I picked up a couple books today at Venus Envy, Halifax's lovely, friendly, sex-positive boutique. Of particular interest was Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws by Kate Borenstein. By the title alone, I felt like I could have used this book last year, when so many of the students I teach came to me with serious, real problems. I picture myself lending this book out, perhaps buying a few more copies and letting them be dog-eared and filled with post-its.
As I sat in the restaurant by myself for lunch (not sad at all-- in fact, very relaxing) I got through about 50 pages of this little book. Yes, I'm a fast reader, but it's a fast read, too. It was about gender and sexuality at first. But then it was about why there are bullies, and how bullying is a huge part of our culture. And who knows what it will be about next. It's serious, and funny, and eye-opening and uplifting. I know so many kids who need desperately to know it gets better.
I need to read more of this book (and others) to say much more, but I knew straight away that I had to recommend this book to virtually everyone. Particularly those who know young people, or those who fall into the category of freaks, geeks, weirdos, or other outlaws. Because I believe everyone has fallen into that category at one time or another.