Graduation Gifts, 2017 Edition

Need a graduation gift idea for a new or recent graduate? We’ve got you covered!

‘Tis the season when many young men and women doff mortar boards and tassels and step forward into their future. Why not give them a book that will help turn them ever more to Christ as they move forward into the story He’s written for them!

Over the years, the RR staff has come up with several lists full of graduation gifts. Thankfully, there is an embarrassment of riches because we are fortunate to have a wealth of gifted, thoughtful Christian writers. Note: many of these titles make excellent gifts for grown-ups, too!

New ideas for this year are blurbed first in each list below followed by links to older recommendations. You may also check out the Graduation Gift List shelf at our amazon store to read other reviews. {Remember, all amazon links from RR are affiliate links; your purchases through our site helps keep our site up and running!}

Graduation Gifts: Bibles and Devotionals

Graduation Gifts: Theology and Apologetics

  • Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions by Tim Keller. (Penguin, 2015). Keller’s clear, logical, and winsome prose unpacks 10 encounters with Jesus as they are presented in the Gospels. Moving readers beyond Sunday School-level appreciation for Jesus, the encounters reveal the answers to life’s biggest questions of identity, sin, salvation, who God is, and more.
  • No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God by Aimee Byrd. (P&R, 2016). This is written for women in their twenties and thirties, but worthwhile for the more thoughtful teen reader.  Aimee exhorts women to aim high in their Bible study and be careful about whom they choose to follow, but she also exhorts men not to absent themselves from women’s studies or concerns.  A good start and thought-provoking. 
  • The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges. (NavPress, 2003).
  • Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus  by Nabeel Qureshi. (Zondervan, 2016).
  • Rise by Trip Lee. (Thomas Nelson, 2015)
  • Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. A classic with good reason!
  • How to Talk to a Skeptic by Donald Johnson. (Bethany House, 2013).

Graduation Gifts: Worldview and Academic Disciplines

Graduation Gifts: Christian Living and Practical Advice

  • This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years by Jaquelle Crowe. (Crossway, 2017). Brand new and written by a teenager to her fellow teens. Crowe exhorts teens to stand against the tide of culture, to let the gospel truly change everything.  Watch for our review next week!
  • Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. (Crossway, 2013). Short and sweet, DeYoung reminds readers of their ultimate purpose, challenges them to focus on what counts, and to avoid busyness for busyness’s sake.
  • The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin. (Baker Books, 2004). Every sentence packs a punch in this super short book edited for modern readers. Calvin’s insights into self denial and the promises of God are amazingly as fresh and relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago. Best for college grads, but thoughtful high school grads will also appreciate it.
  • The Happy Christian by David Murray. (Thomas Nelson, 2015). Murray offers practical steps to pursuing the joy of knowing Christ in the midst of a world that thrives on cynicism. Clear and accessible, this is a good choice for teens with a pessimistic bent as they head off into a cynical, sarcastic world.
  • Thriving at College by Alex Chediak. (Tyndale, 2011).
  • Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. (Crossway, 2004).
  • Do Hard Things by Brett Harris and Alex Harris (Multnomah, 2008). A great complement to This Changes Everything!
  • You Have a Brain by Ben Carson (Zondervan, 2015).
  • True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney. (Crossway, 2014).
  • God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith. (Crossway, 2011).


Graduation Gifts: Inspiration and Those Who’ve Gone Before

What have we missed? We’re happy to keep adding to this list! (And may continue to do so throughout this graduation “season.” )

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.

1 Comment

  1. Betsy on May 3, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    (from a reader!) I recently happened upon your website looking for christian book reviewers. I have three young children so I was overjoyed to find your website. Thank you so much for all the work you do, it is invaluable for parents like me. I saw your graduation gifts post and it made me think of two books I would recommend, that I want my children to read someday when they are mature enough:

    -the student edition of “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (I have only read the ‘adult’ version and it was amazing, though I thought the abuse descriptions too graphic for younger teen readers, so the student version would be just right)
    -“Saving My Assassin” by Virginia Prodan – I think all people should read this, especially millenials, of whom a growing number seem increasingly accepting of socialism/communism

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