Tag Archives: teenage depression

Darius is great

10 Sep

This weekend, I read Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram.

51creC7mfXL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

It was a perfect read for a weekend. I got lost on Darius’ world of bullying in an American high school and getting to know his extended family in Iran.

Publisher’s Summary: Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.

Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.

There is so much I like about this book. First, of course, is Darius. He felt very real. In his afterward, Khorram talks about living with depression that is a very real part of a person’s everyday life, but is well-managed, and he has portrayed that extremely well in Darius. It isn’t an issue book about depression, but it really points out the realities of people who live with depression in a way I have never seen before.

Next is Yazd. The city of Darius’ family is a really a character in the book. I am the kind of nerdy reader who Googles as she reads. I looked up all the places Darius visited so I could understand what he was seeing.

Finally, there is Sohrab. What a beautiful friend. We should all strive to be as good a friend as he is.

Darius the Great is Not Okay lingered with me after I finished reading it – and that is a sign of a really good read.

Happy 17th birthday, Alexis!

4 Jul

Today, in addition to it being the 239th birthday of the United States, it is the 17th birthday of my niece, Alexis. This year, I sent her All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

Unknown-2

Let me start by saying this one ripped my heart out. It reminded me a little of John Green’s Paper Towns. This is a very sad book about two very sad teens. Violet is overwhelmed by the death of her sister a year before. Finch is depressed and contemplating suicide. They come together accidentally and bond over a geography project.

The story, told in two voices,  unfolds slowly, so don’t give up on it if you get to page 50 and are thinking about abandoning it.

A few things about the novel concern me. First, the inattention and lack of concern for Finch’s mental health on the part of Finch’s parent. Then, the apparent lack of concern of school officials for the suicide attempt in the tower, and the way the school social media made a circus of it.

In spite of that, I highly recommend this to YA and adult readers.

YALSA Morris/Nonfiction Challenge Check-in #3

4 Jan

Unknown-1   Unknown-2

I transitioned from nonfiction to fiction this week. I still have 1 more NF book to go, but I am still waiting for it to be processed by the library.

The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L. Swanson  gives the back story on both the target as well as the assassin, then follows the order of events to the finite detail and then the conclusion and epilogue to the story. It is a fast-paced read, full of photos and illustrations that help the reader understand what happened. Swanson is unapologetically a believer in the “long gunman” theory, but adds a section about conspiracy theories. If you think you know a lot about JFK’s assassination, you should read this, because I suspect you will learn even more.

Dr. Birds’s Advice for Sad Poet’s by Evan Roskos tell the story of Walt Whitman loving, tree-hugging James Whitman. James is struggling with anxiety and depression. In telling us of his claustrophobic life, James writes verse in Whitman’s style, hugs trees to maintain his sanity, and talks to an imaginary pigeon therapist. He is looking for help, a way out,  information to explain why his sister was kicked out of the house and expelled from school, but no one seems willing to talk to him.  This could be a very dark book, and it is at times, but there is a thread of humor throughout. The book doesn’t have a happy ending, but it has a realistic ending, which I think is far more important.

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Knitting, spinning, and assorted awesomeness.

Global Yell Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

%d bloggers like this: