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Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul: Stories to Open the Hearts of Christian Teens

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For teens who make God an integral part of their lives, teens who are sorting through doubts about whether God really cares about them, and teens who don't know God at all, Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul may be one of the most influential books they'll ever read.

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Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul: Stories to Open the Hearts of Christian Teens

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For teens who make God an integral part of their lives, teens who are sorting through doubts about whether God really cares about them, and teens who don't know God at all, Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul may be one of the most influential books they'll ever read.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610104
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 89,122
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

As We Forgive Those

"I cannot believe she is here!" I complained to my roommate, Amy. I had decided to go on the retreat to get away from the stress in my life, and was ecstatic when I discovered that Amy and my boyfriend, Mike, were also going. My excitement turned to dismay when I discovered that the girl who was constantly trying to break up my relationship was also going on the retreat. "Just look at her! We haven't even left yet and she's already all over him! Maybe this retreat wasn't such a good idea after all," I whined.

Amy and I watched as Mike untangled himself from the girl and headed our way. "It's a test, Mol," Amy began. "It's a test from God. Are you up to it?"

"Hope so," I replied, as we piled into the car.

Once we arrived at the lodge, our team leaders did some icebreakers to help us get to know each other. The first icebreaker paired two people together. Guess who got paired together? Mike and the girl. I glared as she snuggled up to Mike and asked him to tell her about himself. I looked over at Amy, who was looking at me and mouthing the words, "Test from God."

It was time for a break, so I headed to the bathroom. I heard someone come in, then a voice said, "Well she's his girlfriend, but don't worry, because by the end of the retreat . . ." I stepped out of the stall, and the girl stopped speaking. Giving her a fierce glare, I stormed out of the restroom in search of Amy. When I told her what had happened, she replied just as she had earlier, "It's a test, Mol. What kind of person are you going to be?"

I didn't get the chance to respond because we were being corralled into small groups for discussion. Sure enough, when I arrived atthe place where my group was to meet, she was the first person I saw. I could not believe my luck. I kept trying to think of what horrible thing I had done to make God punish me like this. Mike and I were finally together after a year and a half of struggling over whether or not to take our very close friendship to the next level. I didn't want to go through all of that again. I decided that later that night I would talk to him about the girl. He wasn't showing any interest in her, but the fact that she was wherever he was grew increasingly frustrating.

My thoughts were interrupted because small group discussion began. The topic was faith and spirituality, and everyone was sharing a little about his or her faith. When it was her turn, I listened to her talk about how she had lost members of her family this year and was very frustrated with God. "I don't really have any spirituality," she said, while staring at the floor.

During reflection time, her comment about not really having any spirituality was all I could think about. Did she really mean that? I watched her sitting quietly across the room, and knew she needed someone to talk to. Thoughts of "What Would Jesus Do?" wandered through my mind. Even though I had some extremely hostile feelings toward this girl, I knew someone needed to reach out to her. I took a scrap of notebook paper and scribbled the following note: "I'm glad you're here this weekend! If you need someone to talk to, I'm willing to listen. Have a good weekend! God bless, Molly."

The next morning at breakfast the girl approached me. It wasn't until she got close that I realized she had tears in her eyes. "Thank you so much for your note," she told me. "You are the sweetest person!" She threw her arms around me and sobbed. I hugged her back for a very long time. When I looked up, Amy was smiling at me from across the room.

That night, Mike and I went for a walk to talk about the situation. I explained to him what she said in the small group, and told him about the note I had written to her. I wanted to be able to help this girl, but I didn't know if I could do it. I didn't even know if she wanted help. After a while, we stopped and silently watched delicate snowflakes cover the ground in the season's first snow.

Mike made me feel better. "First of all, realize that nothing she can do will ever pull us apart. We've been through too much to let that happen," he said. "And as for helping her, you can do it, Molly. You can do it if you try. Just give it a chance. Sometimes you just have to let go and let God take care of it."

I went to bed thinking about those words and woke up with a different attitude. From then on, Tracy and I became closer. We shared our heartbreaks and our happiness, and learned a lot about each other. At times, she reminded me a little bit of myself. As we prepared to leave the retreat, everyone was trying to get the chance to say one last goodbye to the people they had shared so much with. When she and I found each other, we burst into tears and embraced. We stood there hugging each other as the group began to say the "Our Father." When they got to the part where it says, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," I realized I had figured out what it was all about.

Amy had been right. The retreat was a test from God. Before the retreat, I had been trying to deal with so many thingsùmy mother had been seriously ill for months, I had two thesis papers due within the next two weeks, and I had gotten so run down from trying to deal with it all that I had very little self-esteem left. I felt like I was at the end of my rope. During that "Our Father," I realized that God had given me an opportunity to show to myself what kind of person I was. I realized what it meant to be a child of God. Suddenly, all of the things I was so worried about before the retreat didn't seem so important anymore. I didn't have to do it all alone. I had God on my side.

Mike had been watching from across the room. I dried my eyes and walked to his open arms. "I love you," I said, smiling up at him.

He kissed me on the forehead and hugged me tight. "I just watched you grow," he said. I hugged him back. I had watched me grow, too.

Molly A. Burrows

¬2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Christian Teenage Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Patty Aubery, Nancy Mitchell-Autio. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission
of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street,
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Customer Reviews

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( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013


    Dude i love these books they are the bomb i can read these books every single day <3

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013


    These books are so helping with daily troubles......thanks to all the ppl that told these stoories to be published....i love thrm they help LOTS:))))))))

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2014

    This book is helping me at the moment

    I am haveing serious teouble in my life and i could make a whole list of alk my trouble but that would take forever.... but this book it is helping a christian i go to church ive beens saved just a couple months ago on a missions trip and my pastor who renstly moved i told him everthing and he helped me very good and every body is saying god called him ro move and like in the story some charaters where baming god or all the bad things that are happing in thier life and thats what im doing and hes ill admitt im ashamed for blaming god for all thisi mean i should be praising him....he did give up his son for us....but then again i do think if god cared about us wouldnt he give up his lifefor us.... ok not im defintly going to ask someoe at church this question....i have ot wof quesrions about god and i spent 4 hours that night on the missions trip asking all my questions about god and he didnt care at all that when we stoped it was 3 in the morning....i miss him so muchbut the new pastor is good....but when my pastor left i told him its not good bye its see ou ater ecause will will see him again we could skype and he will come and visit so ya i hope there is one person out there who rwads all of if you did and you want to talk to me look me up and facebook at casey tucker
    Or you can find me on instagram at casey_tucker_246810 thanks you

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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