Teenager and YA Bookshelf

You should read all of these. Every last one. There are two sections here: One for deep learning and scholarly hearts. One for fun and light-hearted reading. Try to read a mixture, okay? 🙂

I’ll be adding more to this page on a regular basis, so check back frequently! Want to suggest a book to be on this list? Email me @HowToBecomeAHeroicCatholic@gmail.com !

Highly Recommended But Not Necessarily the Most Fun Reading You’ll Do: 


The Bible – CATHOLIC Bible that is, with all the books in it.


Catechism of the Catholic Church – A guide to the teachings and doctrine of Catholicism. Not something most people would sit down and read through in a day (Unless if you’re a weird person like I am) but still a very important and necessary reference tool for all those wishing to be called “Heroic Catholics”.


How to Become a Heroic Catholic – obviously because it is amazing. Not that I’m biased or anything…. Seriously though, if you don’t feel like reading your whole Bible and Catechism for fun, I’d suggest reading this to gain a thorough understanding of Catholicism.


Summa Theologica – St. Thomas Aquinas’s 5 volume set on Catholicism. Pretty heavy stuff, can go over the heads of a lot of people, I personally love it. But if you’re not a theology nerd then maybe wait till you’re older for this.


Aquinas’s Shorter Summa – St. Thomas Aquinas’s abbreviated version of his Summa Theologica. I recommend this for any budding theology student. I read it in Middle School, but High School is pretty appropriate for the level of material in there.


The Fathers Know Best – By Jimmy Akin (the young at heart author and Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers who wrote the amazing review that is found on the back of my book) It is “Your essential guide to the teachings of the Early Church.” Church History people – this is THE book for you. It includes quotes from the Didache (the earliest Catechism written around 50 A.D.), quotes from Sts. like Athanasius, Augustine, Ignatius, Polycarp, Basil, Anastasius, Gregory, Leo, and more! Your go-to guide for what the Early Church taught and believed. (Which, in fact, is the same as we teach and believe today!)


Surprised By Truth I, II, & III – Compiled by Patrick Madrid. These three volumes are filled with actual conversion stories. People who made the heroic decision to become Catholic! Incredible reading if you need a boost in your faith. Being Catholic isn’t just something some are born into, it’s choosing to be part of the True Church that Christ established on earth. The people in these books will show you how and why they converted to Catholicism. It’s excellent.


Pure Faith a Prayer Book for Teens – By Jason Evert.  A prayer guide for teens who want to discover a deeper relationship with Christ. Prayers for all occasions are included, as well as reflections from Saints to really make you think. A beautiful book really, I got it from one of my aunts when I was Confirmed last year.


ANYTHING by G.K. Chesterton – G.K. Chesterton is a masterful Catholic author with a witty side.  He has many essays, poems, fiction…he wrote it all. My personal favorites by him are Lepanto and The Ballad of the White Horse.


Mere Christianity and  The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis. Now, I know, C.S. Lewis wasn’t necessarily a Catholic author per-say. But his writings are still a wonderful addition to anyone’s bookshelf. Mere Christianity takes a look at Christianity and what sort of doctrines all Christians really have in common.  The Screwtape Letters is one that shows off the wit of C.S. Lewis. Written from the viewpoint of “Screwtape” (an assistant to “our father below”) and it tackles temptation and triumph over such while keeping it humerous and enjoyable.

Of course, anything by C.S. Lewis is wonderful to read, these two are personal favorites.


ANYTHING by the Awesome Scott Hahn – Seriously. He has so many amazing books that if I was to list them all it’d take up its own page. Like… Joy to the World, The Lamb’s Supper, Consuming the Word, Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, etc. etc. Look them up. They’re a little deeper and harder to get through – but it’s worth it.


ANYTHING by the Awesome Brant Pitre – He’s not only from my state of Louisiana, his knowledge on the Jewish roots of Catholicism is amazing. His books include, Jesus and The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist and Jesus the Bridegroom, he also has tons of talks that you can buy on CD.


Fun Reading: 

Note: There are a few on this list that are specifically for older teenagers (17+) and Young Adults.

Those are marked with an “*”. Thank you! 🙂

Shadow of the Bear: A Fairy Tale Retold – by Regina Doman. It’s the story of Snow White and Rose Red retold in a modern setting with sisters Blanche and Rose. One cold winter’s night brings in the mysterious “Bear”.  Who is he? What is he doing there? Read to find out! I’m not spoiling it for you. Nope. It’s fast paced Catholic fiction that will make you want to read it over and over again. First in the Fairy Tale Novels Series. And it’s not wishy-washy like you might think it’d be when you think of religious fiction books. This is actually full of action and suspense and relatable characters.


Black as Night: A Fairy Tale Retold – by Regina Doman. Second book in the Fairy Tale Novels series. This time it’s the story of Snow White told. We pick up again with Blanche and Bear, Rose and Fish, for another action packed adventure. Must read really.


Waking Rose: A Fairy Tale Retold – by Regina Doman. Third book in the Fairy Tale Novels Series. What do we find here? It’s Sleeping Beauty! And Shakespeare? Come to visit Rose as she begins her life in college. All is well…not. No spoilers here! GO READ. I insist.


