These books are written for young adults who are looking for more than a surface treatment of religion in the character's lives.
The Preacher's kid, by Rose Blue
When her father, a minister, supports a school busing issue, Linda finds herself examiningher own beliefs and friendships. This book is currently out of print, but the issues remain as important as they were in 1975.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
This controversial book has become an American rite of passage. Many girls can point to the first time that there read this book, the book that expressed their inner questions. Margaret is almost 12, and has moved to a new town. She is in a new school and trying to make new friends. She needs someone to talk to. Are you there God?
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
A high-school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies. This is one of the first young adult thrillers. Written over 30 years ago, many of the personalities are easily identified in our own world. It paints a bleak portrait of school administrations who have lost sight of their educational mission. Unfortunately, this includes administrators of religious schools.
One-Eyed Cat, by Paula Fox
Ned, the only child of a minister in rural New York. Ned's uncle presents him with a rifle for his 11th birthday. The Rev. Wallis believes that Ned is too young for such responsibility. He insists that Ned put the rifle in the attic until he is 14. Ned sneaks the gun outside one night. While aiming at a shadow, Ned's finger slips and he shoots the unseen thing. Ned is frightened and tries to pretend it didn't happen, until he sees the one-eyed cat. This is a Newbery Honor book.
The Drowning of Stephan Jones, by Bette Greene
We each make choices about issues in our lives. Who are our friends? Where do we attend church? What stands do we take on various issues? When will we stand up for the outcast in our community? Set in a small town 16-year-old Carla is disturbed when her boyfriend begins harassing two homosexual men who have recently moved to the town. It is only after tragedy strikes that Carla takes a stand against bigotry.
Little Little, by M. E. Kerr
Little Little La Belle is the daughter of the wealthiest businessman in town. She is everything an heiress should be -- beautiful, independent, and perfect in every way. Except for one thing: she is only three feet, three inches tall. And now that she is about to turn eighteen, her parents are conspiring to get her married to the perfect young man. But Little Little has plans of her own. Two men compete for the heart of Little Little, proving that size can be a state of mind.
A Fine White Dust, by Cynthia Rylant
Pete is a 13-year-old boy who has embraced Christianity. This puts him at odds with his non-religious parents. They love him, but just don't understand his beliefs. Then during one hot summer, Pete meets the Preacher Man. This travelling preacher helps Pete to embrace his faith. Unfortunately, Pete falls into hero worship. When Pete discovers that his hero has feet of clay, he must reconcile his faith, his shattered trust, and his relationship with his parents. A Newbery Honor book.