Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and The Bookish.
This week’s topic is Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession…which I kind of unknowingly did yesterday when I posted my book haul picture. Oops. So instead, I went into the TTT archives to pick a different topic, because why not!
July 14: Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects
1) The Fault in Our Stars, John Green: TFiOS will always be on my list of best anything but I think Green wrote a book that was very honest about illness and death, and also just honest about teenagers. He has said in interviews and blogs posts, etc. that he didn’t want to glamorize illness, and especially sick young people, and I think he succeeded.
2) The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: The Book Thief is one of my all-time favorite books. It is narrated by Death and takes place in Germany during the Second World War. It does a beautiful job of dealing with death, as a result of war and in general, in way that is true but not necessarily scary.
3) Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson: An immensely powerful novel about a high school girl who is raped at a party and has to learn to find her voice and the strength to tell what has happened to her. A very raw, sometimes painful to read story but so important.
4) 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher: I’ve only read this novel once but it has stayed with me for years. It deals with suicide as the result of bullying. The most extreme consequence of bullying and yet something that happens all too often. If you have a high schooler or know a high schooler, give them a copy – maybe they can help make high school a better place.
5) Looking for Alaska, John Green: Man, John Green seems to have some depressing books, huh? They’re really not guys! They deal with tough subjects but in a way that is totally readable. Anyways, Looking for Alaska deals with the unexpectedness and uncertainty of death.
6) To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee: Dealing with racism in the South, To Kill a Mockingbird is told from the point of view of a young white girl whose father is defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. A tough read but so sad and so good.
7) Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor: I was assigned this book in middle school and you guys, I could not handle it. It was my first real understanding of racism and what it meant to hate and it affected me so greatly that I haven’t been able to reread it to this day, though I probably should.
8) Wintergirls, Laurie Halse Anderson: The story of two girls with anoxeria that shows the terrible consequences of longing to be thin at any cost. Its a fractured, frayed narrative that, like Speak, is incredibly raw.
9) Dreamland, Sarah Dessen: Sarah Dessen is the queen of YA and with good reason. Dreamland is the story of a young girl whose relationship slowly devolves into a physically and mentally abusive one. It is such an important read for any young woman.
This is kind of a grim list, huh? But all of these books are so well written and they are stories that need to be told. If you give them a try, I think you’ll be glad that you did.