The Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” – based on the best-selling book of the same name by Jay Asher – has received rave reviews for its actors, its storyline, and the authenticity with which it presents every parent’s worst nightmare.
After committing suicide, Hannah Baker leaves behind seven cassette tapes that are delivered to various classmates and one adult. Clay Jenkins, with whom Hannah had a close friendship, is accused of being one of the thirteen reasons she chose to end her life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third-leading cause of death of young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and proportionally more boys than girls commit suicide: 81% in contrast to 19%. As of March 2015, approximately 4,600 young people have committed suicide. Read more about the CDC report here. The Nemours Foundation provides a comprehensive explanation on teen suicide here.
Click on the trailer above for a glimpse of the Netflix series, and click here for a short history its creation. Click here for a short featurette on the young actors who portray the main characters, and how they interpret the reasons that drove Hannah’s drastic decision to kill herself.
In 2014 I became addicted to National Public Radio’s (NPR) new podcast “Serial.” The show’s premise was simple: Choose one story to thoroughly investigate, and broadcast the findings on a weekly basis over 12 weeks.
The freshman podcast’s first story was the 1999 unsolved murder of high school senior Hae Min Lee, a student at Woodmore High School in Baltimore, Maryland, whose body was found underneath a pile of leaves in nearby Leakin (pronounced “Lincoln”) Park. Her former boyfriend Adan Syed was arrested and, despite his claims of innocence, at age 19 was found guilty of Lee’s murder. Syed was convicted and sent to the North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, where he has been for 17 years.
(The Huffington Post compiled a series of pictures related to the podcast, including pictures of Lee and Syed, here.)
Due to the enormous popularity of the podcast and to the fact that Syed’s attorney failed to interview a key witness, Syed, now 37 years old, earned a new trial. Read more about the status of the new trial here, here, and here.
The newly published book Adnan’s Story:The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial, written by family friend Rabia Chaudry, presents new key evidence that the author maintains dismantles the State’s case against Syed, and introduces a potential new suspect.
Access the book in our catalog by clicking on the image above, or by clicking here.
Above, from left: Laurie Hernandez, the Obama girls, Amandla Stenberg
Among those on the list: Laurie Hernandez, the gold-medal Olympic gymnast from the Rio 2016 games; Malia and Sasha Obama; and Amandla Stenberg, who will be appearing in Nicola Yoon’s movie adaptation of her best-seller Everything Everything.
Check out the list here.
Yeah, I know school is out, and you’re all done with reading books that sound like assignment reading. But these are cool, and they’re brandy-new, and they deal with personal challenges facing teens of all stripes, including body image, LGBT issues, and substance abuse. So check ’em out, and learn something new that juuuuuust might affect your outlook and attitude.
As always, books are alpha by author. Click on the title to access the record in our catalog.
Below are some titles that include YA LGBTQ character or address LGBTQ issues, alphabetical by author. Click on the title to access the record in our library catalog, and check them out!