we don’t have approved texts for HS in this diocese yet.
we have been using Introduction to Catholicism, the 9th grade text intended for Catholic high schools in the Didache series from Midwest Theological Forum, but we cover it over 9th & 10th grade CCD. this was a huge investment, but the books have held up well, and we got a grant to cover part of the cost. The catechists like them because everything is there, and it is even more helpful for them. It comes with a catechist guide both in a binder and on a CD, with tests, and other aides.
However, and this is a biggie, the text is still less important than the catechist, but the text gives the framework and “what we have to teach this year” so don’t get hung up on the book if that is what you have, if the catechist is good he or she makes up for what the book misses. If the catechist is not prepared, does not have a firm lively faith to share, the book is not much help, no matter how good it is.
It is nearly impossible to teach from a text book in a traditional classroom method in the evening after these kids have had a full day of school, sports, band practice etc.
Look into getting this book for yourself (there is link to ordering on the cuf.org site or emmaus road), in fact, also get the scripture book (4th in the series) but don’t invest in student books unless and until pastor approves and you find out if books work at all.
the kids have the actual book in their hands for only part of the lesson, but many read more on their own, because they just cannot buckle down to a book for 1.5 hours in the evening. There are other ways to impart the information, and that is the challenge for the catechist.
I have just advised a new DRE on a limited budget who has been given responsibility for HS including confirmation for the first time (her pastor just cancelled lifeteen which they had for years) to get the Teen Catechism by Fr. McBride from Our Sunday Visitor, this is still my best recommend for starting a program with new catechists, lessons are short but substantive, it follows the CCC, it is a great intro to the CCC, it involves discussion, presentation, Q&A, scripture, music in a good suggested lesson plan (get inexpensive catechist guide separately). Together with OSV’s bible guide for Teens it is a comprehensive program and easy to initiate. You don’t even need to give the kids books if the catechist is prepared, but if it helps you to keep them focused, less of an expense the first year.
the big question as always with HS is where are they in the Confirmation process? here 9th grade is remote prep for Confirmation in 10th grade.
we have a sizeable group of kids coming to 9th grade for the first time–RCIA, or Catholic with no sacraments, no formal RE at all–or who have never come since 1st communion and have little or no grounding in the faith. We are starting a new class for them using One Faith One Lord from Sadlier, which is a “catch-up catechism” to bring them up to speed, so they can go on to prepare for sacraments the 2nd year.
If you’re interested, the rest of our program for HS includes TOB for Teens (6 segements presented by a team, 10th grade), T3 Bible Timeline (8 segments, 9th grade), Confirmed in the Spirit from Loyola (10th grade), Intro to Catholicism Chapt 1-16 (Creed and Sacraments) in 9th grade, Intro Chap. 17-28 (commandments, morality and prayer) in 10th grade. Post-confirmation class rotates, apologetics, contemporary moral issues, and selected bible studies.