Resources for Pre-Teens
Continuation of the positive, especially through Literature; Medicine is to save life; With God, we can overcome all challenges; Logic principles; Sex ed.
By Gene Stratton Porter
• Principle: Stewardship of nature and beauty; inherent dignity of orphans and the disabled
• Format: Novel set in America, early 1900s; mystery, adventure, and romance (211 pages)
• Recommended Use: Read aloud to whole family; independent reading for children 12 and up. Some encounters with crime, mystery solving, and a fire tragedy.
• Order book, Kindle, or Audiobook
The Fellowship of the Ring
By J.R.R. Tolkien
• Principle: The battle against evil is worth it and even the smallest can play a big part. It is up to us to decide what to do with the time we’ve been given
• Format: Classic epic novel (book 1 of 3) taking place in a fictional world about the perennial battle between good and evil (458 pages)
• Recommended Use: Read aloud to family chapter by chapter; individual reading for children 12 and up; give as gift to preteen and early teen children (or anyone).
• Order book, Kindle, or Audiobook
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
By Ralph Moody
• Principles: Resilience of family; hard case: mother of several children suddenly widowed, no insurance, savings etc; entrepreneurship
• Format: Autobiographical chapter book (260 pages)
• Recommended Use: Read aloud to whole family, independent reading when child is ready for sad death of father. Sequel Man of the Family is also highly recommended.
• Order novel or Little Britches Series from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Little-Britches-Father-Were-Ranchers/dp/0803281781
Littlest Suffering Souls:
Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ
By Austin Ruse
• Principle: Hard cases; value of every human life; Down-syndrome, severe medical complications, relationship with Jesus during childhood
• Format: Narration of inspiring stories of children including one St. John the Beloved Parish family story, Margaret Leo (130 pages)
• Recommended Use: Read aloud to children 7 years or older.
• Order book from TAN https://tanbooks.com/products/books/miracles/saints/littlest-suffering-souls-children-whose-short-lives-point-us-to-christ/
Newborn 3 Month Miracle Baby
• Principle: Viability of second trimester babies, life support technology, dedication of parents
• Format: Dad’s home video of hospital visits. Baby son born 3 months early, connected to life support - surviving and thriving (6 minutes)
• Recommended Use: Watch with children 10 years or older; infant on life support images can be startling to some children. Seize teachable moment when pregnancy, childbirth, medical technology, or abortion comes up.
• Watch short video https://youtu.be/64WkN17WeJw
St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Lover of Life
• Principle: Life is worth dying for; Hard case: life of the mother
• Format: Documentary film (5 minutes)
• Recommended use: Watch with children as they prepare for Confirmation.
• Watch short biography www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru99NHBWkZ8
The Winged Watchman
By Hilda van Stockum
• Principle: Love for neighbor; welcoming strangers; adopting babies at risk.
• Format: Historical fiction chapter book taking place during WWII in Holland; Gentle introduction to Nazi themes (191 pages)
• Recommended Use: Read aloud to whole family; independent reading.
• Order novel from Bethlehem Books https://bethlehembooks.com/winged-watchman-ad-719?sku=7-P
The Hiding Place
By Corrie ten Boom
Dramatized by Dave Arnold
• Principle: Love of neighbor; saving lives in peril is worth the risk.
• Format: Full cast, cinema sound audio drama on CDs (224 minutes)
• Recommended Use: Have child enjoy while sick in bed.
• Order audio CDs or digital audio download from Focus on the Family
Black Genocide in the 21st Century America
• Principle: Slave trade, evolution, eugenics, Nazis, and planned parenthood are all connected.
• Format: Documentary intermingling narration of three hosts with images from original documents and resources and testimonies (2 ½ hours)
• Recommended Use: Watch ONLY the first 46 min with preteen when covering these principles or events in history.
• Warning: The testimony following 46 min would expose your child to the topic of rape.
• Watch documentary www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eWxCRReTV4
The Art of Accompaniment
By the Little Sisters of the Poor
• Principle: Dignity of and care for the elderly and the dying.
