Friday, March 13, 2009

Inspire Me

Would you like to know what makes me happy and hopeful? When I hear about adults using books that deal with sensitive subjects to inspire teens.

I just love that!

We all know there are censors creeping amongst us who want to keep teens from reading or discussing such books, but this is not a post about those adults. This is a post about inspirational adults! This is a post about adults who think it's better to encourage teens to talk about these issues than pretend they don't exist and let them deal with the issues on their own.

Sometimes the inspirational adults don't set out to inspire anything more than a love for reading. They simply organize a book club at their school and let teens discuss all sorts of books. Adults who do that are classified as great. But when they seize an opportunity to turn the serious issues being discussed into something positive outside of the book club, they are then classified as inspirational.

So I would like to highlight the book club moderator at Totino-Grace High School. Their club recently discussed Thirteen Reasons Why, and it sounds like the students had an amazing discussion. This week I received a Thank You card with individual messages from all the members plus a photo taken at their meeting. In an accompanying letter, Ms. O'Neil wrote:

Our book club has asked the students to come up with some ideas about how to help others with issues such as Hannah's. We are hopeful that we can create a place that students can go if they need to vent or share feelings.

Anyone else feeling inspired?

(By the way, I'm always inspired by my teen readers, such as the students in this book club. But sometimes adults need a little encouraging.)


Anonymous said...

jay, are you going to write a second part?

thank you very much, i really enjoyed your book and i think is very educative even for me (im 30)

Jay Asher said...

I go back and forth about continuing the story, but I keep leaning towards probably not.

When I strongly connect with a book I'm reading, I usually have a sense of how the characters will continue on after the last page.

I guess I think it's often more satisfying to speculate about what will happen than actually find out!

Anonymous said...

Our next book to publish is Paula Fox's. It's too sad story for some adults to give kids. But, if you abandon the censorship in yourself, you can give kids some consolation, readiness and insight into a complex situation via that book.

Everybook should not be blue. But once in a while, even kid need time to think the dark side of the world, I think and I learned from your book and Paula Fox's.

Jay, plz check mail.

Anonymous said...

please make another book. this book, it changed a life. no, it saved a life, mine. maybe not saved, but it sure as hell helped it. keep writing.


Anonymous said...

i agree with the people who've commented before me.
you should continue writing, but maybe a sequel to the story isnt the best idea. you're story changed my life, i wish i'd have read it sooner because it made me look back on things i've done that i regret. maybe if i'd opened my eyes up sooner, i wouldnt have those regrets.
i have an idea for a book that i'd like to run by you, because i have the layout down pretty well, but i cant think of a very good plot, i'd like to have a few rises in the climax, seeing as that usually makes for a great story.
write back!
i love your book, and ellen hopkins books are also good.
very Inspirational (;

Anonymous said...

I hope that I'm an inspirational adult. I'm an untenured middle school librarian and was completely blown away by Thirteen Reasons Why. I booktalked it to my eighth grade in the fall and have seen the book only to check it in and back out again to the next person on the waiting list. It is easily one of two or three hands-down favorites of the eighth grade. Unfortunately, a parent doesn't think so and initiated a challenge.

Are many of your readers from seventh & eighth grade? I'm sorry to post publicly to your blog, but the your email address isn't printed anywhere I can find (weren't you on Facebook at one time?), it's a link that brings up a form in my computer. My address is I'd appreciate any feedback you might have and would like to keep you posted.

Thanks, Brenda Kahn (I posted anonymously b/c the open ID form kept rejecting by livejournal address for some reason!)