Rooted Recommends: The Redeemed Reader Website
Here are Rooted we get really excited about sharing books with teenagers. It starts, of course, with the Bible, the only book that has the words of life we were created to feed on. But reading widely and deeply from good books is formative for all of us. In his recent article “Why and How Reading Shapes Your Soul,” Daniel Patterson notes that “we’re hardwired by God to be drawn toward narrative” because “we are all part of one cosmic story of redemption authored by God himself.” God chooses to reveal himself to us through story in his Word. We know him by the stories he tells us about himself.
Furthermore, we learn much about humanity and the major questions of human life by reading stories about people who are similar to us (ah, I know just how that feels!) or people who are quite different (I don’t think I could ever be as brave as …). Immersing ourselves in a well-crafted novel teaches us to practice empathy, discernment, and making choices, all in the safety of a comfy chair — but in doing so, we are trained for the real-life feeling and decisions we’ll confront in the course of our own stories.
So you can see why we are so excited about the Redeemed Reader website. The folks at Redeemed Reader- educators and parents themselves- love Jesus and kids, and they feel passionately about the influence of good books on the formation of faith and character. Their mission statement reads: “Our goal at Redeemedreader.com is to shine a gospel light on children’s literature so that Christian parents, educators, and the children they nurture may read in a more redeemed and redeeming way.” Their goal is to help parents and teachers train kids to be discerning, thoughtful readers in their own right. Their website serves Christian parents with multiple resources:
- curated booklists such as “The Golden Age of Detective Stories,” “What to Read After Mulan,” “Reading and Talking About Sexuality,” and “20th Century Booklist For Young Teens,” to name just a few.
- book reviews organized by age groups, from picture books all the way to books for teens, adults, and family read-alouds.
- reflections for readers, including steps for raising a child who likes to write, a roundup of Juneteeth resources, and graduation gift recommendations.
- summer reading resources, including reading lists and activities that foster connection and learning for the whole family.
- a blog that frequently tackles questions parents might have, particularly with books that are assigned at school. One article breaks down how a high school English teacher taught the novel Dracula from a Christian perspective. Another article breaks down how parents might talk to their kids about Othello. Another article discusses potentially problematic content in the painful, lyrical novel The Kite Runner, which is frequently assigned for older teenagers. Still another introduces a new graphic novel version of The Great Gatsby, a classic we’ve recommended here on the Rooted website.
The website curates books from a wide variety of genres- history, science, and memoir, in addition to fiction and theology– for children of all ages. Check this resource out: you’ll find a website you can trust to guide you as you raise discerning readers.