Most homeschoolers know about Honey for a Child’s Heart, and recently Heidi reviewed Honey for a Teen’s Heart here. That wonderful review motivated me to look for the book, and as soon as I returned my interlibrary loan copy to the library, I bought it.
It’s that good.
And that’s why I want to draw your attention to it again. After all, we know it takes several exposures to an idea before most people will do something about it. This book is worth that kind of effort and I think most homeschooling families will benefit greatly from it.
Honey for a Teen’s Heart, a book about books for teens, has two valuable sections: the how and why part written by Gladys Hunt and the book lists compiled by Barbara Hampton.
As Heidi described in detail, Gladys Hunt’s section is about using books to communicate with teens. The teen years are often (not always) a time of decreasing communication and sharing good books gives many opportunities to discuss important, relevant, and personal issues. They are also a way of having fun together, meeting new people, and doing new things, in other words, of sharing experiences that are often emotional. Such sharing can only be good. In fact, in a Christian home such sharing can be exceedingly powerful.
In ten chapters, Gladys Hunt organizes her thoughts about books, society, teens, imagination, values, education, and the Bible. She emphasizes the importance of asking questions of a book, and in that sense this book is a helpful guide to high school literature as well. As when I first read Honey for a Child’s Heart, I felt as though I had found a wonderful guide through a confusing world. Gladys Hunt is wise and shares her wisdom graciously and with enthusiasm.
Because much of the newer young adult literature causes more problems than it solves, I really value the detailed book guides. I do not appreciate some of the recommended books, but at least I can read the detailed opinions of an informed Christian. That is worth a lot.
Therefore the 150 pages of book recommendations and discussions, all grouped by genre and age level, with recommended read alouds clearly marked, are a treasure. Potential problem books are often (not always) discussed, and the given information can help parents decide if a certain book is worth pre-reading before maybe giving to a teen, worth reading with a teen, or not worthwhile for their family.
I only wish we had owned this book a decade ago when my oldest was a preteen. Now even Miss 16 looks at the booklists sadly. “If only I had seen these earlier,” she sighs, “when I was young enough to enjoy them.” Of course, there are books on the list that she might still enjoy, but she has been reading adult classics for too long to really want to step back at this stage; maybe later. Since we still have two young ones, however, we will be able to use this book for many years.
If you have preteens or teens, I recommend you read this book. It is widely available second hand as well as new and is also available in many libraries.
For more information, do read Heidi’s review.
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library and then bought it. I am not compensated for this review in any way.