Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Top Ten Books on Tough Subjects
So, the Blog, "The Broke and the Bookish" have posted yet another challenge to do- what are your top ten favorite books dealing with tough subjects.
1: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
One of, and possible the only, story I've read/watched, to ever deal with the extremely tough subject of rape in a respectful, un-sensationalized manner where the character's actions and misactions actually make sense. The book is beautifully told, Melinda, the protagonist, is so sympathetic and relatable she feels like a real person. Plus, the ending has wonderful poetic justice >:D. I would definitely recommend reading it, and if not, at least watch the movie(which I really thought was well done). A definite must read for all people.
Here's the movie
2: Hate List by Jennifer Brown
This book deals with a very difficult topic- school shootings. Revolving around the girlfriend of the shooter, you see what led to it, and how the shooter was a human too. It's actually quite sad because, even though the boy is a horrible person, you can't hate him(at first I was all set up to, but they humanized him so well, and he liked a lot of the same stories I did, so it became harder and harder to hate him and to watch as he slid into insanity). The book is very well written and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
3: Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Probably the first book dealing with major issues that I read, this book definitely had an impact on me. I was quite young when I read it, so the subjects were quite new to me. In fact, I was so naive, that I didn't realize that the girl was being abused(physically and emotionally) by her parents until later in the book. The novel, besides talking about the abuse from her parents, shows that not all Germans were evil during the time of Hitler. I wasn't expecting to like the 'nazi' character, but he was actually a good person who was forced into the army. A very good book.
4: Don't Hurt Laurie by Willo Davis Roberts
Often times, in most books, we deal with an abusive father(usually physically); in this book, however, it is the mother who is physically abusive towards her daughter. It's a very well written book and handles the issue well. The book is a bit old, but I think it is still relevant today since this is sadly still an issue.
5: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
While not what most would call an 'Issue' story, the trilogy still deals with a plethora of disturbing topics. The main one, of course, is the whole 'kids-killing-kids' issue which actually still happens in many countries, especially in war-torn African countries where kids are forced into the army and do terrible things. While I can read the book and that part of the book and be fine, since I know it's fiction, it's important to remember that it is an evil thing going on. Also, the book deals with guilt, PTSD, depression, and grief which were all handled beautifully.
6: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The best book to handle racism ever. I really enjoyed how Harper Lee handled the issues surrounding racism in this book- she shows good and bad of both white and blacks, which I really appreciated, and the ending is very sad, but very well done. The only problem I had with it was that it helped perpetuate the myth that women lie about rape all the time. Back when biracial couples were illegal, it did happen more often, but that sort of thing happens only 3% of the time.
7: All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
A tale of war and it's effects on soldiers, this is a very well written story about a soldier in WWI's slow decent into madness and despair over the course of the story. Probably one of the best real-life war books I've read.
8: Hope Chest by Karen Schwabach
While not your typical 'issue' book, this story does delve into sexism and the badness of gender roles and patriarchy. I loved that it showed good and bad women and men and how women broke free.
9: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
This book deals with the sad reality of child brides,polygamy, and over bearing 'religious' communes(not all of these are bad, of course, but some are). What I loved about this book was that, while the leaders and her uncle(who wanted to marry her), were evil, she had a good family and a kind father who, even though he was married to more than one person, was still a good person. All in all, a very interesting and well done book.
10: Kissing Doorknobs by Terry Spencer Hesser
Also not your typical issue book, but the issue is an important one to me personally- OCD. I really appreciated how the mental disorder was handled, it was all so creepily real- I remember nodding along and thinking 'Yes, yes I get that completely! That's exactly right' Reading this also made me thankful I have understanding parents who never spanked or hurt me because of my OCD(like the Mom in this book did- she slapped her daughter and screamed at her for something not under her control; I really hated that Mom :P). If you know someone with OCD, or if someone with the disorder is annoying you, I'd recommend reading this book- it will definitely be an eye-opener. Because OCD really does suck....a lot.