If you’re one of my regular followers, then you probably already know I’m a homeschool mom. One of the many factors playing into my choosing to homeschool was the fact that I went all the way through school without ever having read a full novel. NOT ONE.
I know. I was literally college bound when I finished my first novel. You might be thinking I must have been a horrible student. Nope. Straight A’s were easy.
Anyhow. So, now I know that I obviously LOVE to read. And, I want my children to LOVE it, too! I’m on the right track with that, I think. And well, I now run a mini library out of my house where I share my love of reading with other moms and kids, also.
It is from this mini library that I’ve entered into some of my most joyful book discussions. I get asked for recommendations constantly. One of the more recent requests I’ve had is for clean teen books with substance. There are a lot of young teens out there that can read on an adult reading level, but don’t enjoy the foul language or sexual content. That’s where this post comes in.
Each Thursday, I’m going to share a different clean teen book. This won’t be my review of the book. However, it’ll be a book that I’m stamping as clean, and that I think has enough substance to have a good discussion or something to think about. I’m even going to help out with that! I’m going to include some discussion questions and some ideas for writing exercises. This extra content won’t be relevant to everyone, but I know some teens in particular that will appreciate it.
So, without further ado, here’s my first recommendation ~
A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.
It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret.
This book doesn’t contain any foul language. There’s a kiss, but it’s not an intense scene, and romance isn’t the whole focus of the story. I wouldn’t even classify this as romantic. There’s zero sexual content. Magic plays a role in the story, but it’s not at all dark.
1. Is it okay to lie for a just cause?
2. Should Verity have forgiven Alec?
3. What warnings about boys can young ladies take away from the story?
4. Were there any parts of the story that you wish the author would have elaborated on? Write out the scene as you would have liked it to appear.
I might disagree with some of their methods, but their accomplishments impressed me.
Are there times when you’ve dismissed someones achievements because of their actions? Is this okay?
6. Verity believed the poor wouldn’t gain anything from a revolution. Was she correct? Do the poor today benefit from politics?
7. The wealthy of the time couldn’t hold certain jobs because it would have been beneath them. Is that true today? Thoughts on this?
8. Henry initially used Verity, also. What was different between his actions and those of the Mechanics’? Or Alec’s?
9. Verity means truth. Do you think there was a reason the author might have chosen this name?
10. Any thoughts on how they should revolt? Should they revolt? And what government should be set up afterwards?
IF you’d like to discuss any of these and don’t have someone at home to discuss them with, I’d love to chat here. Just drop me a comment! I always love to chat about books!
Bloggers, if you like the idea, and would like to create your own Clean Teen Thursdays post, that would be awesome! Shoot me a link in the comments. Or, if you have any suggestions for Clean Teen Reads, then I’d love to hear them!