Friday, December 21, 2012
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
This is a new author to me, but checking out her website, it seems like I have a few more books to choose from! I really enjoyed reading this book. The two main characters, Jill and Mandy were just such interesting people, both with their own issues to deal with. They are like so many teenage girls, wanting to fit in, be their own person, but their life circumstances have made it very challenging for them. For Jill, she is struggling with the loss of her father. Every since he died, she has cut herself off from her friends, her boyfriend and even her mother. She doesn't know how to deal with her grief. Then, when her mom announces she is going to adopt a baby, Jill feels like she is being replaced. She worries about her mom getting hurt, but mostly Jill is hurt that her mom is just able to move on from the death of her father. Mandy has had a tough life, her mother made it quite clear from the start that Mandy was a mistake. Mandy's mother has some very interesting opinions on how a women needs to survive- mostly by finding a man to take care of her. When Mandy finds herself pregnant, she knows she can't raise a child the same way she was raised. When Mandy offers to give her child to Jill's mom, she comes to live with the family just before delivering her baby. Both Jill and Mandy need to deal with their loss, their opinions about the world and their future. I thought this story was just amazing. Jill and Mandy are such different people, but both of them just want to be loved and to be in a family. What they realize is that family can come in different shapes. This story does have some mature themes like teenage pregnancy, but it is handled in a very sensitive way that I wouldn't hesitate to have this in my intermediate classroom. I think it is a great read for girls!