Tuesday, July 26, 2011

13 reasons why by jay asher


Suicide leaves survivors with many questions, most of which begin with why. Hannah Baker provides 13 answers, or reasons why, she killed herself via a set of seven cassette tapes delivered chain-letter style to each of the 'reasons.' When the tapes make their way to the doorstep of Clay Baker (who had a crush on Hannah), he spends an agonizing evening listening to Hannah's voice as she explains that "everything affects everything" and follows her on a journey through the past using a map that outlines Hannah's path to self destruction. A brutal and poignant account of teen bullying that will resonate with teens and adults who have experienced it first hand or doled it out themselves. A must read for teens, suicide survivors, educators, and especially school counselors. I listened to this title on audio when it was released, but it was particularly moving in print, and I recommend both. Don't miss all the extras on Asher's website, including discussion questions. The film version of 13RW is in the works and his long-awaited new book, The Future of Us, written with Carolyn Mackler, comes out in November. Grade 7+