For many families, having teenagers home from school in the summer is terrific. But it can also be frustrating.
After seeing them lounge on the sofa staring at their smart phones or playing Xbox for a couple hundred hours, the idea of year-round school suddenly seems more attractive. It reminds me of the introduction to Neal Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death, where he suggested that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World got closer to reality than Orwell’s 1984. “Orwell feared those who would ban books,” Postman wrote. “Huxley feared there would be no one left who wanted to read a book.”
Because we don’t want teenagers amusing themselves to death this summer by staring at various rectangles, BreakPoint’s Youth Reads has helped launch a summer reading program for teenagers and their parents. If you’ve ever visited the Youth Reads page at BreakPoint.org, you know that it reviews books for teens and preteens. It’s a great resource for parents, teachers, librarians, or anyone who works with this age group.
This summer, Youth Reads is partnering with RedeemedReader.com, another excellent site which focuses on kids’ books. The joint project is called Lemonade and Lit, and its goal is to help get teens and parents reading, and reading together, this summer.
Lemonade and Lit features three books. Currently we are reading and discussing Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me, by Karen Swallow Prior.
We’ve talked about Booked on BreakPoint before. It’s the story of how Prior’s love for great books guided her through a turbulent adolescence and young adulthood — and then back to the faith that she had neglected.
Prior writes, “I thought my love of books was taking me away from God, but as it turns out, books were the backwoods path back to God, bramble-filled and broken, yes, but full of truth.”
If you’re looking for a book to help you discuss spiritual things with your teen, this is it. Prior’s honesty and realism about her own struggles is refreshing but raw enough that parental guidance is a good idea. But these same parts have the potential to bring up the important conversations between you and your teen that teens need to have but often feel like they can’t. But you want them to have these conversations with you first, and the book points to the sense of hope that comes only from God’s gracious willingness to meet us where we are.
The reading of Booked has already started, but it’s not too late to jump in. (Or you can wait and start with the next book in the project, and then come back to Booked later!)
The next book in the read-along is a modern classic for kids. It’s called Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley. It’s a great version of a much-loved fairy tale. And after that, the final book is Andrew Klavan’s action-adventure tale The Last Thing I Remember.
For each book we’ll have discussion questions and a podcast that will help you and your kids dig deeper into what you’re reading.
So head over to the Youth Reads page at BreakPoint.org, and to RedeemedReader.com. Both sites can connect you with the Lemonade and Lit project.
And don’t forget about your own reading this summer! Years ago, Chuck Colson started a tradition here at BreakPoint, where he and the BreakPoint staff would gather their summer reading recommendations. We’ve kept that tradition alive.
Come to BreakPoint.org, click on this commentary, and we’ll link you to the BreakPoint 2013 Summer Reading list, with recommendations from Eric Metaxas, myself, Chuck Colson, and other members of our team.
So Lemonade and Lit and the BreakPoint 2013 Summer Reading List for you and your kids, all at BreakPoint.org.
BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.
John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.