Friday, December 3, 2010

Books for Teen Boys

As a mom, I am often looking for good books that I can hand on to my children. When they become teens, I hope to find books that offer them inspiration and guidance, especially through heroic "characters." Most, but not all, of the books listed here are biographies. I chose these books because the main "character" is always striving to do the right thing and often against incredible odds. Since many of these books are about interesting, real people, it gives us a starting point to discuss the issues presented in them.

Dominic Savio: Teenage Saint (The Life of Dominic Savio: Teenage Saint) by Peter Lappin, many editions, hc, or pbk, OP
Dominic faces many trials after he begins school with Don Bosco.

Grunt Padre by Fr. Daniel Mode, CMJ Marian Publishers, 2000, hc or pbk, 212 pp.
The fascinating story of Fr. Capodanno's heroic life during the war in Vietnam.

With God in Russia by Walter J. Ciszek, Ignatius Press, 1997, pb, or e-book, 433 pp.
Fr. Ciszek survived 23 years of the horrific conditions of the Russian prison camps after World War II. This is his incredible story of hope.

Parish Priest: Father McGivney and American Catholicism by Douglas Brinkley, Harper Perennial, 2007, hc, CD audio book, e-book, 272 pp.
While he is noted as the founder of the Knights of Columbus, this inspiring story of Father McGivney focuses on his tireless devotion of helping those in need.

Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy, Tyndale House Publishers, hc, pbk, Audio CD, DVD, 352 pp.
Known as the Superbowl winning coach of Indianapolis Colts, this is much more than a success story; it is the story of how his Christian faith influenced the decisions in his life.

Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau by Jean Bernard, Zaccheus Press, 2007, 197 pp.
In this gripping story, we learn of Fr. Jean Bernard's courageous struggle to stay alive in the Dachau concentration camp.

The Catholic Book of Character and Success or How to Live Nobly and Well by Edward F. Garesche, Sophia Institute Pres, 2008, pbk, 153 pp.
Sophia Institute changed the title of the book, so it is the same book.This is not a biography.
In a world filled with temptations seeking to destroy young people, Fr. Garesche shows them how to gain lasting happiness through a concrete plan for success.

A Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio FrassatiA Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati by Luciana Frassati, Ignatius Press, 2001, 179 pp.
His sister offers us some wonderful insights into his Christian character. Because of his parents, he hid his dynamic faith. Like many university students, he was actively involved in politics. Unlike many students, he showed compassion for the poor by helping them through his good works. Always joyful, he was liked by many. More importantly, he strived to imitate Christ in everything.

The Shadow of His Wings: The True Story of Fr. Gereon Goldman OFM Gereon Karl Goldman, Ignatius Press, 2000, pbk, Audio CD, E-book, 345 pp.
After Gereon, a young seminarian, is drafted into the SS, he is persecuted for his faith. This is his amazing story of how he lived his faith.

Updated: 6/9/2010. Added another book.

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low ExpectationsDo Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris, Multnomah, 2008, hc, 242 pp. Audio CD, Kindle. Teens, Alex and Brett Harris, challenge other teens to live beyond the cultural norm of low expectations and little responsibilities. Inspiring! A book that everyone should read and ask, "What are the hard things God is asking me to do?"

Updated: 12/3/2010

Be a Man!: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be Be a Man!: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be by Fr. Larry Richards, Ignatius, 2009, pbk, 196 pp. Fr. Larry Richards challenges men of all ages to be the men God called them to be. Encouraging! Reminds them to focus on what is most important in their lives, beginning with their end goal in life. For a more in depth review, I posted one on amazon.


  1. Beth can you find these books in the library or do you need to buy them all?

    I am happy I found your blog.

  2. That depends on your library. I did a quick check on the countycat (on-line library catalog), which is connected to multiple libraries. I found Quiet Strength, Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dauchau,and Parish Priest: Father McGivney and American Catholicism. You can request your library to purchase them. That sometimes works. If you would like to buy them and save money, you can always do a used book search.
    God Bless,