This week's theme was: Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To X Person (your choice -- could be to your mom, to a reluctant male reader, to your teenage sister, to dog lover's, to sports lovers, etc.)
I decided to chose ten books I would recommend to a teenager who is struggling through high school.
I was one of those kids that struggled through high school. My parents weren't abusive and I wasn't picked on ruthlessly, but I was never really noticed. It's like that scene in The Princess Diaries where she gets sat on, and it wasn't the first time.
I actually ended up leaving my junior year and joining a program called Running Start. I attended the local community college instead of high school. I remember going back to my high school on occasion and running into kids I had several classes with the year before. Very few ever remembered me.
I am an adult now and high school is barely a blip on my radar, but I have had the chance to work with teenagers currently going through high school. It reminded me of how hard high school was and how many kids need a helping hand.
1. Eleanor and Park: This book has two very realistic views of being a teenager. The first is Eleanor who lives in poverty with an abusive step-dad. The second is Park who lives with loving parents who seem to be struggling to understand their ever changing son. This is a great book to help you get through and to also help understand that every one has their own issues they are dealing with.While Eleanor's problems are much more apparent and obvious, Park's are treated with an equal amount of understanding.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This book is chalked full of kids with issues that make high school life difficult. Whether it's because something happened in your personal life, you are very different, or you just can't seem to fit it, this book addresses many different perspectives. Its great because these kids find ways to get through high school with the help of each other.
3. The Fault in Our Stars: Think you have it hard? Try being a teenager with terminal cancer. This book may give kids a little more perspective.
4. Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets: This is far and away my favorite Harry Potter book. This book is particularly great if you have trouble with your teachers.
5. Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief: The beauty of Percy Jackson is that he isn't perfect. He is dyslexic and has ADHD. He struggles in school, but hey, he's a god!
6. To Kill a Mockingbird: I read this in high school and loved it. It helps teach tolerance and understanding. There are few better teachers than Atticus Finch.
7. The Screwtape Letters: This book has a fun and entertaining way to help understand human thought and emotion.Its much easier to be accepting and understanding of others when you understand that everyone has their own, personal demons. You may not see them or know what they are, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.
8. The Great Gatsby: High school is the time when you are trying to figure out who you are and who you want to become. As a kid, I dreamed of wealth and popularity (especially as a kid who felt very unpopular). This book helps illustrate what is important by focusing on what's not.
9. The Diary of a Young Girl: Ok, seriously, let's talk about struggle. This girl's struggles trump yours. What a humbling book.
10. The Count of Monte Cristo: Dreaming of revenge? This book helps tell you why that's not a great idea.