Why is Reading Christian Fiction Important for Youth?
by Glenn Haggerty
Jesus said that living in God’s word (hearing, reading, studying and doing) is crucial to discipleship (John 8:31-32) Children need reading skills to study God’s word for spiritual growth. Christian fiction applies biblical principles to middle grade and teen characters with both positive and negative examples helping kids think through issues and form their own conclusions. Often Christian books include excellent discussion questions. Jesus used the power of story to teach and explain spiritual truths. As children transition through the teen years and into adulthood, they need to embrace their own relationship with the Lord.
As kids read more, they become better readers, enhancing academic performance. However, the converse is also true. Therefore encouraging children to read is an important parental responsibility. Good fiction also enables the vicarious experience of different times, locations, cultures and perspectives of other people when kids can’t or shouldn’t experience them directly.
Author Eddie Jones, among others, says that “readers become leaders.” This seems self-evident when you consider the volume of information that most leaders must assimilate and analyze to make informed decisions.
Pure Entertainment. Recreational reading has brought joy into the lives of countless youth (and adults alike) for generations. What is more entertaining than curling up on the couch with your favorite snack and beverage and vicariously entering into a great story with a positive message of hope!
Therefore, I write to entertain and encourage students with inspirational fiction with an edge. I want people to finish my stories saying, “Awesome book!” and, “Yes. I can do this life thing too.”
A mom left a testimonial on my blog site, saying her teenage son hated reading. She picked up "The Last Thing I Remember” by Andrew Klavan, at the Christian bookstore and gave it to her son. She said “He read it in two days! He said, ‘it was impossible to put down.’ And this non reading boy became a reader.” My latest endeavor is Chase, Intense Book 3, and I’m hoping I can get the same reaction from my student—and adult readers!
Chase, Intense Books 3:
Setting: Small Town in the Appalachian Mountains
“There they are.” Chase’s voice rolled up the slope. Even hollering his voice sounded flat and lifeless like someone had drilled a hole in his body, and his soul had leaked out.
Drugs infiltrate Tyler Higgins’ middle school turning ordinary kids into brain dead druggies. When his friend is infected, Tyler decides to cut the small town drug flow by ratting out the dealer before it’s too late.
Shadowing drug runners is risky business. A bowhunter has already disappeared, and Tyler’s true adversary remains veiled. After his first spying mission misfires, Audrey, his classmate, volunteers to help, but Tyler can’t imagine where this mission will lead. Everything goes sideways, but he doggedly follows the twisting trails, risking his friendships and his own neck. In the end, he isn’t sure who he can trust or if he can rescue anyone—including himself.
Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo and iBooks https://books2read.com/u/3yZOW6
Glenn writes inspiring adventures with an edge. No matter how dark the day, finding hope to pursue the prize is the core of all his novels and studies. He is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a graduate of Vision Loss Resources and Bethel Seminary, the father of six and grandfather of seven.
Glenn likes tandem biking, kayaking, and daydreaming and lives in Minneapolis with his wife. He is also an award-winning author with short stories published in Splickety, Havok, Cadet Quest and Partners. Chase, the third book in his Intense series is scheduled for release April 1, 2018. You can visit him at http://www.glennhaggerty.com and reach him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GlennHaggertyAuthor, and on Twitter, @grhaggertyjr