It’s National Library Week and we’re celebrating by featuring RadReads everyday this week. RadReads are books that really push the envelope, stretch readers to their limits, and explore topics that many people choose not to even talk about. Yeah, these are the books that a lot of parents don’t want you reading. But honestly, they’re the books you love, the ones you can’t put down, the ones you’ll pass around to all your friends, and the ones you read under your covers at night with a flashlight because you really just can’t get enough. They are also the titles that offhandedly offer guidance and support because somehow they illustrate precisely what the reality of being a teenager right now is actually like, or could be, and what you can do to deal with it, or even change things, as you’re trying to navigate your way down the zany path of life into adulthood.
First up is Crank by Ellen Hopkins. Bet you can’t guess what this one’s about…
Yeah, that monster of a drug Crystal Meth. Crank is an extremely popular YA book and the first novel for Ellen Hopkins. She loosely based it on her daughter’s experiences with the drug and all the insidious madness that such a risky venture entails. The book clocks in at 500+ pages, yet it’s a ridiculously fast read mostly because it’s written in verse.
The verse form lends itself fantastically to the characters’ experiences. As the lead character, Kristina, goes from being a gifted student and well-behaved daughter to visiting her father and messing around with boys and crank, a new side to her personality emerges, one the author calls Bree. Bree goes on one wild journey and such a journey may be important for many teens to read about, especially if they’re a Kristina. It’s also an important read for many parents, especially those who may have experimental teens. Most appropriate for readers in 8th grade or higher.
Even more important might be the following links that have valuable info that you or someone you know might find of use…
Above the Influence –Honest answers about drugs
Go Ask Alice –Columbia University’s Health Education Questions on teen health issues
Teens Health –Great resource for a variety of teen health issues including drug abuse
And I’m willing to bet that if you read Crank and just couldn’t put it down you’ll want to check out Hopkins’ other hot RadReads. We own them all so reserve your copies today.