Top Five Books before Your Kids Leave Home?

This was a question posted on a Facebook group I belong to: what five books do you think your children need to have read before they leave the nest?

Questions like this are really cruel. How could I pick only five?

Can’t I just choose them all?

So I did like any self-respecting person would do … I just rattled off the first five I could think of, trying not to spend too much time over it. It’s just a silly game after all, right?

For me, the Bible goes without saying and I didn’t count it in the five. Even if people aren’t religious, there are just too many references and literary groundwork that stem from the stories and characters in the Bible, so that I think any Westerner who hasn’t read it is doing themselves a disservice, just from the academic viewpoint.

The Bible is an essential text even just for studying literature.

This was the position I was in as a graduate student, but lucky for me, my PhD project required that I read the Bible for identifying when it was being referred to in the manuscript I was editing. I say “lucky” because that led to my “born again” experience. I like to think I owe it all to John the Evangelist!

As for the “Top Five Other than the Bible”, if you asked me today, they would be:

  • Maybury’s Uncle Eric books for economics
  • Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover for budgeting and staying out of debt
  • Brother Andrew’s God’s Smuggler as not just a great witness but wonderful look at Cold War Europe
  • Where the Red Fern Grows – perseverance, unconditional love, saddest book ever. Great boo-hoo!
  • Frances Chan’s The Forgotten God – inspiring introduction about the person of the Holy Spirit

If you asked me tomorrow? The list might change, but for books that are useful groundwork for a young person’s independence, their empathy and character, their spirituality, and some worldly wisdom without being “of” the world, then these are my 5/6 suggestions.

Teens are on the brink of adulthood.

What about you? Can you boil your “must-haves” to five or six best books of all time for budding young adults?

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