Sunday, August 23, 2009

Book recommendation..

I haven't been ignoring you all.. really, I'm just half blind, and I have been avoiding all things computer until I get new glasses... I don't have them yet, but I wanted to tell you all about a book that I read, well, listened to, about a month ago. It is called "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher, this is his debut book, and I tell ya.. I will be watching this guy. This book should be required reading for all Jr. High and High School students. It tells the story of a girl who commits suicide from the point of view of herself, and one of the persons she leaves behind. Stop... don't roll your eyes at me.. really, this is unpretentious, powerfully written, and really deals with high school culture head on. It opens a discussion that is very much needed.

I say this because one of my elder son's classmates and friends. Charlie, just tried to commit suicide this month. Yep, a 12 year old boy. He was hospitalized in the Psych ward for two weeks, but insurance only covers so much. His mother, a wonderful woman, is watching him very closely. Now, Sam and I have been having this on going conversation about listening to other people and what they say about hurting themselves or other people. The fact is that my children, because they are autistic, are usually placed with students who are defined as "ED" in the school district..this is "Emotionally Disturbed"

Of course, autistic people are not generally emotionally disturbed... at least mine are not... My boys are funny, quirky, well adjusted Vulcans. However the school district has no nice, neat defined place for Vulcans, so they lump them together with all of the other quirky children that they cannot define...

These children are wonderful, but I realized early on that they will be more prone to hurting themselves or others because of the individual issues that they have, ergo, Sam and I talk a lot about signs to listen for. Paranoid you say? Well, obviously not.

Back to the book, it held me spellbound, it really addressed the feelings of the girl and why she made the decision she did, how seemingly little things effected her life in a big way. It also give the reader, and frankly the person considering suicide as the answer, the feelings of the boy who was alive and listening to the tapes she left for him and his reactions to her honesty after it was too late for him to help her, or to get help for her.

Do yourself a favor, if you have the time, jump into this very well written book. If you have kids you love, read this book with them, open the discussion, talk about other options, make them aware of other people around them, and what they can do if they think that someone is needing help. Not everyone will be as lucky as Charlie, and still be around after his first attempt.

3 comments:

Joan's Good Life said...

It's terribly sad that there are kids who don't feel as if there is any other avenue for them other than suicide. I'm glad that there are people like you who will actively pursue these difficult topics with their own kids in the hopes that they may be able to help others. And I'm so glad I found your blog. Thanks for giving me new insights about Autism.

I hope you get your glasses soon. I've missed reading your blog! ;)

Pam said...

I've added this to my list of books to read.

I've had a quite an interesting year so far. I have 3 autistic students, all at different levels of the spectrum. Never a dull moment around here.

EditThis said...

Sounds like a nice addition to all the other Young Adult lit I've been reading lately. I feel for your kid's friend. Life can be hard, but it's hard to imagine feeling that weight at the age of 12. Kudos to you for educating your kids and not treating suicide as a taboo subject.