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15 Books Every Former Youth Group Kid Has Owned

15 Books Every Former Youth Group Kid Has Owned

If you are between the ages of 18 and 37 and grew up in Christian culture, you’ve likely shared a lot of unique experiences with your evangelical friends. Youth group lock-ins, Acquire the Fire road trips and fall Harvest parties (which despite having costumes, candy and taking place on Oct. 31, obviously, had no association with Halloween) were all a part of your formative years.

Of course, this sub-culture also applied to your reading material. Here’s a look at 15 books, that depending on your age, were likely a part of your wholesome personal library.

15. The Teen Study Bible

The Teen Study Bible: New International Version: Richards, Larry; Richards,  Sue: 9780310916727: Books

The official Bible of cool youth groups kids of the ’90s.

14. The Student Bible

The Student Bible (New International Version): Philip Yancey, Tim Stafford:  9780310926641: Books

For when you got too old for that brightly colored Teen Study Bible.

13. Something from the Cooper Adventure series by Frank Peretti

Cooper Kids Adventures Series Set of 8 Volumes Include Door in the Dragon's  Throat, Escape From the Island of Aquarius, Tombs of Anak, Trapped At the  Bottom of the Sea, Secret of

Thanks to the awesome adventures of the Cooper kids, your childhood seemed totally lame.

12. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

This Present Darkness: Peretti, Frank E.: 9781581345285: Books

Because you weren’t allowed to read Goosebumps.

11. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality: Donald  Miller: 9780785263708: Books

If you are a Christian between the ages of 21 and 38, there is a 99 percent chance you have read (or at least told your friends that you’ve read) this book.

10. Something with Psalty on the Cover

Psalty in Australia (Psalty's Worldwide Adventure Series): Rettino, Ernie,  Rettino, Debby K., Wehlacz, Dale: 9780849908972: Books

Looking back, Psalty was sort of a lame character (Oh cool, a talking book), but that didn’t stop well-meaning parents from buying almost anything featuring his image.

9. Several Stories from the Adventures in Odyssey Collection

The Complete Guide to Adventures in Odyssey: Lollar, Phil: 9781561794669: Books

Mr. Whittaker was sort of like Sandy Cohen, Indiana Jones and Doctor Who all rolled into a portly grandfather.

8. Jesus Freaks by DC Talk and Voice of the Martyrs

Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus: The Ultimate Jesus  Freaks: DC Talk: 9780764212024: Books

This book, which tells the story of actual Christian martyrs was branded like the DC Talk album of the same name. But don’t let the association with the fun-loving trio fool you. It was actually a pretty heavy read.

7. A Wally McDoogle Novel from Bill Myers

My Life as a Computer Cockroach (The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle  Book 17) - Kindle edition by Myers, Bill. Children Kindle eBooks @

A deeper cut, but the truest depiction of Christian adolescent hijinks.

6. Thr3e by Ted Dekker Thr3e (three): Ted Dekker: Movies & TV

Because Frank Peretti was child’s play.

5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet): 9780312367541: Madeleine L'Engle,  Madeleine L'Engle: Books -

Still one of the greatest book covers ever created. Not only did it look awesome on the shelf at the book fair, it would be super killer airbrushed on the side of a van.

4. Left Behind by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins

Left behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days by LaHaye, Tim F., Jenkins,  Jerry B. (1995) Hardcover: Tim LaHaye: Books

Admit it, you owned a copy but opted to just watch the movies instead.

3. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Jesus Calling, Padded Hardcover, with Scripture References: Enjoying Peace  in His Presence (A 365-Day Devotional): Sarah Young: 9781591451884: Books

Don’t even try to deny that you owned a copy.

2. The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

The Purpose Driven Life: Rick Warren: 0313038255206: Books

For a time, this was the best graduation gift a student could receive.

1. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

I Kissed Dating Goodbye: Harris, Joshua: 8601400386279: Books

This article is dedicated to anyone who ever got dumped because their significant other read this book. You are not alone.

An earlier version of this article appeared in September 2014.

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