Book Review: Start Here ** Win COPY **

Title: Start Here

Subtitle: Doing Hard Things right Where You Are

Authors: Alex & Bret Harris (with Elisa Stanford)

Publisher’s Synopsis: You want to do hard things.
But you don’t know where to start.

You are changing the world around you.
But you are tired and burned out.

You feel called to do the extraordinary for God.
But you feel stuck in the ordinary.

Do Hard Things inspired thousands of young people around the world to make the most of the teen years. Now Alex and Brett Harris are back and ready to tackle the questions that Do Hard Things inspired: How do I get started? What do I do when I get discouraged? What’s the best way to inspire others? Filled with stories and insights from Alex, Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries, Start Here is a powerful and practical guide to doing hard things, right where you are.

Are you ready to take the next step and blast past mediocrity for the glory of God?


Continuing where Do Hard Things ends, Start Here is more the “”how to” after the “what to”.  Packed full of true stories about kids who read the first book and decided to make their own little “Rebelutions” in their lives, this book helps teens (and really anyone in my opinion) focus on the “main thing”.  They show kids where things will be easy, where they’ll be hard, and why it’s worth it regardless.  The fact of the matter is, in a world that expects little out of kids but trouble and bad attitudes, this book starts with basic principles (he who is faithful in little– you know, things like making beds and doing homework– will be trusted with much) and builds on them, showing how to stay within the boundaries God has given young people .  That’s one of the best parts of this book, in my opinion.  The book encourages teens to stretch all boundaries EXCEPT those that God has set in place.  (You know, little things like the law, parental authority, etc.)

Aside from the obvious (encouragement for kids to get out there and make a difference in their lives and the lives of others), the book is packed with things that any Christian needs to read and remember.  A few are…

  • Serving God doesn’t mean being miserable or losing your sense of humor.  Serving can be FUN.
  • When you want to learn from someone, find out what they’ve said before you ask.
  • Pride is always an enemy.
  • Things worth doing don’t always get you credit.
  • Sometimes, doing what is right means a shift in what is normal.
  • Busyness is not equivalent to fruitfulness.

I want to talk a bit about that last one.  It is a dussie.  I started to write a bunch of stuff about it, but instead, I’m just going to link to the blog post they reference and suggest you read it for yourself.  Wow.  That’s all I’ve got to say.  Wow.

Buy the book.  That’s all I’m sayin’.  Buy. The.  Book.

I want to thank Multnomah for providing this book for review.

To win a copy of this book (I’m giving TWO away.  That’s how important this book is in my opinion.  I’m giving BOTH away and buying another one of my own), leave a comment and tell us what kinds of things you’re seeing kids do to bring glory to God.


25 thoughts on “Book Review: Start Here ** Win COPY **

  1. I want the book 😉 Nursing home ministry has been a big one here, or simply helping out with what needs done–moving, fixing things.

  2. Okay, that one’s going on my list. It honestly is a bit hard here (maybe everywhere?) for teens, especially young teens, as their contributions aren’t always sought as valuable. Still, I was encouraged when our family went to pack boxes at a food distribution warehouse for food banks to see other teens there. It’s hard work and it isn’t “flashy”, noticeable work–it isn’t in the front line, or even in the ‘second’ line. But it is valuable and it blessed me to see them.

  3. Wow. I had no idea this book existed and DEFINITELY want to read this. My kids read the first one also and loved it.

    Since you asked us to share what hard things we see kids doing, I will share of one involving my own children. One of the things that my kids are doing (and have done for years now) is that they are currently going door to door asking for donations for our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. I love that they have a heart for this and are willing to give of their time (and a lot of it) to do it.

  4. It does sound like a good one! My oldest read the first one and loved it. She has asked for the second one, also. My daughter has started public school this year. It has been an interesting time for her. I have been amazed as I watch this 13 yo girl stand for her convictions and not waiver. Her new friends know the things she stands for and that she is a Christian. I am so proud of how she is handling herself in this environment.

  5. Sounds great. I loved their first book.

    I’m seeing at least one young man who is choosing to participate in more adult activities even when it means less time with his age peers.

  6. Sounds like a must read for all teens and their parents.

    In our last church one of the ministries I loved to see the teens work with was the Senior Saints meals—ever so often there’d be a meal after church and the teens would serve it and talk wtih the older folks, etc… They also had a nursing home ministry. My own son worked with my husband in the Spanish ministry in that church.

  7. My oldest son has really been showing how awesome God is in his every day dealings with his baby sister. Just the tender heartedness that he has for her…any little cry and he wants to scoop her up and comfort her…just like the Lord wants to comfort us 🙂 I’ve never heard of this book and would love to win a copy!

  8. I love seeing my older girls getting involved in the lives of the younger MKs around them. Even while they are doing that, though, they are grappling with where/how they fit in and what they need to be doing. This book sounds like a good follow-up to a conversation I was having with one of my girls the other day.

  9. I have the “Do Hard Things” book and thought it was excellent… I’m certain this second one will be just as challenging.

    As for what kids are doing to bring glory to God, one big thing here is helping out moms with younger kids. When we are at the park or at a homeschool activity, they are so good about offering to watch the little ones so moms can have a bit of time to chat and be refreshed without constantly having to keep an eye on the littles. They also visit the nursing home here in town, for “no occasion” parties and to spend time with the residents. I can’t wait to see them discover something they are really passionate about… and watch where they go with it .

  10. My boys are reading Do Hard Things right now so I’d love for them to read the second book as well. Our family reaches out to our neighbors as often as we can and a local homeschool teen is raising money to build a church in Sudan.

  11. I would love this. My son read Do Hard Things and I am going to have his sister read it soon. They both help tremendously with their younger siblings and my daughter steps up at our church fellowship meal and helps to set out food, clean up, etc. 🙂 Hopefully soon we will be able to get into another ministry.

  12. I wish I would have learned these thing so much younger. I need to find my copy of Do hard things. It was lost in the big move.


  13. I’m going to be putting both of their books on my boys’ high school required lists.

    I’ve enjoyed a few fruits already with my guys—-like faithfully serving in our small church, even when it is not the “fun” place to go. Also, using the skills they’ve learned from working on our house to go do for a widow and a family who’s house burned down.

  14. Sounds like a great read, even for an adult! I’d love to start talking with my husband now about how to prepare our children to be this kind of person.

    How do I see children glorifying God? Participating in worship, even from a very young age. Kids who haven’t reached their second birthdays raising their hands with the congregation and singing the Doxology or shouting “Amen” with everyone. Three year olds praying prayers of confession and belting out the parts of the hymns that they know. It’s a small illustration, maybe, but still a way to have higher expectations than the world says we ought to.

  15. Some kids in our homeschool group made this short film. It won a bunch of awards in our local film festival.

    I don’t know if I’m too late, but thought I’d try 🙂

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