Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher...

How I Heard About It:  I am a member of the BBC (Boy's Book Club).  This is a group of male teachers that work together.  We started the book club back in 2000 and have been reading ever since.  This was the most recent book club selection.  

What It Is About:  Hannah and Clay are in the high school together.  Clay on a crush on Hannah, but isn't sure how to deal with it or how to let her know.  He doesn't have time because Hannah decides to end her life.  A couple weeks after her death, Clay receives a package in the mail that contains a series of cassette tapes (remember those) from Hannah.  As Clay begins to listen to the tapes he learns that Hannah has left "thirteen" reasons why she decided to end her life.  She retraces the variety of events and circumstances that brought her to the point of not being able to continue her life.  The package of tapes have been sent to all of the "players" that have had some effect on Hannah, her fitting into the social scene at school, and handling all the pressure that comes with it.  Clay spends the listening to her story and retraces her steps during the final days.  

What I Thought Of It:  This was a great story and I enjoyed the entire plot.  It was written quite differently.  Some of the narrative was told from Hannah's point of view via the cassette tapes that Clay is listening to.  The other narrative interwoven is Clay's perspective and what is going on in his life while listening to Hannah tell her story.  This back and forth was a bit confusing at first, but then I fell into a routine and it worked.  I thought this was an important story because many of the events that happened to Hannah and the students that surrounded her life, can be found in every day life at most high schools.  I'm looking forward to the BBC discussion at our next book club.  

Who Should Read It:  I think this story could be read by anyone and enjoyed.  I'm an adult male and loved it.  Adult females would also find it a great read.  Being that it is targeted toward the high school reader, I know they would benefit from reading it.  In my opinion the subject matter is a bit mature for a middle-school reader.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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