here we go — a week of 2-sentence book reviews on 39 books. i allow myself one sentence for a summary and one sentence for my opinion of the book.
a note about today’s reviews: since i act as the publisher for The Youth Cartel, i’m deeply involved with the development of the books/resources we publish. i’ve not included them in past “2-sentence book reviews” series. but i decided that’s silly, since i’ve read them all multiple times. the one tweak i’m making in my normal review format is that i’m excluding the star ratings — just assume they are all 5 stars! (also: i didn’t include all our Viva or NEXT curriculum releases, as i’m less involved in them — but they’re excellent also!)
Youth Cartel releases
THINK Volume 4: Relationships & Sexuality, by Jake Kircher
6 downloadable interactive and dialogical curriculum sessions intentionally designed to honor both scripture and the intelligence of teenagers. jake’s series is unique in its approach, and so well suited to postmodern teenagers who are weary of simply being told what to believe.
Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, by Eric Ballard
10 downloadable sessions highlighting an old testament character story with specific connections to how jesus completes the story. such an excellent and unique resource, helping teenagers see critical connections to life with jesus.
The Real Jesus: A Devotional, by Jen Bradbury
based on jen’s research (summarized in her excellent book, The Jesus Gap), this devotional invites teenagers to consider jesus’ question to peter — “Who do you say that I am?” — through 50 readings, scripture passages and sets of reflection questions.
Soul Pirate Handbook: A Devotional for the Good Life, by Luke Lang
a devo using metaphors from pirates to dig into a life of adventure. this is the best young teen devotional i’ve seen in a long time — so fun (and solid); yar!
Sunday Comics, vol. 1: Prophets, Priests, and Kings, by Gregg Jones
50 lessons (!) and 50 fill-in-the-blank comic/coloring pages (all downloadable) covering a big chunk of the OT. this is the most inventive curriculum (really ideal for young and middle teens) i’d seen in a very long time, and i knew we just had to publish it.
Don’t Do This: Learning from the Screw-Ups of Youth Ministry Leaders, by Len Kageler and Jonathan Hobbs
though the real stories of ministry failure in this book range from hilarious to truly painful, the point is to learn. really, this is such an engaging and helpful book, and would be great to read as a team.
Slaying Biblical Illiteracy: Helping Teens Trust God’s Word, by Matt Andrews
a pocket-sized quick read offering pragmatic and creative ideas for bible engagement. i’m 100% confident that if you read this book, you’ll be trying one of its ideas within weeks.
Survival: A Devotional, by Eric Ballard
each devo has 3 parts: a fiction bit about two high school guys hiking the appalachian trail (and the crises they face), a connected real-life survival tip, and a devotional application. this devo would be a blast to use during a summer trip (camp or another adventure).