Recommended by Marcus Stanforth (@marcusstanforth)
Form and genre: Prose/Novel/Bildungsroman/Epistolary
Length: 231 pages
Summary: In this coming-of-age novel, we see the world through Charlie’s eyes as he writes letters about what he learns at high school. However, what he’s learning is not on the curriculum; drink, drugs, sex and sexuality are just some of the things listed in this crash course of life.
Age recommendation and challenging content: Contains foul language, smoking, drinking, drugs, sex and sexuality. A family member is killed in a car crash, which Charlie struggles with. Charlie seems to deal with depression. A friend of his dies by suicide. Charlie remembers the trauma of being sexually molested as a child and learns that his family has a history of physical abuse.
I would recommend this to Year 9.
Notable reasons for recommending this book: Great text that tackles some controversial issues, treated well. Cultural value if learning about the struggles of being a teenager. Links to the theme of identity. Film adaptation from 2012 is directed by the author of the book, so is an accurate portrayal, and stars Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller.
Other helpful information: A great addition to any school library