Today didn’t start well. First I thought it was Wednesday, and I posted my Waiting on Wednesday blog a day early. It turns out that it is Tuesday instead. I am okay with this, but the confusion got to me. I may go get a chocolate peanut butter milkshake on my lunch break, because: reasons. To get back to the subject at hand...I am very interested to see peoples’ lists for this week’s topic. I think reactions to ‘issue’ books are personal, and I expect them to vary widely. I know I was surprised by my own list as it took shape on the page (or post-it note, as it were). I tend to avoid tough subjects and read for escape, but these stories have all stolen pieces of my heart.
Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects
1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Conor’s mother has cancer, and his grief, anger, and despair make for heart-wrenching reading.
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Oh, this book. It gutted me. The racism, injustice and violence made me long for peace.
3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Alexie’s dark humor carries the reader through the depths of poverty, alcoholism, racism and other staples of Reservation life.
4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth C. Wein – History shows us harrowing things, and the anti-Semitism and fascism of Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied France is the definition of a ‘tough subject.’ Plus, the book is just amazing.
5. The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel – I tend to think of family dysfunction as a tough subject, and this book is full of it. And life. And growing up (another tough subject!).
6. The Psycopath Test by Jon Ronson – Ronson investigates the darkest side of human nature and the world of mental illness. Also, I gave this book to my mom for Mother’s Day a few years ago. She liked it!
7. Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – This is a hilarious book with an amazing narrator. It’s also about dealing with neglectful parents, death and growing up in weird ways. It’s special.
8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – Urban poverty, family disappointments and alcoholism are the backdrop of one girl’s coming of age in Brooklyn, and somehow it is beautiful.
9. The Giver by Lois Lowry – Lowry’s dystopian future muses on the importance of memory, the depths of pain and human ethics.
10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – Anderson gives voice to a teenager who is the victim of rape, shame, guilt, and social ostracism. It’s an *important* book.
Are any of these books on your list? What does your list look like?