more than once and I hope my kids are going to love them as much as I did. I stopped reading them about the time I graduated high school and so I have a few to catch up on too!
Fablehaven- When Kendra and her brother, Seth discover that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven, a sanctuary for magical creature, their eyes are opened to a world of magic and danger.
After years of prodding, I finally took my first leap into the world of Fablehaven. It is full of magical creatures and adventures. If I being completely honest, I read all five books in five days. I almost stopped after the first book, thinking it was a little two young for me, not completely captured by story yet but I am glad I kept going. It is one I can't wait to read with my kids! While not inherently religious, this book written by a member of the LDS church is everything a parent could hope for in a series their children will love.
Dragonwatch- Fablehaven fans rejoice! Dragonwatch is the first book in a whole knew series about the kids in Fablehaven. It picks up right where Fablehaven left off. As someone who had a blast reading Fablehaven I was so happy to have a book to turn to when Fablehaven was over.
What I'd Wish I had Known When I was in High School- This book was a must read for me in my teenage years. It took important gospel ideas and principles and applied them to the challenges the youth face every day. It teaches without overwhelming and covers topics such a popularity, self-esteem and self discipline. Jon Bytheway's funny wit keeps teens reading and learning. It is uplifting in a world that drags teens down.
The Five Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything- This talk on tape made a bigger impact on me during my teenage years than any other single thing I read or listened to. It lists five scriptures to help teenagers understand the love of their savior and how to move past hard things in life. I know longer remember all of the five scriptures and principles but I think of the first one often, knowing that God loves his children. If you know he loves you, really know it. So many things are easy to push through.
The Other Side of Heaven- I read this book in high school and the experiences of John H. Groberg while on his mission in Tonga touched me deeply. Elder Groberg writes his first person account of the three years he spent on a small island. The blessings, heartaches and miracles described in this book buoyed me up in ways I can completely describe. After reading this book I became obsessed with the movie adaptation and watch it over and over again. It is truly a story that shows God is good and loves his people. This book taught me things about myself, things about God and things about the world that have blessed my life for years to come.
I can't wait to start Fablehaven and Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites with my kids. I think they are going to laugh out loud at Jim and Garth's adventures and beg for more with every fairy and dragon in Fablehaven. I am thrilled to start listening to these books for such a low cost every month. With a free 30 day trial waiting for you, what do you have to lose?