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TGIF! It’s All About Issues this week.

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Every Friday she posts a new question and it’s a really fun way to discover new blogs.

This weeks question is: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues? 

I think this is a fantastic topic as books can speak to us in ways that people sometimes can’t. I’ve often found it easier to discuss personal topics when relating them to a book or a story, it makes it easier for me to explain the emotion behind the events when I can borrow someone else’s words.

As Maureen Johnson said in her post on The Guardian’s website last summer, “Yes, teen fiction can be dark – but it shows teenagers they aren’t alone.”

Teens have always had plenty of difficult experience to navigate and books provide a source of comfort and a way for them to discover that they aren’t alone. Below are the books I’ve found to be the most rewarding when trying to handle an issue or figure out how to discuss it with the teen girls I used to work with.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Melinda calls the police after an end of summer party turns wild. Her classmates ostracize her for getting them into trouble, but they don’t know the terrible secret she hides. It tears me up to think that there are girls and women both out there who have experienced this same sort of brutal attack and are too afraid to speak out against their attacker. This book helps young women to realize that they do have a voice and they shouldn’t be afraid to use it in their own defense. This is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading.

 


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
As someone who has had more personal experience with suicide than I would wish upon anyone else, this book was particularly difficult to read. While heartbreaking and difficult to read at times, this book helps to show teens and young adults what happens to those left behind after a successful suicide. I know that at times it may seem that ending it all is the best option, but this book helps them to understand that their death will affect more people than they may even realize.

Suicide is never an easy topic to discuss with teens or young adults, but it’s something that most of them will face at some point. This book is the perfect way to start the discussion and hopefully frame suicide in way that will give them cause to stop and really think things through if they are ever in that situation.

 

Rules by Cynthia Lord.
In this Newbury Honor Book Catherine is a 12-years-old girl and her eight-year-old brother, David, has autism. The book is form Catherine’s point of view and she explains how David’s autism makes her life complicated and causes her to wish that her life was a bit more “normal”. It’s hard for anyone to have a sibling that’s “different” and this book is a great way to help kids understand what their what is happening with their sibling and how normal things can still be for them.

I grew up with a cousin with cerebal palsy and I wish that there had been a book like this for me to read when I was younger.

What books do you use for opening up a discussion on tough issues? Are there any issues in particular you have a harder time talking about? I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this!

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Posted by on 1 June, 2012 in TGIF

 

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TGIF: Supporting Characters

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads. Every Friday she posts a new question and it’s a really fun way to discover new blogs.

This weeks question is: Supporting Characters: We tend to gush over those main characters the most, but what about those supporting roles? Who are some of your favorites? 

I usually tend to gravitate towards supporting characters in books even more so that the main characters. So this is hard to narrow dow. I’m gonna have to go with a top 5 supporting characters list!

There may be spoilers ahead so proceed at your own risk!

Fred and George Weasley from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I know I go on and on and on about my love for the twins, but seriously it never wavers. I love the back and forth conversations, the jokes, the teasing, their bravery and their unwavering loyalty to their family. From the first time this mischievous duo appeared on the pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I was enamored. And clearly I was not the only one  who loved the twins as their roles got increasingly larger as the series went on.

Also, Fred wins out as favorite twin by the tiniest smidgen of a vote.

Also from Harry Potter is Neville Longbottom. For being a supporting character he has quite the character arc starting in Book 1 and ending in Book 7! It’s fascinating to watch him move from being this shy, unsure boy into a confident and brave young man. I was cheering for him all long and loved that he was given his moment of glory. A true Gryffindor til the very end!


Prim from The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Prim was, by far, the most important of the minor characters. Wanting to save her and protect her is what drives Katniss to volunteer in her place and then fight to win. She wants to give Prim the life that she never had and to save her from the reality of their situation. I found myself crying in Mockingjay when Katniss is talking to Prim late at night and she comes to realize that her sister has grown up without her even realizing it. In just a year Prim has gone from this scared and unsure little sister someone whom Katniss can depend on and trust with her life.

Winter Celchu from the Star Wars Expanded Universe (first introduced in Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn). Winter was raised as a sister and companion to Princess Leia Organa and later worked for the Rebellion as a soldier and a spy. She had both a holographic and an audiographic memory which made her a kick ass spy. In Heir to the Empire she serve’s as Lei’as aide and confidant, even going on to help hide her children away when they are threatened.  I loved Winter as Zahn wrote her and desperately wanted to get more and more of her backstory. I guess that is the sign of a fantastic supporting character!

 

 

Oh, no list of favorite supporting characters would be complete without Adrian Ivashkov. I LOVE this character so much and he gives me ALL THE FEELINGS. And obviously, so does Richelle Mead, as she made sure there was a place for him in the spinoff series Bloodlines! When i read the series I found myself grinning every time Adrian graced the page. His wit and snark are the perfect foil to the other characters who see things in such black and white terms. In fact, I love him so much I’ve having a difficult time putting into words exactly why. So you’ll just have to read it to understand.

 
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Posted by on 11 May, 2012 in TGIF

 

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