Topic | Life Changing Reads for Teen Boy


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  • CrystalN

    Wondering if anyone can recommend books that changed your sons life. My 17 year old is a good kid. But he is making some bad choices in music and friends and I fear it could lead him away from Christ. I am struggling with how much freedom he should have vs when to pull back the reigns. He has been hanging with some kids who are believers, and home schoolers, but kinda immature, and making dumb choices. He is listening to music that is vile and explicit. I know teen “rebellion” is normal. He is basically an obedient, respectful kid. I just worry about his walk. I know he is saved, but living for Christ isn’t really on his radar yet. He has always been a late bloomer, so I am trying to be patient, but I dont know when/if to say no more friends, no more music. I pray the Holy Spirit will just flood his heart – soon. Though I dont know how the Lord could even share a room with him when that music is on. Sorry, long post. Basically I want to give him inspiration to live for his Lord. I think our teens have it hard with all the world offers by way of cool cars, cool clothes, cool music. So accessible with a click. He needs a heart change, and I dont know what, if anything, I can/should do to help that along. Any recommendations?


    My mother’s heart goes out to you. It is such an ache when we see our children make decisions that we know will have long term consequences.

    Has your son read God’s Smuggler? Or the Ralph Moody books? They may not necessarily be life changing books but they certainly have a positive influence. When they were younger, a couple of my boys enjoyed the G. A. Henty books. The characters displayed honorable traits. I will try to think of more books that my boys have enjoyed.

    Does your son have any hobbies or interests that he could pursue? I find that the more occupied my boys are the less time they have for the things that are not profitable. Not to say that they don’t enjoy nice clothes or working on their trucks. 🙂


    I don’t know if these are particularly life-changing either, but my teen boys have really enjoyed these books. They have strong Christian values and characters that overcome major hardships. I wish I had a longer list, but these three really stand out to me among the ones they’ve read.

    • The Hiding Place
    • And the Word Came With Power (Joanne Shetler)
    • Mover of Men and Mountains (R. G. LeTourneau)

    Must the young die too by Wyatt Sawyer

    this is a life changing book. Very heavy! Will get your sons attention!

    This book recounts the life of a young man from a good family who ran with the wrong crowd, and as a consequence, ended up forfeiting his life at the hands of the state.

    this is a overview from goodreads

    Written by Wyatt Sawyer, this book in a very compelling way, makes one aware of the dangers that young people face, and how quickly life can unravel by making poor choices. Decisions that each of us make today are not just about today, but affect our tomorrows, in fact, sometimes whether we even have a tomorrow


    Books by Tozer (The Pursuit of God) is what my teen would say and also he says his favorite book is 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I feel teenagers these days are just plain selfish, they forget who they are and why they are here so the best way I have seen to change a child’s heart is to pray, and offer some biographies of good Godly people who you would like your son to learn from.  Character is built by people in good books and that is how best to draw your kids to good ideas without being too preachy.


    Bob Schultz books were written for teen boys, but all of us have liked them:

    Boyhood and Beyond

    Created for Work

    Practical Happiness

    Everyday Battles


    My 16yo son recently read Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington and thought it was great. It is the Norton Critical Edition. Great man of character.

    He just started reading Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and is already intrigued.

    I hear you on wanting to get good stuff into him!



    Any more suggestions?

    Any feedback on the book(s) used by OP, CrystalN?

    Can Mover of Men and Mountains be used with a business/economics course?  Or as a family read aloud?  What ages?

    I’m looking for books for my teenage son.  Thanks.



    Mover of Men and Mountains is scheduled as part of literature with Notgrass Economics, so yes, I think it could be used with a business or economics course. I don’t know about the read aloud, as I have not read it myself. But my boys have all enjoyed it from about age 12 and up.


    My 13 year old son has read and enjoyed these books:

    The Traveler’s Gift:  Mastering the Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews–An excellent read about a time traveler who visits famous people in history who made life-altering decisions.  My son read my mother’s copy of this book and then asked for his own copy for Christmas.

    Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris –This was written by teenage brothers (twins) for teens.  Christian perspective.  My son enjoyed this and gave his friend a copy.

    Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are by Alex and Brett Harris

    He is currently reading Sergeant York and the Great War by Tom Skeyhill.   York was definitely a courageous Christian man.

    He has read some and I hope to have him read more of the Leaders in Action series–biographies of Robert E. Lee, C.S. Lewis, Booker T. Washington, Patrick Henry, and more

    We have the books by Bob Schultz.  My son is working through them slowly on his own..

    I must say that I am so glad we were advised to have our son read really great books such as these.  They really have influenced him for the good.  For example, he now generously uses his own money to occasionally purchase items for our family (vegetables from the farmer’s market, pizza, and treats such as ice cream or a movie rental) after reading Created for Work by Bob Schultz.  He also reads his Bible daily, helps with music and mowing at church, and goes on mission trips because he has a genuine desire to serve the LORD.  I cannot attribute all of that to great books because there are other influences, but I definitely think great books keep him focused on the right things.


    A better teacher than an author of a book is a living mentor our teen sons can be discipled by.  This could be an older man in the church whom your son could help with yard work, home repairs, gardening, etc.  Going on mission trips could be good also.  Just spending time with an older, Spiritually mature man should help.  For us, my son recently started volunteering for disaster relief with Fellowship of Christian Farmers.  I am so thankful.  God is so good.  It is like he has his own real life “Bob Schultz” as a godly male influence in his life.  Of course, we keep good books going as well.  Many good ideas here.  And keep on praying.


    My 14 year old son read “Seal of God” and loved it. It’s about a wayward teen that wants to be a Navy Seal.

    I also would recommend “God’s Smuggler”

    Lamplighter books are great too! We are a part of their book club and receive 2 books each month. One of our favorite Lamplighter’s  is “That Printer of Udell’s” ( inspired Ronald Reagan) .

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