Okay really it wasn’t that bad. All of the books I had to read for my Young Adult Literature course were books I WANTED to read. No seriously, I chose all but four of them. How many of YOU have chosen your own textbooks?
…and THAT is why I’m in the library profession 🙂
My final paper for the class was titled Hope in Young Adult Suicide Novels. I spent a month having very odd and scary dreams, most involving death, and in others I wasn’t heard. I would be screaming trying to get my brother-in-law to understand me, or to get my sister to look at me, but no response. Or, they looked at me with disgust like I was speaking gibberish and wasn’t worth their time. Which is probably how some of today’s teens that consider or attempt suicide think; that they aren’t heard, understood, or seen. I have been so sad and confused that the only thing I wanted to do was walk forever in a direction away from my life. That’s part of being a teenager. But luckily I could get out my feelings in prayer, lacrosse practice (sorry to all the girls I illegally checked with my stick!), and my mom (not usually in the nicest of ways…I am sorry, mom). But what about those who don’t have a voice or an outlet?
Take Jayson in The Death of Jayson Porter by Jaime Adoff. He lived in a drug-infested housing project that even the police wouldn’t visit after dark. His mother beat him (hard), his crackhead father was usually too high to entertain a conversation. Even his only friend didn’t hear him, instead choosing to push him to shut up and work harder, or to just get over it because it’ll all get better one day. I get to wake up from my bad dreams, but Jayson awoke to them every morning.
I am still battling with the emotions and thoughts I had while reading those books and writing the paper. There is a part of me that wants to start a library at the youth detention centers throughout the state of Maryland. But the other part of me thinks that I’d be too scared or emotional to work with those special-needs teens. It’s work I’d love to be, but am I capable of it?
In the meantime, I got a job!! I’ll be the temporary librarian at a public charter school in Washington, DC. I’ll be there Sept-Dec., and be done just in time to graduate and move out of Laurel. I’ll use every lunch hour to look for a permenant job elsewhere. Anywhere.