Friday, September 2, 2011

TGIF: Making a Difference

Making a Difference:
Which book(s) would you put in the hands of 
today's teenagers in hopes of making a difference in their lives?

Well, since I am a teenager, I love this question. I think that the books we read impact our outlook on life and the way we react to events in our lives. Whenever I finish a fantastic book I think about a certain event in a different way than I ever had before. Books are the things that save kids, make them feel like they aren't alone, and comfort them in the times when they feel no one understands them.
The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart, is one of those books that makes you laugh, cry, and yell at the main character to get their act together. Ruby's life is one that is so relatable (in some ways...) to many teens, and the struggles she faces are those of any teen.
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, is one of those books where you fall in love with the main characters over and over and over again. I wanted to live in the world of Mercy Falls, be Grace's best friend, Sam's girlfriend (sorry Grace, he's mine!), Isabelle's ally, and Cole's friend. If I could hand this to every single teen who hasn't found that book, I would, and I guarantee, they would go find the next ones. It holds that place of escape and a protected environment, because none of the characters will judge you - they will simply appreciate you reading their story and what they have to say.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray changed my look on what beauty is, means, and the implications of the media around us. The girls in this book are all strong and amazing young women, and have experienced their childhood on stage, being critiqued, and not knowing who to really trust in a world where your beauty is all you have. Adina and her friends are all amazing characters, and Libba Bray makes you laugh, cry and hold your breath, waiting for the next turn. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one of those books to read on a rainy day. I read it when I was sick, and it is one of the only books where I started weeping. Like full on sobbing into the pages. The characters are so real that you can feel the sadness, hardship, and reality of the 1940's Germany around them. Liesel is an incredible character who has gone through so much in a short time, and finds a quiet and loving place in books, a feeling many of us know and love. In this way, you could relate to her, even though you maybe aren't an orphan, and you don't live in fear of being killed. The Book Thief will change your life.

Books change people's lives, and just a reminder: Whenever you censor or ban a book, you are preventing someone's life from being changed for the better. You don't know what every person needs.

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