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1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Suicide)- I had to put this book first on the list because the popularity of this book with teens. It obviously speaks to them in a very important way.
2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Racism, Alcoholism, Cultural Identity)-The thing I love about this book which covers very tough topics, is that it is very funny. It spoke to me of the seriousness of these tough topics but didn't weigh me down.
3. The Perks of Becoming a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (Sexual Identity and Peer Relationships)- It has been ages since I read this book but I still recall how poignant this book was at speaking to teens who are questioning aspects of their personalities and sexual identity.
4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Mental Illness, Alcoholism, Poverty)-This is a memoir about Jeannette Walls's early years living in abject poverty with parents who were possibly mentally ill and/or alcoholics. The book never lapses into a tone of "woe is me, feel sorry for me" which it easily could have.
5. Split by Swati Avasthi (Domestic Abuse)-Domestic abuse is a tough topic not often covered in teen literature.
6. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (Children forced to fight in wars)- Beah was forced as a young boy to fight in the Sierra Leone civil war. Given a gun and drugs, he and other children were taught to be ruthless. It is a miracle that Beah escaped and made his way to the USA.
7. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach (What happens to our bodies after death)- Sounds gruesome but this book is so interesting and often uproariously funny.
8. Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes by Chris Crutcher (Parental Abuse, peer acceptance)-"An obese boy and a disfigured girl suffer the emotional scars of years of mockery at the hands of their peers." This is a story about the redeeming power of friendship.
9. The Day the Voices Stopped: a Schziophrenic's Journey from Madness to Hope by Kenneth Steele (Mental Illness)- This is the best book I've ever read about the tragedies of and treatments for mental illness.
10. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Rape)- Published over ten years ago this book is still the best at demonstrating the debilitating aspects of rape.
11. Inside Out: A Portrait of an Eating Disorder by Nadia Shivak (Eating Disorder)- This is a graphic biography drawn and written by Shivak about her on-going challenge with bulimia.
12. Stitiches: a memoir by David Small (Cancer, Parental Abuse and Neglect)-another amazing graphic biogrpahy.
13. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Death and grief)- Grieving is not easy process and it takes time to come to grips on loss and going on with out a loved one.
14. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Gerald Sittser (Grief)-a nonfiction book which is the best book I have ever, ever read on how to cope with grief inside of faith.
15. Tear Soup: a Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Swhwiebert and Chuck Deklyen (Grief)- This book looks like a children's story book but it is amazing in it's simplistic way that it describes the healing process of grief. This is the book I give as a gift to people who have experienced the death of a loved one.
***Be sure to participate in my first-ever Giveaway contest in honor of my blogoversary.