Are Randy’s Novels Appropriate for a Pre-Teen Reader?

Question from a reader:

My 12-year-old daughter is an avid reader. She reads C. S. Lewis and recently finished The Screwtape Letters. She is mature for her age and has even read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I just wanted to know if there are any reservations about someone her age reading fiction books by Randy Alcorn?

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

I have a daughter around the same age who is also an avid reader, so I can relate to your question. Keeping her in good fiction and keeping up with all she’s reading is a challenge since she far exceeds the number of books I can get through! I found twelve can be a bit of a tricky age because they’re not quite teens. On the other hand, they need books with more substance than a young pre-teen or older elementary school reader.

My daughter has read Edge of Eternity and The Chasm, as well as Randy’s graphic novels Eternity and The Apostle, which she loved. I have not started her on Deadline, Dominion, and Deception yet; however, we know of young readers who have really enjoyed them. Certainly, there is nothing inappropriate in Randy’s books as far as being voyeuristic or graphic, and he presents evil as evil and what is good as good. But they do address mature topics (abortion, murder, infidelity, etc.). I’d suggest you read them first to make sure you’re comfortable with what he writes about and so you can discuss together what she reads. Safely Home is another of Randy’s novels, and it talks about the reality of persecution.

I’d say the same for Lord Foulgrin’s Letters and The Isbane Conspiracy, as far as looking them over first. I think I’m going to wait a year or two for those with my own daughter just because of her sensitivity level (related to the focus on demons) but if your daughter has read The Screwtape Letters she might be close to reading those.

Has your daughter read the Wingfeather Series by Andrew Peterson? Our family really enjoyed those. My daughter also enjoyed Dust, and Shadow, by Kara Swanson, who grew up as a missionary kid.

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.