The Midnight Dancers: A Fairy Tale Retold* – by Regina Doman. Fourth book in the Fairy Tale Novels Series. We move away from our classic cast of Bear, Blanche, Rose, and Fish here. Introducing Rachel Durham. A rebellious teenager, oldest of 12 girls. Did you guess which fairy tale this is? The 12 Dancing Princesses. Rachel’s father remarried and now everything is changing. Then Paul (From Waking Rose!) shows up and you learn about how an innocent idea for fun can quickly turn into a bad situation.

*17 and up age wise, due to the themes and ideas discussed


Alex O’Donnell and the 10 Cyber-Thieves: A Fairy Tale Retold – by Regina Doman. Fifth book in the Fairy Tale Novels Series. We meet up with Alex and Kater here (cameo by Rose and Fish! 😀 ). Computer hacking, cyber-ninjas, poison, mystique…what sort of trouble has Alex gotten himself into now? I’m not gonna tell ya! read the book for yourself! This is the fastest-paced one so far and the storyline will grab boys and girls alike to find out what will happen when the cyber thieves plan a real-life attack.


Rapunzel Let Down: A Fairy Tale Retold* – By Regina Doman. This is the Sixth and most recent book in the Fairy Tale Novels Series. It is written for an audience of no less than 18 years of age, dealing with complex and moral issues that need a mature mind to understand. Issues like abortion, premarital relationships, and more. Raphaela is our Rapunzel in spin on the classic fairy tale. Based closely off of the original fairy-tale by the Brothers Grimm, not like Tangled from Disney.  *For 18+ only, maybe 18 and up – not for any younger than 18 though. Parents – it is recommended you read this one first and decide when your teenager would be ready for it.


The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – by J.R.R. Tolkien. Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Wizards, Smeagol, Sauron, a magic ring and more! This is a classic series that takes you through a journey to Middle Earth. But don’t forget: One does not simply walk into Mordor…


Joan of Arc – by Mark Twain. Joan was a 17 year old girl who led an army into battle for France in the 1400’s. That’s a time period when girls were expected to stay at home and be housewives. Instead she followed the instructions of God and became a martyr for her Faith at the hands of the English. She’s now one of the Patronesses of France. Amazing story. You should read it.


I Thirstby Gina Marinello-Sweeney.  Catholic Fiction written by one of my dearest friends. Its poetic style and rich descriptions pull you into the world of Rebecca and Peter (Ahem, if you read this you MUST join me in my battle for #TeamPeterAndRebecca. The author seems set on tearing them apart. I won’t allow it!)


Our Fairytale Romance: How I Met a Princess in Disguise and Convinced Her to Marry Me – By Andrew Schmiedicke and Regina Doman. This is their actual story of how they met and came to be married. It’s sweet, it’s cute, it’s relatable, and funny at times.


Something Other than God – Jennifer Fulwiler. An Atheist searching for actual Truth. Jennifer’s story is one that will catch your attention and make you wish to read it in one sitting. How she comes to realize that Catholicism is actually the Truth is amazing.


Rome Sweet Home – by Scott Hahn. Scott Hahn is a convert to Catholicism, this book shows you not only his conversion story but also that of his wife’s. A compelling read and much lighter and easier to read than many of Scott Hahn’s works.

Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes her Debut *
By Rebecca Bratten Weiss and Regina Doman. Catelyn Frank wants to study Philosophy. So where does she head? Texas! How much can go wrong? Well…a roommate that is less than perfect, a classful of men who don’t want her in there, and that feeling that she is sooo close to meeting the “perfect guy”.  This one is written for college age people, so late-highschool might be acceptable.  *17+

John Paul II High Series – By Christian Frank.  So far there are 5 books in this series! Following the story of a group of teenagers at a small High School, like really small. You have your jocks, popular girls, nerds, know-it-alls, goody-two-shoes…and oh yeah, there’s a shooter on the loose. The portray a realistic experience of how it can be hard to be Catholic at times, and how easily we can be led astray. I love this series – HIGHLY recommend it. Like you should go get it now. right now. 😀


Arms of Love and Surrender– by Carmen Marcoux. Sweet, sappy, romance novels. They’re excellent to read and help showcase how pure love is. Beautiful stories. Wonderful characters. Lots of healing, growing, and good Catholic messages fill these two novels.


Louis de Wohl’s books on Saints – Novels on the lives of Saints. Including:

Citadel of God – about St. Benedict

Lay Siege to Heaven – about St. Catherine of Siena

The Quiet Light – about St. Thomas Aquinas

The Joyful Beggar – about St. Francis of Assisi

Set All Afire – About St. Francis Xavier

The Golden Thread – about St. Ignatius Loyola

The Living Wood – about St. Helena and her son Constantine, and he also has a historical novel titled

This last one isn’t about a Saint, it’s a novel called:

The Spear, about the Roman soldier whose spear pierced Christ’s side.

Follow the stories of these saints throughout history! These are written at a level for adults – but you guys are smart and awesome and would love them too.




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