Monday, September 20, 2010

Th1rteen R3asons Why

TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY.  A Novel by Jay Asher

A book review highlighting 13 reasons why you must read this book and share it with a teenager in your life.

1.  This book is about a teenage girl named Hannah who commits suicide and tells her story on 13 audio cassette tapes.

2.  Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of people 15 to 24 and it is on the rise.

3.  Hannah Baker tried to reach out many times before she died and her attempts were not noticed.  This book will make you aware of some of the warning signs so that you can recognize when someone is in danger of committing suicide and get them some help.

4.  This book will make you  think about how your actions and words affect others around you. 

5.  Give this book to a teenager and then have a conversation about it.  Every one of us knows someone who has committed suicide.  It is 100% preventable and 100% regrettable when it happens.

6.  This book contains many moral dilemmas faced by teenagers today.  Arm yourself with knowledge.

7.  This is one unique story told from two perspectives.  Hannah tells her suicidal story from the cassette tapes Clay receives.  Clay tells his story of denial, love and frustration while listening to Hannah. Very Powerful.

8.  There are many issues in this book that adults and teens need to be aware of as dangerous to our emotional state of being.  Rape, Bullying, Rumors, Spying, Safety, Manipulation and Suicide are just some of the issues that this story brings up and should be talked about.

9.  Hannah is just like any teenager, living anywhere in the world.  She may be living next door.  Reach out.

10.  This book is a page turner.  You can't put it down because you want to know what happens to Hannah and Clay.  Do you want to know what goes on in the life of someone who is depressed, angry and frustrated with life?  You should.

11.  Teenagers just want someone to understand them, listen to them and love them.  That is all Hannah wanted and yet she couldn't find it or accept it, then she felt she didn't deserve it.

12.  The journey of life is hard and some people need to be carried part of the way.  Pick them up and carry them where they need to go.  Hold their hand.  Hug Them.

13.  Do you keep secrets?  Don't keep this book a secret because it is a unique, heart wrenching story that should be embraced by the community and talked about for years to come.

It is a powerful experience to make a difference in someone's life.  I want to share a story with you that happened to me recently.  A student of mine was handing in their last assignment of the school year in a sealed envelope that I planned to mail 3 years from now.  When he handed it to me, he said it was his suicide note.  What? I said and he repeated, this is my suicide note.  I did a little freaking out of course and then handed it to my guidance counselor in the building who called his father to convince him to get his son some series help for depression.  I just saw this student in the hall last week, alive thankfully, as I worried about him all summer.  He hasn't come in to talk to me yet but I am hoping he will.  What if I didn't turn that letter in or ignored his cry for help??  I don't like to think about the answer to that question.

Check out the author's website.  It contains audio tapes of the thirteen people Hannah included in her reasons for dying.  You can see the map in the story, listen to the audio tapes as well as see what real people comment about the book.  Go to