“Everything affects everything.”
How do you treat people? How are you treated by other people?
So begins the story of Hannah Baker, a teen that committed suicide. The story is narrated in alternating voices-Hannah Baker-who is the teen that committed suicide, and Clay Jensen, who is one of the thirteen people who Hannah says is responsible for her death.
Hannah has recorded her story of why she is going to commit suicide on seven cassette tapes. On the day she commits suicide, she mails it to the first of 13 people. Once that person is done secretly listening, they are to mail the tapes to the next person. If they don’t, another person has a copy of all the tapes, and will make them public so that everyone in town knows what those 13 people did to Hannah.
Suspenseful, gripping, and heart-breakingly real, this book should be required reading for all young teens. At times, Hannah’s character becomes irritating, because she never tells anyone her feelings while she’s alive. She has bottled up everything and saved it for the tapes. But that is often what we hear after someone commits suicide. We don’t know everything they are feeling. They don’t tell us. Which is why we all need to read this book. Not just girls, but boys, too. Even though it’s a girl main character, boys need to read this book just as much as girls do.
Read Th1rteen R3asons Why to find out how Hannah’s suicide possibly could have been prevented.
Genre: Realistic fiction
Tags: suicide, teens, death, schools, high school
Website: Th1rteen R3asons Why
A/R Reading level: 3.9
Interest level: Grades 7-12
Link to Harvest Park Library catalog: Th1rteen R3asons Why