Essential Books for High School (and College) Seniors

May 24, 2012 — 1 Comment

I have realized how vital books have been in my life, particularly in high school and then as I entered college. I was recently asked for some good books for the high school senior, and five books that have shaped my own thinking came to mind.

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Thriving At College by Alex Chediak

I’ll be honest, I actually haven’t read through this entire book, but I have read a good bit of it and have really enjoyed it. It is written by a college professor who also remembers what it was like to be a student. He gives excellent advice to young men and women who are about to enter their time at college, and carefully corrects the many ways that high schoolers think about college.

The Enemy Within:Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin by Kris Lundgaard

I cannot commend this book enough. It radically changed the way that I fought sin and understood what “sanctification” is all about. This book made me more like Jesus in many, many ways. I am indebted to Kris Lundgaard for introducing me to John Owen, the faithful puritan who inspired this book. Be killing sin or sin will be killing you.

Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris

This book written by my good friends Alex and Brett Harris has inspired thousands of teenagers around the world to rise about the low expectations of culture. Every teenager should read this book because it is encouraging and though-provoking. The stories in the book are from real teens who have done great things. My only warning is to remember that doing hard things does not mean doing “great” things all the time. Focus carefully on their section on “Doing Small Things” and pick up their sequel book as well.

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

It’s hard to say how fantastic a book this is. It will radically change the way you think and look at life, from college to retirement. I would not only encourage high school seniors to pick up this book, I would encourage everyone to pick up this book. John Piper as usual hits a home run.

No Little People by Francis Schaeffer

Few books have totally and completely set the course for my life like this book. Few men have influenced me more than this man, Francis Schaeffer. The first chapter of this book is worth the price of the rest of the book, a collection of sermons for the late and great thinker Francis Schaeffer.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?


Tim Sweetman


Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

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