Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Book Review: Do Hard Things

If you have a teenager, are a teenager, work with teenagers, know a teenager, or have a heart for building God’s Kingdom whatever your age, you must read this book. Don’t argue with me—go get it today. I’m not kidding! Go!

Alex & Brett Harris were only 16 when they founded TheRebelution.coma teenage rebellion against low expectations. This book was born of that movement and, though written for teens, is full of sage advice for adults as well. The Harris brothers took Paul seriously when he said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” –1 Timothy 4:12. Through their web site, book, and conferences, they are encouraging others to do the same.

In the book, they start by telling their story, then move into a history of “teenagers.” Did you know they’ve only existed since the early 1800’s? They explain how teenagers came to be and some of the results society is seeing today. After that, they give examples of historical “teenagers,” then considered adults, who accomplished some amazing things. They call this first section of the book, “Rethinking the Teen Years.”

In section two, they define hard things and tell why teenagers should attempt them—to grow, to pursue excellence, to dream big, to be faithful and choose integrity, and to stand for what is right. They also explain what is needed to accomplish hard things: courage, commitment, competence, collaboration, character and so on.

Finally, they tell stories of teenagers today who have done hard things and who are planning to do hard things. They encourage the reader to make a plan to attempt his or her own hard things. In the appendix, Alex presents the Gospel for any reader who doesn’t yet know Christ.

Do Hard Things is well-researched, well-organized, and well-written. It's an easy and interesting read. It’s also a very good idea! I highly recommend it. Happy reading!

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