Teen Librarian Toolbox
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#FSYALit Discussion Index/Hub

It began as a casual conversation over Twitter, but YA Librarian Ally Watkins and I decided that we really wanted to explore and discuss issues of faith and the spiritual lives of teens in YA literature, thus the #FSYALit Project was born. And as part of our initial research we found some interesting background information:

“When discussing the spiritual lives of teens the Barna Group notes that, “Teenagers are consistently among the most religiously active Americans, with nearly 6 out of every 10 teens engaged in some type of group spiritual activity in a typical week.” But having a spiritual life does not automatically translate to evangelical Christian. For example, 1% of the U.S. population is Muslim, another 1% is Buddhist and around 2% are Jewish. 16% are unsure or identify as Atheist. (Source: Pew Research Statistics on Religious and Public Life Project ; Child Trends Research Brief on Spirituality and Religiosity Among Youth)”

We want to talk about the spiritual lives of teens in YA lit in a meaningful way and compile a good list of resources for those who love, work with, or serve teens, but we can’t do it alone. You can join the discussion. Whether it be sharing your thoughts on a book or compiling a list, we hope that you’ll join us in this discussion.

Project Goals:

  • To facilitate a discussion about the ways various faiths are (or are not) represented in YA literature.
  • To examine specific titles and create lists of titles that those wanting to look for titles with diverse representations of faith can add to their collections (or buy for the teens in their lives)
  • To include a wide variety of voices on the topic of the spiritual lives of teens in YA literature



Including additional book lists, discussions and more – a resource list in progress.

Agnosticism and Atheism


Catholic Fiction

Hinduism in YA Lit
Judaism in YA Lit
Mormon Representation in YA Lit
Muslim Representation in YA Lit
Protestant Fiction
We need your help building our resource guide! Have a book list or blog post you want to see included? Please email us a link at kjensenmls at yahoo dot com.


  1. Thank you for discussing religion in YA. As a Christian, I was worried about how few titles I could find. Now I have a lot more options because of your research. I’m also excited to see marginalised groups represented. Religion is so often overlooked because it is a difficult and complicated topic. But there are people everywhere worshipping every day and it is wrong to ignore that aspect of some people’s lives. I also love interfaith discussions and respect Atheists and Agnostics (although I obviously don’t agree with their beliefs).

    Brilliant work!

    • Karen Jensen, TLT Karen Jensen, TLT says

      Thank you very much! We have many people writing a great number of interesting posts and we are really excited about this series. We appreciate your comment, it’s always nice to know that you aren’t screaming into the void as they say. And as a Christian I very much want to learn more about other faiths and have some ideas of good titles that I can confidentaly share with my teens.

  2. I’m so thrilled to find this discussion going on. As an author and teacher, the question of faith in YA lit has been on my mind a lot these days, and I’m thrilled to see a serious conversation about young adult faith in the broader sense, crossing not just different religions but also different spiritual paths. I look forward to participating!


  1. […] have been eagerly following the discussion of Faith and Spirituality in YA Lit going on at Teen Librarian Toolbox.  I haven’t been talking about religion very much anymore […]

  2. […] it was embraced in a positive way, where people created art around these values and ideas. The Faith and Spirituality in YA Lit series (#FSYALit) is a brilliant and open discussion of literature for people of multiple faiths that simultaneously […]

  3. […] found on the Teen Librarian Toolbox blog at the School Library Journal website. It is part of the #FSYALit project. I’d love to hear your feedback and I always appreciate it when you share my work. As always, […]

  4. […] get benched, particularly in the game of YA. Theories abound as to why (here’s a link to smart people discussing this subject at length), but as both a child of faith and a compulsive, […]

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