Honey for a Teen’s Heart is more than just a list of books you can pick from for your teen. As the tagline says, it’s about using those books to communicate with your teen. When we see our children growing and changing seemingly overnight and adulthood and independence are fast approaching, it’s important to talk about big issues together. I’m at that state with my twelve-year-old daughter and I’m excited to use the information and books in Honey for a Teen’s Heart.
This book is a Christian resource written by Gladys Hunt (who wrote Honey for a Child’s Heart–you can read Ellen’s review of that wonderful resource here) and Barbara Hampton. Ms. Hunt states that the reason she wanted to publish this volume for teens was the explosion of “young adult” literature, some of which “add to teenage chaos rather than helping them to resolve the questions teens have about relationships and self-worth.”
The beginning of the book has 10 chapters about sharing books with your teens, either by reading aloud together or reading the same books independently. These chapters discuss choosing books carefully, encouraging reading, using those books to communicate with your teens about important topics, asking questions about what you read, reading the Bible, fantasy books, and even information specifically targeted to the college-bound homeschooler.
The authors encourage reading widely so your child can learn to discern the best. They encourage asking questions, because by doing that we can think about what the book is saying, which in turn can help us define our values and understand real life. The authors believe that reading good books and discussing them encourages your child to think deeply and ask questions, widens their world, and helps them understand abstract ideas.
The book provides guidance in looking at the overall meaning and worldview of books and provides some discussion points and questions to use. The authors encourage you to use these conversations about books to “help young adults make sense out of the world and their place in it.”
After the very informative introductory chapters come book recommendations from all different genres. These are pure gold to me as I seek to feed my child truly good books.
Each book in the list includes:
- An age range: early teens (middle school), mid teens (early high school), late teens (senior high to college), and all ages (good for read-alouds).
- A short description.
- For all books other than nonfiction or those considered “tried and true” there is a recommendation that includes special features or comments. An asterisk denotes certain books that are particularly recommended.
- For some books specific discussion questions are included.
This book has encouraged me as I adjust to homeschooling an older child with deeper questions about life. I am encouraged that I can use good books, which we’ve always enjoyed sharing, as a jumping-off point to initiate and guide important conversations.
Heidi homeschools her two children in Maine using an eclectic mix including Charlotte Mason’s ideas, quality literature and hands-on learning. She strives to show her children that learning is an exciting, life long adventure. She shares their experiences on her blog, Home Schoolroom.