Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Books for Catholic Teens- Recs for Middle & High School

Books for Catholic Teens
Last week during Catholic Schools Week I opened up a question box on Instagram, taking requests for  "matchmaking" Catholic kids books. I'm still working my way through all of the responses- (you can see my recommendations in this highlight)- but by far the most popular request was for books for teens. Good novels for middle schoolers, gift books for Confirmation, fiction for older teens that isn't boring, Saint biographies that are relatable, etc. 

I don't have all the answers for this one- but I agree that this is a huge need in Catholic publishing. We have shelves full of beautiful Catholic picture books, but novels and texts that are attractive to today's teens? I think we have some work to do.

But I do want to still share a list, because there absolutely are some great books out there. Some of the best novels I've seen for Catholic teens in the past couple of years have been self/independently published- which is awesome, but can make them harder to find. Also, we know that especially for high schoolers, I could list hundreds of adult books that they would be capable of reading. There are certainly books on the list below that were originally written for an adult audience. So I tried to limit what I shared to books that I have in my 6th-8th classroom, have recommended or gifted to high schoolers, etc. And as always, age and reading level is subjective when you have a kid interested in reading something. They can still benefit from reading an "easy" graphic novel to learn about a new Saint or might be willing to stretch themselves to read something a little more challenging to learn more about a topic they are curious about.  This list is far from complete and I'd be happy to continue to add to it as I think of more ideas (or if you share some with me via comments or emails!).

This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.

Saints/Biographies for Middle School

Saints/Biographies for High School

Saint Graphic Novels for Middle or High School
Catholic Graphic Novels List- Post with interior images and more details
Saints Chronicles Volume 1: Sts. Patrick, Jerome Emiliani, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Henry Morse, and Joan of Arc
Saints Chronicles Volume 2: Sts. Anne Line, Brigid of Ireland, Francis of Assisi, Nicholas, and Pachomius
Saints Chronicles Volume 3: Sts. Anthony of Padua, Ava, Samson, Bernadette, and Charles Lwanga
Saints Chronicles Volume 4: Sts. Willibrord, Margaret of Scotland, Rose of Lima, and Dominic
Saints Chronicles Volume 5: Sts. Ignatius of Loyola, Germaine of Pibrac, Pope Celestine V, Vincent de Paul, and Clare of Assisi
Saint Joan of Arc: Quest for Peace (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Saint Bernadette: The Miracle of Lourdes (seems to be out of print, could look for a used copy)
Mother Teresa of Kolcutta: Saint Among the Poor (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz, by Jean-Francois Vivier, Illustrated by Joel Costes

Theology/Q&A for Middle School
Theology/Q&A for High School

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for Middle School
The Jesse Tree Advent Journal, Lumen Ecclesiae Press

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for High School
Advent and Christmas One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens, Katie Prejean McGrady & Tommy McGrady


  1. Wonderful overview! Thanks so much!

  2. Do you have any recommendations for teens on catholic scientists, explorers, etc?

    1. Brilliant! by David & Jaclyn Warren is exactly that, but meant for younger audience. Would still be good for junior high, maybe not high school. Not a book, but Bishop Barron's website has a whole section with bios of Catholic scientists. I haven't seen it, but there is also a high school level book on Apologetics for Faith & Science by Robert Spitzer.