My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is phenomenal! It was fabulous the first time I read it when I was in my 20's; however as a mom and a professional school counselor my current reading of it as much more personal and darker! While I still identified with Melinda, I found myself increasingly angry with the adults in this book! I kept having WTF moments (truly there is no problem nicer way to say it)! The adults in this novel are so self involved and while not privy to their struggles, I cannot fathom why they did not at least try and assist her or push her parent any more than they did.
The other lesson I learned from this book was deeply professional. I found myself reviewing my students, past and present and hoping that I have not missed something this obvious. Yes it is obvious, a child whose grades drops, has no problem fiends, stops speaking and skips class, as well as looks awful, there is a problem. A serious one! As a counselor it is my job to watch kids, and pick up these things, now while I may be limited in my ability to solve it or even get the student to tell me the problem, I do have resources, and this is what bothers me the most! I refer kids out call parents and continually push them! I watch out for the kids even if they do not know and I try to be trusted and helping adult not disciplinarian, that is the teacher and administrations role! Also, it is my job to tell parents they need to do more, I am the child's advocate!
Finally, on a personal noteI would like to say I recommend and read this book with my 11 year old /6th grader. I did get flack about this choice, again making me crazy. Kids talk about a lot of things but if we put information in their hand encourage them to read this and talk about it, we give them power over their lives! Also, as an adult I see it with a darker more experienced view than my daughter does, but she too, hopes she never has a friend so depressed and one that no one realizes is so depressed. It is a great read but very emotional. I cannot reccomend it highly enough!, I It is dark and some parts were hard for my Katie but in the end she loved it!
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