The Adolescent Experience


Click on highlighted titles for full reviews from CPYU



Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. Alex Harris and Brett Harris. Multnomah, 2008.


The Peacemaker: Handling Conflict Without Fighting Back or Running Away (Student Edition). Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson. Baker Books, 2008.


One Hundred Young Americans. Michael Franzini. Collins Design, 2007.


Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled - and More Miserable Than Ever Before. Jean M. Twenge. Free Press, 2006.


UnChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity ... And Why It Matters. David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Baker. Baker, 2007.


Hardwired to Connect. Institute for American Values (DVD), 2007 (DVD).


The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School. Tim Clydesdale. University of Chicago Press, 2007.


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The Dirt on Dating. Hayley DiMarco. Revell, 2005. DiMarco explores the common and complex topic of dating in adolescence. This is a good resource to get in the hands of middle school-aged boys and girls, who, in all likelihood, have already begun dating.




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Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them. Ginny Olson. Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2006. Teenage Guys: Exploring Issues Adolescent Guys Face and Strategies to Help Them. Steve Gerali. Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2006. A pair of great new books from two veteran youth workers that offer tremendous insights into the unique changes and lives of our teenaged boys and girls. These books are both available in the CPYU Resource Center.


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Growing Up Christian. Karl Graustein. P&R Publishing, 2005. This book is written specifically for "Church Kids," encouraging them to discover their current spiritual health and develop a more mature faith.



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Emerging Adulthood. Jeffrey Jensen Arnett. Oxford University Press, 2004. This book tackles the implications of emerging adulthood, particularly in how it effects the issues of family, love and sex, marriage, college, work, and faith.


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Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford University Press, 2005. Based on results from the National Study of Youth and Religion, this collection of data and commentary takes a look at the spiritual landscape of today's teens. Excellent reference source.




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I Am Charlotte Simmons. Tom Wolfe. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004. This fictional work by social novelist Tom Wolfe might as well be a real-life story. This story captures the reality of what it's like for those who choose to make dangerous decisions during their college years. Eye-opening and revealing.



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Don't Waste Your Life. John Piper. Crossway Books, 2003. A great book to put into the hands of older teens and college students as they embark on the process of preparation for their life vocation. A DVD is also available. Available in the CPYU Resource Center.


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The Dirt on Breaking Up. Hayley DiMarco & Justin Lookadoo. Hungry Planet 2004. DiMarco and Lookadoo team up once again to write an awesome book to get into the hands of teenagers, especially those dealing with a recent break-up. Full of great advice from a biblical perspective.


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Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen. David Walsh. Free Press, 2004. Walsh details many of the common struggles of teens, and offers much practical advice to help adults better understand and deal with teens.



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The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Find Success in School and Life. Michael Thompson. Ballantine Books, 2004. Parents often don't fully understand what kind of pressures their kids are facing. Thompson enables parents to not only better understand kids, but help them succeed academically without putting them under undue pressure.



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Pushed to the Edge: How to Stop the Child Competition Race So Everyone Wins. Donna G. Corwin. Berkley, 2003. This book will help parents take a step back and asses the competitive nature in which many today are raising their kids. Corwin offers a picture of a healthy view of competition that helps both parents and teens win.


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Not Much Just Chillin': The Hidden Lives of Middle Schoolers. Linda Perlstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. Perlstein takes readers on a first-hand immersion into the lives of five suburban Maryland middle school students and chronicles their often hidden lives. This serves as an excellent window into the lives of today's middle schoolers.




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Hurt: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers. Chap Clark. Baker, 2004. Based on solid research and years of insightful observation, Clark's "Hurt" serves to open the eyes of parents, youth workers, pastors, educators, and youth-serving professionals to realities from which the church has too often chosen to look away. 'Hurt' offers a deep and penetrating look into the contemporary adolescent experience that will serve us well as we work to have a prophetic, preventive, and redemptive influence on the world of today's youth culture. Available in the CPYU Resource Center.





A Hope in the Unseen. Ron Suskind. Broadway, 1998. A Pulitzer e winning journalist offers a peek into the real world of 90's ghetto life by following the life of a high school student as he struggles for academic achievement and acceptance at MIT - eye opening!





A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence. Patricia Hersch. Fawcett Columbine, 1998. A journalist shares insights on today's youth culture gained from her three year journey observing teens.






Children, Adolescents, & the Media. Victor C. Strasburger and Barbara J. Wilson. Sage Publications, 2002. A helpful guide on media literacy, this resource cites an incredible catalog of media research and commentary on media violence, sexuality, drugs, eating disorders, music, and the Internet.






Coming of Age: The True Adventures of Two American Teens. G. Wayne Miller. Random House, 1995. A newspaper journalist chronicles the lives of two Rhode Island teens and their friends. Provides valuable insight into what really happens in and out of school.





Handbook of Children and the Media. Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer, editors. Sage Publications, 2002. This media resource companion offers empirical studies and interpretation from a variety of research authors.





On the Outside Looking In: A Year in an Inner-City High School. Christina Rathbone. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1998. A young journalist takes readers on an eye-opening trip into the reality of inner-city life for teens growing up in poverty.






Real Teens: A Contemporary Snapshot of Youth Culture. George Barna. Regal, 2001. Based on surveys of over 3,000 teenagers, this book from the Barna Research Group offers a well-organized look into the collective hearts and minds of today's emerging generation.






South of Heaven. Thomas French. Doubleday, 1993. An eye-opening and informative peek into what life is really like in America's high schools. Riveting non-fiction that follows several students through a year of high school.





Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse. Douglas Century. Warner Books, 1999. A white journalist takes readers on an eye-opening journey into Brooklyn's urban street culture.







The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Stephen Chbosky. MTV/Pocket Books, 1999. This first-person fictional account offers readers a ride through the roller-coaster period of adolescence. This book doesn't give kids answers, but offers adults a window into the world of youth.