Sunday, May 15, 2011


I'm sure there are people out there who think books about teen suicide do not belong in a middle school library. I beg to differ. Not only do my students ask for these constantly, books about suicide allow readers to see how others--possibly others like themselves--deal with suicidal thoughts. When characters in the story seek help, the reader knows there is help available and has some direction in finding it. When characters do not not seek help and do attempt suicide, readers can experience the fallout of that event right along with the character.

Breathless (Lurlene McDaniel)
A high school diving champion's diagnosis of bone cancer affects not only his life, but those of his best friend, his sister, and his girlfriend.
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead (Julie Ann Peters)
High school student Daelyn Rice, who has been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out.
Fall for Anything (Courtney Summers)
Eddie Reeves's father commits suicide, and as she seeks for answers, she meets Culler Evans, a photographer and former student of her father's who may know the secret to her father's death.
Glimpse (Carol Lynch Williams)
Living with their mother who earns money as a prostitute, two sisters take care of each other and when the older one attempts suicide, the younger one tries to uncover the reason.
Hold Still (Nina LaCour)
Caitlin wrestles with her feelings of devastation and helplessness after her friend Ingrid commits suicide, and she turns to her family and newfound friends for help while encountering love, broadening her horizons, and using Ingrid's journal to heal.
Hush (Eishes Chayil)
After remembering the cause of her best friend Devory's suicide at age nine, Gittel is determined to raise awareness of sexual abuse in her Borough Park, New York, community, despite the rules of Chassidim that require her to be silent.
Last December (Matt Beam)
Tells the story--in the form of a suicide note from a teenaged boy to his unborn sister--of how a ninth-grader comes to accept his less than ideal life after witnessing the struggles of a friend with serious depression.
Moonglass (Jessi Kirby)
At age seven, Anna watched her mother walk into the surf and drown, but nine years later, when she moves with her father to the beach where her parents fell in love, she joins the cross-country team, makes new friends, and faces her guilt.
Orchards (Holly Thompson)
Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home.
What Is Real (Karen Rivers)
Seventeen-year-old Dex Pratt, blessed with an idyllic childhood until his parents' divorce, returns to his small hometown to live with his dad who has tried and failed to commit suicide, and is stunned to see how much everything has changed, especially with his father, who used to defend marijuana growers in his law practice, but has since become one of them.

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