Rooted’s 2023 Book Awards: Best New Books for Teenagers

Our heart at Rooted is for teenagers to know Jesus Christ and his gospel. While there are many important ways youth pastors and parents can help their students grow in knowledge and love of Jesus, solid Christian books can be a great way to shepherd them in the faith. Luckily for us, there is no shortage of great material for teenagers out there. Here are some of our top picks for the best books for teenagers in 2023. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Social Media Pressure: Finding Peace Alongside Jesus by John Perritt (New Growth Press)

Do you know a student who doesn’t struggle with their social media use? Didn’t think so. That’s why I’m so glad there is a book for teenagers specifically devoted to this topic. Perritt’s book is theologically and biblically rich, but easily digestible for teenagers. This book would be a great resource for a small group, to be read 1-1 with a mentor, or simply for a teenager to read on his or her own. Far more than a “how to” guide for combating social media addiction, Perritt helps teenagers see the deeper issue behind unhealthy social media use, all the while highlighting the grace and abundant life offered to them in Jesus.  (See our review here.)

Discover: Questioning Your Way to Faith by Mike McGarry (New Growth Press)

Our teenagers have big questions, and Discover wants to assure them that these questions are a healthy and even necessary part of growing in Jesus. In this book, McGarry tackles several of the most common questions teenagers have about life, faith, and the Bible. Using Scripture and theology as his guide, McGarry offers compelling and sound answers to some of teenagers’ most daunting questions. Amazingly, he does so in a concise and accessible way for any young reader. Teenagers will be encouraged to lean into their questions and see how God meets them in their doubt. 


Sketchy Views: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Sense of God by Daniel DeWitt (New Growth Press)

It’s rare for a book for teenagers to be academically, emotionally, and spiritually rich, but Sketchy Views does just that. DeWitt, a professor at Southwest Baptist University, masterfully lays out the tenants of Christian orthodoxy in winsome and compelling ways. In Sketchy Views, students will learn how to distinguish heresy (“sketchy views”) and how the timeless truths of the Christian faith apply to their lives today. Youth ministers would be wise to acquaint themselves with Sketchy Views as a great resource for ministering to students who have questions about the faith or for students who simply want to know more about what Christians believe and why. Even as an adult with a seminary degree, I was richly blessed and edified by this book, and I pray your students are as well. 

The 2023 Rooted Book Awards Team included Chelsea Kingston Erickson, Tim Franks, Rebecca Lankford, and Tracy Yi.