CBTT’s Top 10 Fiction Picks of 2017

Author Glenn JPEGIn 2017, CBTT focused on adding new recommended authors to our database. Of our 33 new reviews this year, 25 were from authors new to our website bringing our total number of recommended authors to 111. Our single book reviews now total 157, but represent series that total 603 recommended books. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because, as a group, these recommended authors have several times that number in other books and series. As a result of our focus in 2017, most of this year’s reviews are on titles published before 2016-2017. Therefore, although most of our top picks for 2017 were published in the last two years, some titles date back to 2010 to cover the categories.





a-season-of-miracles10. A Season of Miracles 5-Stars

by Rusty Whitner

Target Audience: Boys, Ages 8-11

Set during the Vietnam War this story features friendship forgiveness and grace. The author brings the joy of life, first crushes and coming of age that makes this time of life magical. The action and humor were well balanced, and the spiritual component exceptional. And there was that added historical element of nostalgia for those of us who were alive during that turbulent period of American history.

2010, Kregel Publications

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wreath-a-girl9. Wreath, A Girl (A Wreath Willis Novel, Book 1) 5-Stars

by Judy Christie

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 11-18

Wreath is a fascinating teenage character who emerges from homelessness into high school society where she has a shot at her dream—college. This is an interesting read on rural survival. Readers will also root for this not so classic underdog, feeling her pain and victories as she slowly forges relationships like she never dreamed of. Issues of love, friendship and faith are adroitly woven into this captivating tale.

2015, Brosette & Barnhill Publishing, LLC

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Gilt Hollow book cover8. Gilt Hollow 

by Lorie Langdon

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 11-18

Intense with great mystery. The romantic elements are compelling and a little steamy, but this is a fun, clean read.

2016, Zondervan Blink

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The Revisionary book cover7. The Revisionary (The Rogues Book 1) 45-Stars

by Kristin Hogrefe

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 11-18

The Revisionary is a sharply written dystopian tale with an interesting protagonist and supporting characters. The well-woven plot takes many turns including journeys of a sort back into American history. The political and relational intrigues and subtle spirituality were captivating. Readers will look forward to reading this book.

2017, Write Integrity Press

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Out of the Shadows book cover6. Out of the Shadows (The Tacket Secret, Book 1)  5-Stars

by Emma Carrie

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 11-18

Persecuted underdog endowed with unique skills and cloaked with superpowers—always a fun read! This 167-page serial novel is short and sweet but will require reading the following six installments to complete the story.

2017, Dad and Me Publishing

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So Not Okay book cover5. So Not Okay, An Honest Look at Bullying from the Bystander (Mean Girl Makeover, Book 1) 5-Stars

by Nancy Rue

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 10-14

A Realistic dramatization of middle school bullying among girls from an introverted bystander’s point of view. Readers will feel the fear and frustration as she experiences the pack’s bullying and grow with her as she learns how to deal with bullies from an interesting adult who has walked the same road.

2014, Thomas Nelson

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A Horse for Kate book cover4. A Horse for Kate 4-Stars

by Miralee Ferrell

Target Audience: Girls, Ages 8-11

This fun read has the usual middle school angst and a series of character building adventures. The first person point of view provided good character depth, and the spiritual and relational interactions were both interesting and instructive. A nice read for young girls and horse lovers.

2015, David Cook

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Nightmare City book cover3. Nightmare City 5-Stars

by Andrew Klavan

Target Audience: Boys, Ages 12-18

Another creative plot laced with high tension and suspense. Issues of life and death, courage and truth challenge the protagonist to his core and keeps readers thinking and guessing and turning the pages. The subtle spiritual truths are also powerful as readers will be challenged to “play the bigger game.”

2013, Thomas Nelson

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Dead Calm, Bone Dry book cover2. Dead Calm, Bone Dry (The Caribbean Chronicles, Book 2) 5-Stars

by Eddie Jones

Target Audience: Boys, Ages 12-18

This is a book teen boys will read; loaded with speculative fantasy, dry humor, a strong dose of violence and with a sprinkling of romance. Dead Calm, Bone Dry, continues Rickie’s journey through mayhem and betrayals and what becomes more and more like a living hell. It is the sequel to  Curse of the Black Avenger, Blood Sails, Dark Hearts, and the two books must be read together to grasp the plot and overarching theme.

2017, Lighthouse Publishing of The Carolinas

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Jack Staples and The Poet's Storm book cover1. Jack Staples and the Poet’s Storm (The Jack Staples Series) 5-Stars

by Mark Batterson and Joel Clark

Target Audience: Boys, Ages 8-11

This, the final installment of the Jack Staples Series, brings the conflict and resolution of this powerful tale of good versus evil to a satisfying conclusion. The action was again intense, with a little romance sprinkled in. The Christian allegories continued to be awesome, and the authors magnificently exemplified forgiveness, mercy, love and courage through the characters. Another great read.

2015, David Cook

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