Discussion Starters

The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Patricia McCormick

Suspenseful prose and careful research make Bonhoeffer's brave actions come to life for teen readers. The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely ...
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Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland

Grit, friendship, and hope come together in this bittersweet memoir for teens. Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North ...
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*The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz

This one-of-a-kind novel blends medieval history, fantasy, humor, adventure, and philosophical questions that have vexed the ages. *The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, Three Magical Children and ...
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Ghosts by Raina Telgemeir

A much-acclaimed graphic novel by Raina Telgemeir pokes below the surface creepiness of "hauntings" to explore how we feel about death. Ghosts by Raina Telegemeir.  ...
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*The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton

This fun and friendly compendium of Bible facts, everyday knowledge, history, how-to, wise counsel, apologetics, and doctrine is a terrific resource for every Christian kid. ...
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Saints and Heroes to the End of the Middle Ages by George Hodges

An engaging account of notable figures from the ancient church to the end of the Middle Ages. Saints and Heroes to the End of the ...
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Trial and Triumph/ *Radiant by Richard M. Hannula

Church history anthologies of men and women from all over the world in story format for middle grades and up! Trial and Triumph: Stories from ...
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*Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines by Nancy Drummond

Read the remarkable story of a man who helped smuggle millions of Bibles into restricted countries in this middle grades biography. Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy ...
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Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World by Renee Taft Meloche

Brother Andrew's life comes alive for young readers through the rhyming text in this picture book. Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World (Heroes for ...
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God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby

An engaging flyover of church history for young teens.    God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby.  Christian Focus Publications, 2014. ...
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Monks and Mystics by Mindy and Brandon Withrow

Book 2 of the History Lives series offers an exciting look at the Medieval Church: its movers and shakers and controversies. Part of our Church History ...
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Peril and Peace by Mindy and Brandon Withrow

Book 1 of the History Lives series is full of brave martyrs, famous figures, and early church activity. Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient ...
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Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young

This insightful novel about the awkward years between 11 and 14 could make a useful discussion starter for mothers and daughters. Hundred Percent by Karen ...
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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A rich historical fiction work that offers hope in the midst of war-torn France. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Scribner, 2014. 531 ...
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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

A compelling--and ultimately hopeful--crossover title for teens and adults about Hitler's evacuation of Germany and the biggest maritime disaster in history. Salt to the Sea ...
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Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

A tender exploration of the aftermath of 9/11 as one girl begins to understand her father's connection to the events. Towers Falling by Jewell Parker ...
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Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Four seemingly unconnected middle school kids are each connected to the events of September 11 in ways that help them mature and learn compassion. Nine, ...
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*The Ology by Marty Machowski

In The Ology, children and families can access deep Biblical truths, carefully explained and gorgeously illustrated.   The Ology by Marty Machowski, illustrations by Andy ...
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*God’s Design by Sally Michael and Gary Steward

Sally Michael's newest Making Him Known family devotional delicately handles roles of men and women, sexuality, and gender issues in a manner that invites whole ...
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Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson

Inspired by true events, this is the story of a St. Louis reverend who moved his school off shore to neutral waters when the law made ...
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Katie Friedman Gives up Texting by Tommy Greenwald

Middle-graders who swear of texting for one week have to discover other means of communication, with mixed results. Katie Friedman Gives up Texting by Tommy ...
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Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. Wendy Lamb Books, 2015. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12Recommended For: Ages 12-15 Bottom Line: Three best friends attempt ...
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10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis. Thomas Nelson, 2014. 197 pages. Reading Level: 12-15 Recommended for: 15-18 Bottom Line: Blogger Kari Kampakis ...
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Faithgirlz! Big Book of Quizzes

Big Book of Quizzes: Fun, Quirky Questions for You and Your Friends (Faithgirlz!) Zonderkidz, 2014. 127 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for: ages: ...
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*What’s Up? by Jack Klumpenhower

*What’s Up?: Discovering the Gospel, Jesus, and Who You REALLY Are (Teacher Guide), by Deborah Harrell and Jack Klumpenhower. New Growth Press, 2015. 228 pages. ...
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Seeing the Gospel in Cinderella (Discussion Starters!)

