Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recently Read:
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Maybe you've heard the story about the young man who stopped to help an unpopular, geeky classmate pick up a bunch of books he'd dropped on a Friday afternoon? Turns out, the lonely high schooler had just cleared out his locker and was on his way home to kill himself. That single act of kindness changed the teen's mind, he lived to grow and prosper, and become one of the nation's most highly respected minds.

Thirteen Reasons Why is the story of the other choice -- what happens when seemingly unconnected actions build into a series, and no single act of kindness appears to alter a lonely teen's chosen way out? Hannah Baker, in a voice clear and strong, takes classmate Clay Jensen on an audiotape tour of their hometown, and tells us exactly why she committed suicide a few weeks before the novel begins.

Clay has had a crush on Hannah for a long time. He wanted to ask her out, he got a job just so he could be near her, they even made out at a party once -- he was a perfect gentleman and still doesn't understand what happened that night. So when a box of cassette tapes arrives at his door, he can't figure out why he's on Hannah's list. What did he do to her?? Thirteen tapes, thirteen people, thirteen reasons why Hannah gave up on herself and life.

What have you done, or not done, that's a part of somebody else's pain? Can you fix it? Will you get another chance? Will Clay?

You might also want to read:

Nelson, Richard E.
The power to prevent suicide : a guide for teens helping teens / Richard E. Nelson and Judith C. Galas ;

Cobain, Bev, 1940-
When nothing matters anymore : a survival guide for depressed teens / by Bev Cobain ; edited by Eliz

A guide to understanding and coping with depression, discussing the different types, how and why the condition begins, how it may be linked to substance abuse or suicide, and how to get help.

Mayfield, Sue.
Drowning Anna / Sue Mayfield.

After being befriended by the most popular girl in her new school, the brainy and shy Anna is puzzled when their warm friendship descends into cruelty and violence.

Glenn, Mel.
Split image : a portrait in poems / Mel Glenn.

A series of poems reflect the thoughts and feelings of various people--students, the librarian, parents, the principal, and others--about the seemingly perfect Laura Li and her life inside and out of Tower High School.

Freymann-Weyr, Garret, 1965-
Stay with me / by Garret Freymann-Weyr.

When her sister kills herself, sixteen-year-old Leila goes looking for a reason and, instead, discovers great love, her family's true history, and what her own place in it is.

Fields, Terri, 1948-
After the death of Anna Gonzales / Terri Fields.

Poems written in the voices of forty-seven people, including students, teachers, and other school staff, record the aftermath of a high school student's suicide and the preoccupations of teen life.

Corrigan, Eireann, 1977-
You remind me of you : a poetry memoir / by Eireann Corrigan.

Autobiographical poems recount events in a teenager's life, including her battles with eating disorders, her time in treatment facilities, and the suicide of her boyfriend.


viktoria said...

great review! have you seen these videos of hannah's tapes? more and more keep going up. they're on tape 4 right now.

PiLibrarian said...

Wow, I had no idea about those. It's pretty cool, isn't it, that a book is so important to people that they are inspired to make videos about it. Thanks for the link!

margo said...

I just read you're review. It was good. What did you think of the book?

PiLibrarian said...

Margo, I thought this book was awesome. What I liked was it showed how it wasn't just one person or event that made Hannah give up, but a whole series that nobody but Hannah would ever connect or maybe even think were that big.

The message isn't really to anybody who's feeling suicidal, but to everybody else who could make a difference.