Feature Shelf #17: The Dope Sick Edition

Books in this Feature Shelf
Beneath a Meth Moon http://bit.ly/jw-moon
Transcript
This is Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. This is the podcast for Episode 17: The Dope Sick Edition, requested by one of my former students. My name is Eli, I’m also called the book supplier. Thanks for listening.
Our title book today, Dope Sick is by Walter Dean Myers, which employs magical realism to tell the story of Lil J, who’s on the run after an undercover cop is shot. He holes up in an abandoned warehouse where a creepy guy with a magic remote, who shows him his past and his future on the television. It kind of reminded me of a cross between the Adam Sandler movie Click and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In the end matter, Myers says that Dope Sick is a story of redemption, even though it ends ambiguously.
There are a number of issues that Dope Sick touches on, but for the sake of our shelf, we’re going to stick to just one, and that’s teenagers and drug use.
So first on the shelf is Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Laurel lost her mother and grandmother in the hurricane, and it seems like she’s pulled her life back together.  She has a best friend, a boyfriend who is an athlete, and she’s a cheerleader. That is, until her boyfriend introduces her to meth, and her addiction takes over her life.
Second on the shelf is Go Ask Alice by Anonymous. This one is the diary of another teenager’s descent into the world of drug use after being given a soda laced with LSD. If you’re looking for a first person, and very personal account, Go Ask Alice might interest you.
Third on the shelf is Tweak, another first person account of growing up on drugs, this time the male perspective. And this time, it’s a true story. Nic Sheff started smoking pot when he was 12. He was convinced that he could clean himself up and stop doing drugs, any drugs, whenever he wanted. Except he wasn’t entirely right about that. Tweak is his memoir, the story of his addiction and his road to recovery.
Last up is Crank by Ellen Hopkins. Kristina, the main character, is another who succumbs to “the monster” of crystal meth, and through the poems in the novel, because it is a novel in verse, readers see how Kristina changes because of her drug use. The big question is, will getting pregnant and deciding to keep the baby be enough to get her to kick her meth habit?
So that’s five books about teens and drugs: Dope Sick, Beneath a Meth Moon, Go Ask Alice, Tweak and Crank.
And that’s it for this episode. For the Feature Shelf archives and show notes, both video and podcast, or to request your own Feature Shelf check out thebooksupplier.com/featureshelf. You can also send me requests on Facebook or Twitter at thebooksupplier (all one word) or an email at thebooksupplier at gmail dot com.
I’m going to leave you there now, dear readers. Thanks for listening to Feature Shelf #17: The Dope Sick Edition. As always, I am the supplier wishing you happy reading. Don’t forget to be awesome.
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