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Young Adult Literature! EDR 541

By: Ms.Tiffany Thomas

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

     13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher was published by the Penguin Group in 2007.  Clay Jensen is a regular high school student who is simply trying to navigate his way through high school. His regular life soon changed when he received a box of random tapes sitting on his door step that were from Hannah Baker. The weird thing about him receiving the tapes was that Hannah was dead. Clay was essentially freaked out by the odd gift but because of curiosity, he felt as if he had to listen. The first tape immediately lets the listeners know that if they are in possession of the tapes, they are one of the reasons why she committed suicide. Although Hannah and Clay never really spent as much time as he thought that they should have spent together, he didn’t believe that he was one of the reasons why Hannah would ultimately kill herself. As he listens to the tapes, Hannah gives a full uncensored account of the events that happened to her and she vows to make sure that the truth will come out. The tapes allow Clay to look into Hannah’s life and, in a weird way, get to know who she really was as a person. This book serves as a eulogy to Hannah’s life and also allows everyone that was involved to take a closer look at how they treat each other.  The themes and motifs in this book are bullying, teen suicide, self-reflection, rape, and rumors. Continue reading “13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher”

By The Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters

By The Time You Read This, I’ll be Dead by Julie Anne Peters was published by Disney-Hyperion on May 17th, 2011. Daelyn Rice is a high school student who has been bullied on multiple occasions.  The kids at her school constantly bully her about her size and she has also been a victim of a sexual attack. She has attempted suicide on multiple occasions which have been unsuccessful. Her parents do not leave her alone because they feel that she will attempt suicide again. She finds a website called Through-The-Light that allows her to discuss with other people different ways to die and gives her the opportunity to count down her death date to her next suicide attempt. Daelyn is determined to kill herself and she feels strongly that no one will stop her. As her death date gets closer, she reflects on what has brought her to this point and feels as if this is the only way she has out. Daelyn seems set on her suicide attempt until she meets a boy named Santana. Santana is a very weird young man who seems to take to Daelyn and she has no clue why. He does not mind holding strange conversations with her and ultimately, he wants to be her friend. Santana has his own secret that changes Daelyn’s perspective on her next suicide attempt and also gives her the opportunity to look at life in a different way. The themes and motifs that can be found within the book are self-acceptance, the influence of friendship, bullying, identity, and love. Continue reading “By The Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters”

The Hate List by Jennifer Brown

     The Hate List was written by Jennifer Brown and was published by Little Brown and company in September 2009. In the story The Hate List, Valerie Leftman and Nick Levil are two inseparable teens that so just so happen to find common ground at Garvin High School. They both are bullied on a constant basis so they immediately gravitate towards each other for comfort. As they navigate through the strange world called high school, they realize that they simply don’t fit in where they are. They start to talk about death and ways they would kill their classmates for fun after several incidents that had happened at the school. Valerie comes up with the idea of writing down a list of people they hate every time they have a problem with someone to “let off some steam.” She does not realize that Nick is thinking about using the list in a harmful way. When Nick reaches his breaking point, he decided to take a gun to school and kill the people who has given him and Valerie a hard time. During the shooting, Valerie ends up getting shot by jumping in front of a girl who was on the list to protect her from Nick.  After waking up in the hospital, she realizes that Nick is dead and what has transpired from what was supposed to be a harmless list. She has a battle with herself to determine if she is a hero or a villain within the story. She must adjust to life after the shooting and figure out how to live life as normal as possible. Some common themes and motifs that are within the story is villain vs. hero, bravery, bullying, and forgiveness. Continue reading “The Hate List by Jennifer Brown”

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