One of the main ways people cope with tough times is to seek out spiritual guidance. I do it myself, often and a lot. Even though spirituality can be used in the name of hatred to hurt others, when used with love, spiritual writing can be a main source of guidance and hope for kids and teens going through hard times.
So today I have a list of spiritually-inspired and themed books for kids and teens. This list, again, comes from my MFA student forum at Vermont College.
Books from a Christian Perspective:
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
- His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman
- The Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox
- Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (Which I reviewed here)
- Losing Faith by Denise Jaden
- Faking Faith by Josie Blos
- Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
- The Tales of Alvin Maker by Orson Scott Card
- Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
- Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
- Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Perry
- 8th Grade Superzero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
- Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret
- The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
- The ChosenOne by Carol Lynch Williams
- Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
- Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan (Muslim)
- Quaking by Kathryn Erskine (Quakers)
- Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (Judaism and Christianity)
- American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (Chinese)
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin (Chinese)
- Zen Shorts, Zen Ties and Zen Ghosts by Jon Muth
- The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman
And just for fun, my friend Meredith just sent me this wonderful quotation:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
–Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Speech, 1994