Character-Building Books for High School Students

Teaching reading and writing to homeschool teenagers is one of my favorite things to do.

A list of unusual, character-building books for high school that can bring life to your literature study is one that includes works by Great Christian Writers. It’s easy to sprinkle one or two character-building titles into a year of books, or you can easily create a one-semester or one-year curriculum that is filled with these inspiring books.

One of the many blessings of homeschooling through high school is getting to choose books to read with our kids, and then discussing those books.

character-building books for high school

Character-Building Books for High School Students

While I make sure we spend time on American Literature, British Literature  and World Literature, it’s also wonderful to spend a half-year or even a whole school year on a specialized category of literature, or a topic, or a particular author’s work.

You can tailor your book selection to your child’s unique interests, for example. One of my sons earned credit for reading books about great filmmakers, and reading classic works of literature that were made into classic movies, then analyzing the transfer from page to screen in papers he wrote. A student with a passion for history could focus on books about a favorite time period for literature. A kid with a passion for animals might want to choose books that center on that topic, and so forth.

The character-building books for high school students on my list for Great Christian Writers came together out of the desire of some of us moms to see our kids read well-written books by Christian authors who want their readers to meditate deeply in their spirits about the things of God as well as have their intellect stretched and entertained with their words. We wanted to include biographies and autobiographies, books of theology, devotional materials, and fiction.

This is the book list I’ve used in Great Christian Writers:

*The Hiding Place (Corrie Ten Boom)

*Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan)

*The Practice of the Presence of God (Bro. Lawrence)

*The Essential Father Brown short stories (GK Chesterton)

*Armchair Theologians Series – Augustine

*God’s Smuggler (Bro. Andrew)

*Something Beautiful for God (Malcolm Muggeridge)

* Hymns & Creeds

* Poetry

* The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee)

* This Present Darkness (Frank Peretti)

* Mere Christianity (CS Lewis)

* Prayers

* Devotions

* Joni (Joni Eareckson Tada) – read about teaching perseverance through great stories like Joni’s.

* Born Again (Chuck Colson)

* The Great Divorce (CS Lewis)

A few of the selections are obviously not books. For the hymns, poetry, prayers and devotions I used the internet as a resource for compiling great examples of these forms of writing, and assigned these collections to the students in lieu of a regular book.

Because we are reading these books with a class, for each book I have created a study guide of some type for the students to use in preparing for their class discussion. (You can find several of these study guides in our EBookstore by clicking on the links above.) The study guides really help the students focus on important themes in the books, and they provide background information about the authors and vocabulary resources, as well as supplemental activities and suggestions.

I have enjoyed this class more than I can say! The kids amaze me with their insights in discussion, and it is so interesting to see which kids fall in love with which books…and which they deem “boring”!

For Literature Study Guides for Great Christian Writers selections plus many more terrific books, visit the EBookstore!

Great Christian Writers: A Full-Year High School Literature Course.


Even the Department of Education recommends good literature as part of the process of building good character. Click here to read more.

Here’s a vlog to help you figure out how to choose books for high school student each year:


7Sisters email subscribers receive periodic practical encouragement, special offers and NO SPAM EVER.

Sign up for Emails
Click the image above to periodically receive real homeschool value in your inbox.

Character-Building Books for High School Students

Sabrina Justison

20+ year homeschool mom and curriculum developer for Fred's wife. Writing, drama, music, blogs, kids, shoes, coffee, & books in varying orders on various days. He is God, He is good & He loves me.

2 Replies to “Character-Building Books for High School Students”

  1. I love this list and the ideas for character building through lit. I’ve read many on the list and they are great. Through Gates of Splendor is another one I love, and there’s so many missionary books that are good for this topic too, I bet it was hard to pick this list! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *