Book Recommendations

Pretty soon I will begin teaching our high school students from all three parishes. Incorporated into this is our confirmation program and an interview process.

During that interview it is my intention to have the students do a few things. 2 items for sure are:
1. They will have to defend the Catholic point of view in a verbal argument against me.
2. They will have to discuss and review a book they have chosen from my list of recommended books.

What I would like to do is solicit ideas,from you, for books for highschool age youth to read. They should meet the following requirements.

1. Be related to the Catholic Faith, explain the catholic faith, or make a case for moral living or deepening ones faith. That being said they don’t necessisarily have to be written by a Catholic but should not contradict the faith.

2. They should be accessible to a high school reading level.

Now here are the books I was thiking of so far:
1. Theology for beginners: Frank Sheed
2. Wild at Heart: John Eldredge
3. First comes Love: Scott Hahn
4. Swear to God: Scott Hahn
5. Rome sweet home: Scott and Kimberly Hahn
6. Lord have Mercy: Scott Hahn
7. Hail Holy Queen: Scott Hahn
8. The Lamb’s Supper: Scott Hahn
9. Aristotle for Everybody: Mortimer Adler
10. 10 Philosophical Mistakes: Mortimer Adler
11. If you really loved me: Jason Evert
12. By What Authority: Mark Shea

Any other suggests would be greatly appreciated. I am going to have to probably have a small list initially of 10 or so books and add to it next year. I need to do this because I have to have all the books read myself and I only have so much time to do it in.

Also I will be asking for a list of references as well for good youth oriented websites. So please start thinking those thoughts as well. I need the books first though.

6 Responses to “Book Recommendations”

  1. John Says:

    Great list Father! You might also consider Shea’s “This Is My Body”

  2. Anne Says:

    I think Story of a Soul by St. Therese would also be a good option.

  3. Brian Says:

    Great idea Fr! Very important for students to have that one-on-one interaction before Confirmation, so they are really owning their decision to ask for the Sacrament.

    I’d say the Confessions of St. Augustine, The Long Loneliness, or The Seven Storey Mountain would all be worthwhile reading.

    And anything by Peter Kreeft would be fantastic for a high-schooler, especially his Socratic dialogue style books like “Yes or No? Staight Answers to Tough Questions about Christianity” and “Socrates meets Jesus”

    And despite it not being Catholic .. Mere Christianity.

    Peace — Brian

  4. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan Says:


    Dear Father Reitmeyer,

    Praised be Jesus Christ!

    Your idea is excellent–soliciting recommendations of valuable resources for your students.

    I suggest “Outlines of the Catholic Faith” (Saint Paul, Minnesota: Leaflet Missal Company, revised edition 1995).

    This eighty-eight page booklet, which costs only $2.95 and is available at a special rate for bulk orders, is inspiring and informative–and readable. Your high school students as well as your K-12 catechism teachers (regardless of what age level they teach) will benefit immensely from this work, which corresponds to the “Catechism of the Catholc Church.”

    I used this text for several years in parishes and found it to be most helpful.

    The Leaflet Missal Company has a toll-free line (1-800-328-9582) and a Website (

    May God bless you, Father Reitmeyer. Let us pray for each other.

    In Xto., M., J.,

    Monsignor Charles M. Mangan

  5. Stephen Says:

    The “Beginning Apologetics” series is a good, short, to-the-point series. I’ve put the link to the search in the “URL” line. I’d also recommend “In the Presence of Our Lord” by Fr. Groeschel.

  6. regina doman Says:

    I recommend “Mere Christianity” – I wonder if the recent “More Christianity” (by Longnecker?) might be as good and a nice addition.

    Also “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton changed my life when I was in high school. But as the whole book might be a little heavy for some, I will tell you that my high school teacher simply photocopied passages from “The Romance of Orthodoxy” (where the Church is compared to a person driving a chariot “the wild truth reeling but erect”) and had us read those. That was enough to set me on fire.

    And there’s also St. Max’s writings on Mary … I wish I had a good summary to recommend. I love The Immaculate Conception and the Holy SPirit, which is short, but heavy. I don’t know if “Aim Higher” provides enough of an apologetic.

    I don’t know if you’re looking for fiction, but there’s always MY novels. 🙂

    The novels quote G.K. Chesterton, seem to appeal to both girls and guys, and feature a background character of a priest mentor-figure who provides the main motivation for the male characters. Maybe it might help flesh out some of the theology for the kids.
    God bless your work.

    (Hi Fr. Managan!)

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