May 14: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects
Top Ten Tue-Wednesday? I know I’m late..
1. A child called IT – David Pelzer
This definitely has to be the first on the list. I read this when I was still quite young and was both horrified and fascinated at the same time. This book is based on the writer’s own childhood in which he was severely abused by his mother. He was later removed from the home and lived in foster care for years. This book is followed by The Lost Boy and A man called Dave.
2. 19 Minutes – Jodi Picoult
Out of all the amazing books that Jodi Picoult has written over the years, this is the one that has spoken to me the most. It’s about a boy who is bullied to the point that he can’t take it anymore and takes a gun to school to shoot his tormentors. It shows the other point of view, the shooter’s point of view. I suppose it was very risky for her to write this book but it’s very very impressive.
3. Looking for Alaska – John Green
This book made such an impression on me because the issues it deals with are very subtle. It deals with depression, suicide, loss, finding yourself and growing up. What makes this book special is that it doesn’t have a clear ending. You really have to think about it and decide for yourself what happened.
4. A Brother’s Journey – Richard Pelzer
A book written by David Pelzer’s brother (see above) who, apparently was targeted by his mother after David was removed from the family (you have to wonder why the remaining kids were allowed to stay). Richard criticizes his brother’s writing, saying that he uses his past for financial gain, and uses this book to explain his part of the story.
5. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
I think everyone knows this book. It’s about a young girl with cancer. It deals with death and accepting your own fate as well as others beautifully. One of the most gripping books I’ve ever read.
6. A Perfect Match – Jodi Picoult
The first book of Jodi Picoult that I’ve ever read. It’s about a mother’s journey to bring her child’s sexual abuser to justice. At any cost.
7. Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen
A book about the writer’s own experiences in a mental hospital. Amazing insights into that world.
8. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green / David Levithan
Amazingly co-written book about two people who share the same name. It’s a wonderful book about accepting yourself and others, friendship, homosexuality, depression.
9. Rose Madder – Stephen King
Wait, what? A SK book on a list about serious issues? Yes, there is. Rose Madder is actually about a battered woman who has decided to run away from her abusive, influential, cop husband. It, of course, has a (supernatural) twist because it IS Stephen King after all.
10. Jan Rap en z’n Maat – Yvonne Keuls
That probably sounded like gibberish to you, didn’t it? It’s a Dutch book and one of my absolute, all time favourites. It’s a very mature book that I read when I was about 13 and it’s probably the book that has had the most influence on me in my life. It’s the book that made me realize that I want to work with teenagers. It’s about a woman and her colleagues who open up a sort of shelter/half-way house where teenagers can come and stay if they have nowhere else to go. She encounters kids with drug issues, abusive pasts, pregnancy, mental illness, homosexuality, theft and a lot more. It’s very impressive. Too bad it hasn’t been translated to English.