Summer is usually the time that I choose to read books with lighter drama or with adventure. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher would not have been my typical choice but I’m so glad I read it!
Our hostess for book club this month picked it out. She used the book for a unit she taught at school. When we asked her about the unit and how the kids liked the book, I loved her response. She said that the experience with her students was what every teacher dreams of having.
Thirteen Reasons Why
This book has received many awards and is set to be made into a movie starring Selena Gomez. She wasn’t the image I had in my mind when I read the book but …
The premise: Hannah Baker has died. She committed suicide, but before she did, she made seven tapes that contain a message to thirteen people. These people, she believes, contributed in some way to her decision. Hannah instructs the first person who receives the tapes in the mail to listen to all of them and then when they are done to pass on the tapes to the next person after them.
I know, the story seems morbid, but I couldn’t put the book down. I wanted to know her reasons. Why did she do it? What was so awful in her life that she didn’t seek help from an adult in her life? What had those thirteen people done? Clay is one of the recipients of the tapes and the story is told through his voice and through Hannah’s as he listens through the tapes.
One of the overriding messages of the book is how our actions affect others, both good and bad. Be forewarned: The book does delve into other issues such as bullying, rumors, lies, and abuse.
I’m really looking forward to discussion at book club. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear from you!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the
first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV Bible