Why Cinderella? —a joint post from Betsy, Hayley, and Megan We at Redeemed Reader love a good fairy tale. Cinderella is perhaps the quintessential fairy tale ...
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cover of All the Answers

All the Answers by Kate Messner

All the Answers by Kate Messner. Bloomsbury, 2015. 256 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12Recommended For: ages 10-12, especially girls Bottom Line: In this middle-grades ...
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*Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt’s masterpiece first published 40 years ago, is as timeless as its title characters. *Tuck Everlasting (40th Anniversary Edition) by Natalie Babbitt, ...
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The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Shane Evans. Little, Brown, 2014. 319 pages, including notes and glossary. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages ...
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Threatened by Eliot Schrefer

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer. Scholastic, 2014. 278 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: Threatened, one of this year’s ...
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If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy

If You’re Reading This, by Trent Reedy. Scholastic, 2014. 296 pages. Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15 Maturity Level: 6 (ages 15-18) One-line Summary: If ...
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Reviewing School Book Lists, Part Four: Reading is Spiritual Warfare

Reviewing School Book Lists: Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.  This post by Emily Whitten, co-founder of Redeemed Reader, is the final installment in ...
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Ava and Pip by Carol Westin

Ava and Pip by Carol Weston. Sourcebooks, 2014, 211 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grade (11-12) Maturity Level: 4 (11-12) On the first day of fifth ...
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*Somebody on This Bus is Going to Be Famous by (our very own) J. B. Cheaney

*Somebody on This Bus Is Going to Be Famous by J. B. Cheaney. Sourcebooks, 2014. 304 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades (8-12)Recommended For: Ages 10-12 Bottom ...
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The Castle Behind Thorns

The Castle Behind Thorns, by Merrie Haskell. HarperCollins, 2014, 341 pages. Reading level: Middle Grades, ages 11-12 Maturity level: 5 (ages 11 and up) Sand ...
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Grandmaster

Grandmaster, by David Klass. Farrar Strauss and Giroux, 2014, 226 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, Ages 15-18 Maturity Level: 6 (15-18) What if you discovered ...
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Thoughts on The Giver

During the Summer Reading Challenge, Redeemed Reader interns Amos Peck and Grace Olson, Valen Caldwell, intern at Breakpoint.org, and I --Hayley Schoeppler, Redeemed Reader's executive assistant-- ...
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genesis in space and time book cover

Genesis in Space and Time by Francis Schaeffer

This review was originally written by Valen Caldwell as part of the 2014 Summer Reading Challenge.     Genesis in Space and Time by Francis ...
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Sci-fi Contest Winner and Podcast: From Ender’s Game to Hunger Games

To listen to our a read along with real teens or find discussion questions about Ender's Game, please see our Ender's Game Read Along.  Also, ...
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Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 4: Conclusions

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, ...
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Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 3: The Science of the Story

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, ...
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Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 2: Ender vs. Peter

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, ...
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Ender’s Game Read Along, Wk 1: Considering Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card

Like sci-fi or dystopian stories?  Check out our Sci-Fi Writing Contest for teens.  You could win feedback from a sci-fi author and Thomas Nelson editor, ...
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Ender’s Game Read Along: A Galactic Giveaway and Contest!

***THE GIVEAWAY PART OF THIS POST IS OVER. *** ENDER’S GAME POSTS: Introduction, Week 1: Sci-fi and Orson Scott Card, Week 2: Ender vs Peter, ...
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Rose Under Fire: Sequel/Companion to Code Name Verity

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. Disney, 2013. Age: 14 and up. Last year, I read one of the best books I've ever read: Code ...
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Lemonade and Lit Read Along, Week 2: Booked Discussion

Other Lemonade and Lit posts:  Introduction, Week One: Booked, Week Two: Booked Discussion, Week Three: Beauty, Week Four: Sexuality in Booked, Week Five: Beauty Discussion, ...
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Lemonade and Lit Read Along, Week 1: Booked by Karen Swallow Prior

Other Lemonade and Lit posts:  Introduction, Week One: Booked, Week Two: Booked Discussion, Week Three: Beauty, Week Four: Sexuality in Booked, Week Five: Beauty Discussion, ...
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Shark Girl: Drama in Real Life (and in fiction)

This post has been planned for a couple of weeks, but I wanted to acknowledge a potentially sensitive connection with the victims of the recent ...
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Grace and Law and Two Silver Candlesticks

I love musicals—always have, ever since my sister and I sang along to original cast recordings and movie soundtracks for Rogers & Hammerstein and Lerner ...
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The Giver Concludes

Son, by Lois Lowry.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012, 393 pages. Age/interest level: 12-up. Lois Lowry’s The Giver, published in 1993, has become an iconic title ...
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Facts of Life

Our 50 Shades of Gray discussion this week demonstrates how our sin nature turns God's gifts into perversions.  But sex is still a gift, and ...
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Hoping Against Hope: Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

Doug Swietek finds a new life in his new town, despite his boorish father. Perfect for fans of The Wednesday Wars. Okay for Now, by ...
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Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George.  Harper Collins, 1972 (paperback reissue 2003).  208 pages Reading Level: Middle Grades, 10-12 Recommended for: Young adult, ...
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Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen's classic survival novel Hatchet offers a realistic--as opposed to romantic-- view of nature and what it takes to survive in the wild. Hatchet ...
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