10 Catholic Books for Teens We Recommend to Students

St. Agnes Academy
If you are encouraging your teen to spend less time aimlessly scrolling their phone and more time reading a book, this is the list for you! Find fiction and nonfiction Catholic books for teens.  
According to Walt Disney, "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates' loot on Treasure Island, and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life." Besides offering you all the treasures imaginable, reading provides numerous benefits like these:

  • Improves focus and memory
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Sharpens communication and empathy skills
  • Is one of the most accessible forms of entertainment

Students, try to mimic the habit of reading during your free time or before bed instead of mindlessly scrolling your phone (we are all guilty). And, for parents, if you struggle to get your teenager to read for fun, have books available that they might enjoy – whether from Amazon, the library, or credits to audiobooks.

To help you out, below you will find a list of catholic books for teens that even adults can enjoy! 

Recommended Catholic Books for Teens: Fiction and Nonfiction

Both the fiction and nonfiction genres offer wonderful encouragement and life lessons for teens. Let’s take a closer look.


- “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers*
*really, any book by Francine Rivers 

Set in the 1850s in California, this is a love story between a man who follows God's call over anything and a troubled woman who is learning to trust again. Before finding happiness in herself and her partner, the woman must experience and discover God's unconditional and redemptive love. 

Redeeming Love is often considered an update to the Old Testament book of Hosea to the American West. 

- “The Chronicles of Narnia” (1-7) by C.S. Lewis* 
*Another author to keep on repeat, C.S. Lewis is an incredible author with more than 30 books selling millions of copies.

This collection of seven books, more recently referred to as classic literature, has something for every age and is filled with symbolism and themes of hope. There are battles between good and evil, stories of friendship and heroism, and captivating characters with stories thought of as an allegory of the Christian faith. 

- “The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity” by William Paul Young 

This New York Times bestseller tells of a father's journey after his youngest daughter's abduction and death. His journey brings readers along when he asks himself the question we may find ourselves thinking but too guilty to say aloud, "Where is God in a world so filled with pain?" 

- “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

This timeless classic of the March sisters tells the story of a family's love and devotion to each other during the Civil War. Alcott leaves no theme untouched as she weaves in themes of love, death, war and peace, and so much more. After the 2019 adaptation, Melissa Keating wrote about the striking similarities between the family of Little Women and St. Thérèse's Family, the Martins of Lisieux. 

- "Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh 

Follow along with the main character's accounts of friendships and affairs among a family of the old British aristocracy. This nostalgic and reflective book tells an exploratory story of desire, duty, and memory in the golden age before the Second World War.


- "My Life the Saints" by Fr. James Martin, SJ

No matter the role James Martin found himself in - business student, Manhattan media mogul, corporate businessman, even a Jesuit priest - he found comfort and friendship in the saints of the Catholic Church. He revered the holy men and women as companions to help all of us by giving us comfort, examples of discipleship, and prayer. 

- “Letters to a Young Catholic” by George Weigel

Join author George Weigel on a trip as he takes readers to landmarks such as cathedrals, churches, chapels, graves, and even a famous pub. The travel aspect, tied together with insights into history, literature, theology, and music, will keep you on your toes while incorporating touchstones of the Catholic Church over the past two thousand years.

Some major themes of the book include grace, prayer, vocation, sin, forgiveness, suffering, and love. Weigel somehow can inspire not only the young generations of Catholics but also those with doubt, those with faith, and anyone in-between.  

Through sociological data, author Tim Muldoon begs how Catholics in the United States can minister successfully to young adults. He discusses his five areas of concern: theology, ecumenism, liturgy, spirituality, and moral authority. This book is a good read for anyone curious about the future of the Church. 

YOUCAT, also known as Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, is the official catechism for World Youth Day. It is an accessible, contemporary companion of the Catholic Faith intended for high-school-aged people and young adults.

With a foreword from Pope Benedict XVI, YOUCAT answers questions, offers commentary and margin illustrations, and provides a summary of key terms allowing readers to dig deeper into their understanding of the truth about the Catholic faith. 

- “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly

Spiritual leader, author, and thought leader Matthew Kelly uses his signature combination of profound statements and practical tips to help readers understand why we sabotage our lives, constantly feel overwhelmed, continue to set aside our dreams, and lack the courage to be our true selves.

This book teaches readers to start choosing happiness by looking deeply at why we make the choices we do and how to find a different path. 

St. Agnes is the Perfect Place to Find Catholic Books for Teens!

Whether looking for a book to check out, seeking a recommendation, or trying to find someone to discuss a book with, St. Agnes Academy has plenty of resources for teens.

Between the English Department, Theology Department, and Campus Library, faculty and staff members are chomping at the bit for conversations like these! Thought-provoking topics and discussions are frequently presented and encouraged in both the classroom and extracurricular activities. 

Contact us today to discuss more book recommendations with our faculty and staff. They are ready to share their knowledge with the community to help you stay on top of the best Catholic books for teens.