Based on the adult novels of the same name Left Behind: The Kids is a series of Christian novels for kids ages 10 to 14. These forty books have sold over 11 million copies and can be read as a stand-alone series or in conjunction with the adult novels.
Authors Jerry B. Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, and Chris Fabry teamed up to write this young adult adaptation of Jerry's adult series Left Behind. The Bible describes the end of times which includes the Rapture and Tribulation. In this series, a group of teens has been left behind on Earth after their families were taken to Heaven by God in the Rapture. Working together and bound by their faith in Jesus Christ, the teens experience extreme hardship in return for a great reward. Grab a paperback copy of each book for around $4 per book.
While the series features Christian themes, it also includes violence against adults and kids along with violence from war. Mom reviewer Samantha says, despite the sometimes bland writing, "you will not be able to put them down" thanks to the thrilling storyline. She also recommends only kids over age ten read the series. In addition to violence, the books include deaths of parents and children and examine the complex biblical stories which might be difficult for younger readers to grasp. However, the books can make a great conversation starter for families because they are easy to read but still have deep and complex themes.
The four main characters of the books, who are children, form the Young Tribulation Force after each accepts Christ into his or her life. Together with their pastor mentor, these teens work together spreading the word of Jesus Christ around the world.
- Judd Thompson, Jr. - At age 16 Judd is initially combative with his parents and eager to seek independence. After the Rapture, he turns these strong traits into leadership skills.
- Vikki Byrne - This rebellious 14-year-old from a lower-class family is tough and rough around the edges. After the Rapture, she uses this attitude to help spread the word of God in secret and protect others.
- Lionel Washington - This privileged 13-year-old keeps lots of secrets, but eventually uses this skill to help the believers' cause.
- Ryan Daley - The youngest of the group, Ryan is 12 when the novels begin. He is the only one of the kids who didn't grow up in a Christian household, so he's a little more skeptical than the others.
- Bruce Barnes - This assistant pastor didn't truly have faith in Jesus, which is why he was left after the Rapture. With a newfound faith, he mentors the teens to help all those left behind find their way to Heaven.
- Nicolae Carpathia -The genetically engineered Antichrist who becomes the leader of the world only allowing his religion of Carpathianism.
With forty titles in the series, the publisher formed compilations each including several books to make it easier to follow the correct order. These compilations also include background information from the Left Behind adult series, each drawing off one book from the original series. The novels run around 150 to 200 pages with a grade five to six reading level. Kid reviewer Aaron reports relating well to the characters and says these are "on the edge of your seat books."
Millions of people vanish into thin air around the world in these introductory books. Those left behind, including kids like Judd, Vikki, Lionel, and Ryan, must figure out why these people disappeared then do their part to accept the truth and help others accept it too.
- The Vanishings
- Second Chance
- Through the Flames
- Facing the Future
In the dark times following the Rapture, these teens face tough decisions like what they are willing to sacrifice to spread their message to others. Days on earth are numbered, but government rules prohibit any conversations about God or the contents of the Bible. The Young Trib force begins to split due to their dangerous activities.
- Nicolae High
- The Underground
- Death Strike
World War III has begun, and the Young Trib Force is struggling to stay intact. Can they wade through secret documents and prophecies to save the world? And more importantly, can they keep their group together to carry out their goals?
- The Search
- On the Run
- Into the Storm
The kids are in hiding, but how long can they hold out. Each must rely on God's help to fight the evil in their world and together they must remain united if they hope to save others.
- The Showdown
- Judgment Day
- Battling the Commander
- Fire from Heaven
The world is rapidly changing and the Young Trib Force is weak. Can they trust others around them to keep their identities safe or will they be double-crossed?
- Terror in the Stadium
- Darkening Skies
- Attack of Apollyon
Being physically separated makes it hard for the teens to keep working toward a singular goal. Does each individual have what it takes to survive whatever comes next?
- A Dangerous Plan
- Secrets of New Babylon
- Escape From New Babylon
The government plans to control the population are getting too difficult to avoid. Believers must work harder than ever to survive the Tribulation, will all the Young Trib Force members make it through?
- Horsemen of Terror
- Uplink From The Underground
- Death at the Gala
The danger level is at an all-time high. Can the Young Trib Force find each other again and convince the world of what's about to happen?
- The Beast Arises
- The Mark of The Beast
Nicolae Carpathia is spreading his dark mark and the teens of the Young Trib Force must take dangerous steps to save mankind.
- Murder in the Holy Place
- Escape To Masada
The entire world is spiraling out of control and the teens aren't left with many choices or chances to stay together and stay safe.
- War of the Dragon
- Attack on Petra
- Bounty Hunters
The teens are all back stateside and on the run from eager bounty hunters. There's only one year left before the King returns, will the world be ready?
- The Rise of False Messiahs
- Ominous Choices
- Heat Wave
With God on their side, the Young Trib Force makes a final stand against Nicolae Carpathia and his Global Community army. All these years of hard work may finally pay off for believers.
- The Perils of Love
- The Road To War
- Triumphant Return
The Power of Faith
For Christians and others, books like these spread a powerful message about what happens when like-minded people band together for a good cause. While forty books may seem like a daunting task for some young readers, once they get started on this apocalyptic thriller they won't be able to stop.