NCRA and Books That Save Lives

NCRA-2015-Conference-Logo-e1422986724678If you are reading this on Monday, I will be in Raleigh at the North Carolina Reading Association Conference, co-presenting a breakout session with Madeleine Kuderick (Kiss of Broken Glass) on the topic “Young Adult Literature Saves Lives.”

I’ll talk more about this next week, but for today, a couple of “teaser” slides from our presentation.


  • When a teen asks a librarian for “books about anxiety” he means “stories” he can relate to, not clinical studies, according to a recent School Library Journal article.

  • Teens see themselves in these fictional characters and know that they are not alone.

“I want to see myself in the books I read, and I want others to see themselves represented, too.”

  • They can speak about tough topics through the safety of these fictional characters.

“Through literature, I am free to say what I want and be who I want to be.”

Quotes taken from recent article “Mental Health and Books: Teenagers Speak Out



  • In Crazy, Laura learns to value:
    • Talking rather than keeping secrets
    • Finding a creative outlet
    • Being proactive towards getting better
    • Naming the beast
  • In Kiss of Broken Glass, Kenna learns:
    • That she is not alone
    • Self-harm can be an addiction
    • That there are coping strategies –
      “937 things to do instead of cutting”
    • And hope is a powerful thing

Teachers and counselors, we hope you will agree that books like ours can be life-saving conversations starters in the classroom.  I hope to share some of your input from today’s presentation on next week’s blog!

Congratulations to Debi Johnson who won Tamar Jackson's book, 265 Point, and Judy Pierce, who won Carin Siegfried's The Insider's Guide to a Career in Book Publishing.  Thanks to all who participated.





NCRA and Books That Save Lives — 6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the kind words, Sandra. We did feel like we had a good dialogue with teachers, librarians and students who attended the conference and book signings.

  2. Thanks, Judy. I appreciate the thoughts and yes, it was a really great experience which I will talk more about next week.

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