Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish to talk about eleven young adult books to read if your book club likes talking about current social issues.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely / The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Issue: Police violence
Commentary: The book club I’m in read All American Boys last month and we had a great discussion about characters, motivation, and how complex this issue is. I know that The Hate U Give isn’t out yet, but I wanted to include it so it’s on your radar. It’s about how one kid deals with the grief of witnessing a friend killed at the hands of police, as well as how she decides to speak out and the repercussions of her choices.
Butter by Erin Jade Lange / Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Commentary: Butter is one of those novels that my students love to read, and can connect with easily – especially in regards to internet culture. Thirteen Reasons Why is another one that used to go viral in my classroom. We’d have conversations about how when we say things that are mean, even if we say j/k right afterward, they can still have an effect on the target of the comment.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Issue: body image
Commentary: I read this for a class in my master’s program. It was a great one to talk about author’s craft as well as providing insight and space for conversation about eating disorders.
Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
Issue: mental illness
Commentary: This one comes in two formats: an iPad app and a print text. I think it would be really interesting to talk about this one with a book club, because it’s not only about mental illness, but it also brings up issues of the
reliability of narrator that might make for interesting conversation. It’s mostly pictures, too.
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Commentary: Humanizes people who have PTSD after coming back from deployment.
A World Without You by Beth Rivas / Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Issue: mental illness
Commentary: There’s such a stigma against people who have mental illnesses in this country.
fter by Amy Efaw / First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Issue: teenage pregnancy
Commentary: These two books take very different approaches to discussing teenage pregnancy. In After, a girl is on trial for neglecting her newborn, and in First Part Last, a young father