This Friday’s Question:
Issue Books: Which books have you found to be very rewarding when it comes to tackling tougher issues?
Oh YES! Well, I haven’t actually read a ton of them, but I have started reading more lately because I think it’s important in my line of work. So, I am wicked happy for this question! I’ve currently read 28 books that focus around tough issues, in my opinion. Of course most books have tough issues in them, but these focus on those issues more so then other aspects, like fantasy or whatever.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is pretty amazing in its simplicity and extremely rewarding. It’s a story of growth and pain and learning and sadness, but it’s so hopeful and reminds that resiliency is REAL. I stated in my review:
“The author highlights many, many different struggles that every-day people face: anxiety, teen pregnancy, abortion, relationship violence, sexual abuse, discrimination, drugs, suicide, grief, guilt, death, depression. It is an endless list of issues that no one wants to discuss but affects us all in one way or another. Viewing these social problems and mental health issues through Charlie’s eyes was incredible and really reminded me of why I love working with children and adolescents. They can heal if provided a safe, non-judgmental environment in which to do so.”
And if there is EVER a book that slaps you with HORROR but also slaps you with RESILIENCY, it’s A Child Called It. I had to read this book for a child welfare class. I guess they wanted to slap us with the absolute worse atrocities we could encounter when working with children? This is supposedly a true account of the author’s horrific child abuse experiences, though there is a lot of controversy on whether his accounts are true. Regardless, the moral of the story is that resiliency is REAL. This is not a fun book nor is it a book for the faint of heart. It is a true horror story, but it provides hope, and we would all perish without that.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is a mockery of society and I cannot profess my love for Libba enough for going there. She broaches so many ugly societal issues that cause so much strife and stress, especially in our youth. “ GLBT, Racism, Sexuality, Sexual Health, Mental Health, our absurd ideals on beauty, Corporate monsters” plus so much more are mocked throughout the book. Our laughter only solidifies the absurdity of it all. I love this book because of the journey that the beauty queens experience, and how it changes their perspective.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch is a beautifully written account of an adolescent girl’s journey through the foster care system, which unfortunately, fails a lot of children. However, there are TONS of truly amazing foster parents out there who are in it for the right reasons. “Janet Fitch’s writing is downright magical, poetic and intoxicating. I felt every hunger pang, every yearning for some semblance of normalcy, every embarrassing, depressing and desperate moment, every let down, every heart-break, every smile, every relationship that was real and the many that were not. The book is raw and leaves you breathless.” Again, as you can tell is the theme for my tough issues books, we are left with hope and shown that resiliency saves.
There are tons of others, but these stick out.
Do you read tough issue books? What are your favs? What draws you to them?
If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
Oh geez. I might just have to pick Dystopian & Post Apocalyptic fiction (to include the zombie sub-genre, of course). These genres are so far removed from reality yet mirror our reality so eerily. I love to analyze the wicked governments and the psychological aspects of the characters.
I’m interested to hear your choice!
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