Tuesday, June 7, 2011

You Were Made to Make a Difference

If you are looking for a positive, uplifting and challenging book to encourage teens to be their best for God, You Were Made to Make a Difference would be an excellent choice. Father-daughter team Max and Jenna Lucado speak to teens who love Jesus and are ready to take the next step.

The Lucados encourage teens to be who God made them, and inspire teens to reach out and share Jesus' love with the world. Each chapter includes biblical teaching, personal testimonies from Jenna and Max, real-life stories of teens making a difference, space for readers to record their thoughts, and practical suggestions for action teens can take. The chapters close with a passage from the Bible and a prayer. The book would be perfect for youth groups or teen small groups to read together. It would also work well for families to read together.

The focus of the book is on meeting the needs of those around us, as Jesus did. The book begins by looking at ways to reach out to family, friends, and schoolmates, and moves on to look at ways teens have influenced the world. The chapter, "Stand up for the Have-Nots," highlights organizations such as Heifer International, which fights global hunger; Do Something: Teens for Jeans,which sent jeans to people in Haiti and "Loose Change to Loosen Chains"(LC2LC) which fights slavery around the world.

The end of the book includes a four-page list of ways teens can help various people, starting with daily random acts of kindness. The Lucados also invite teens to sit down with their family members and discuss ways they can change the world together.

What I Like: This book does an excellent job of treating teens as intelligent, capable people who really can make a difference in the lives of others. The plethora of examples used throughout the book is truly inspiring. Time and again, Max and Jenna show us ordinary teens who acted on a simple idea, and achieved extraordinary results.

I also like the way Max and Jenna constantly remind readers of the gospel. We learn, without a shadow of a doubt, in order to truly change lives, we must first rely on the power of Jesus Christ.

Max and Jenna use a conversational tone, and write about relevant issues in teens' lives. They use lots of factual quotes and highlights to support their ideas. End notes with references are included at the back of the book.

What I Dislike: It took me a little bit to get used to the format of the book. Chapters have lots of charts, quotes, text boxes and lists scattered throughout. The chapters are long and don't have clear breaks. It worked best for me to read the entire chapter at once, and think about it the rest of the week.

The sections where Max and Jenna speak directly are clearly marked, but it isn't obvious who wrote the rest of each chapter.

Overall Rating: Excellent (despite above remarks). I just wouldn't plan to use it as a daily devotional.

Age Appeal: 12 and up

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2010; ISBN: 978-1-4003-1600-7; Paperback, 209 pages, $14.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $10.19.

Special Note: Read our reviews of other books by Max Lucado or Jenna Lucado here.

This book is based on Max Lucado's adult book, Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference. There are also several adult study guides, a DVD series and worship CDs available to complement the book.

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Espana said...

This is one of those books that every parent should have their child read. Every parent. Regardless of religion because it's about finding purpose for your life and using your life to make a difference in the world. And by dedicating your life to this unselfish cause, all your problems will go away because you are so filled with love and compassion for every one and every thing.
When your heart is open to love and only love then no hate can live inside and you will see a huge transformation in your life.

Erin said...


I agree with you. I think it is exciting for young people to have a vision of how their lives can make a difference. Max and Jenna do such a good job of relating to teens and encouraging them. Thanks for reading CCBR! Erin