• Format: video narrated by a Little Sister of the Poor with still images from their homes (19 minutes)
• Recommended Use: Show before visiting a nursing home or before an elderly relative moves into your home.
• Watch https://littlesistersofthepoor.org/resources/videos/
by Joshua Weigel
• Principle: Accepting deformities and overcoming weaknesses fulfill the individual and inspire others.
• Format: HD Short Film featuring inspirational celebrity Nick Vujicic (22 minutes)
• Recommended Use: Show to your preteens preparing for Confirmation or when discussing “What if the baby is deformed” arguments for Abortion.
• Warning: Scene of “Carnival Freak Show” can be disturbing
• Watch: in English: The Butterfly Circus Short Film HD - YouTube
or in Spanish: El Circo de la Mariposa en Español (HD Completo).mp4 - YouTube
Ten Universal Principles:
A Basic Primer on Respect for Human Life
By Healing the Culture
• Principle: Humans need to use reason based on a correct understanding of happiness
• Format: A list of 10 fundamental truths of philosophy to guide personal and social/legislative decisions
• Recommended Use: Read through the handout as your child approaches the age of reason, then read with and explain to your child whenever a child asks “Why?” Take this to your parish youth minister and ask for it and related programs to be incorporated into the youth program.
• Recommended Re-Use: Review again around age 15.
• View and print pdf www.healingtheculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ten_Principles_Flyer_Mar2016.pdf
• Browse the website for more resources and great programs, especially the “Robert and Emma” dramatic reading.
PUREly YOU! Growing God’s Way
• Principle: Pre-puberty sex education
• Format: Multimedia lessons: video (18 minutes) and conversation guide book (31 pages); available for either boys or girls, in English or Spanish
• Recommended Use: Read the separate “Parent Guide” (34 pages) and then use the Conversation Guide as a script before your child reaches puberty; watch included video.
• Buy set at https://stgeorgebooks.com/pages/purely-you
Theology of the Body for Teens:
Discovering God’s Plan for Love and Life
(Middle School Edition)
• Principle: Respect for self, respect for God’s plan for marriage
• Format: Eight (8) video sessions with accompanying workbook and leader guide (30 minutes each)
• Recommended use: a) parent and child go through videos and workbook together; b) organize a small single-sex group to cover 8 sessions over a few weeks or in a weekend with a trained guide.
• Watch video highlights and order program from Ascension Press https://shop.ascensionpress.com/products/theology-of-the-body-for-teens-middle-school-edition-bundle
Fatima Gems: Our Lady’s Weapon
By Lauren Costabile and Stephen Eguino
Featuring Fr. Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R.
• Principle: “The Rosary is the book of the blind where souls see and there enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known…. It is the Book of the aged whose eyes close upon the shadow of this world and open on the substance of the next. The power of the Rosary is beyond description.” Fulton Sheen
• Format: multi-faceted video with interviews and attractive, fast-paced graphics (28 minutes)
• Recommended Use: Teenagers and adults will enjoy this practical and profound explanation of Miracle of Fatima and history of the Rosary, unlocking the many ways this prayer transforms us by uniting our hearts with Christ, Mary and suffering humanity.
• Watch on FORMED.org at https://watch.formed.org/fatima-gems/season:1/videos/our-lady-s-weapon
Scriptural Meditations on Mysteries of the Life of Christ
The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Prepared for the 2013 Confirmation Class of St. John the Beloved
• Principle: Go deeper into the Mysteries of the Rosary through accompanying Scripture verses
• Format: Brief Scripture verse to precede each Hail Mary
• Recommended Use: Ask a child to read aloud the scripture verses when praying the Rosary together.
• View and print pdf www.stjohncatholicmclean.org/worship-the-lord/prayers/scriptural-meditations-on-the-mysteries-of-the-life-of-christ-the-most-holy-rosary-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary/
©2022 Elizabeth Crnkovich, Theresa Crnkovich, Rev. Christopher Pollard.
All Rights Reserved. For information on reprints please contact:
Printed with Permission by St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, 6420 Linway Terrace, McLean, VA 22101