Forgive Me Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

The first day of school is imminent and this new YA book is one that I want to make sure all high school teachers place in their classroom library. What Speak did for awareness of sexual assault, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock will do for teen suicide and depression. It’s a must read for every teacher. It’s not an easy read by any means, but it is an important one.

It’s Leonard Peacock’s 18th birthday and he is prepared to end his life.  But before he does that he packs a gun in his backpack and makes a plan to kill his former best friend.  It’s about Leonard’s last day on earth and it’s intense, heartbreaking, and gut-wrenching. I won’t tell you more because you need to meet Leonard and get to know him in order to fully appreciate the story.

I read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock in one sitting and it was intense.  Quick’s writing will make you uncomfortable and you might want to put the book down.  Don’t.  It’s vital that you finish Leonard’s story and that you listen to all of the characters.  They are well-written and realistic– even the less-than-perfect characters.  There are no easy answers for Leonard or those around him, just like there are no easy answers in life.  And that’s why this book is so important.

 

A must-have for all high school libraries and a must-read for adults who work with teenagers.  Be aware that there are swear words liberally scattered throughout the pages, but they are important to the voice of the characters.  This is a book about very important issues- school violence, suicide, bullying– and those issues are life-altering.  The language fits and it’s appropriate.

Slice of Life March 9th, 2013 #slice2013

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Today the dogs and I walked 5 miles at a local park.  But after dropping them off at home, I headed back out to the bookstore.

Despite the fact that my house is home to mountains (yes, plural) of books that I still want to read, I came home with more books.  I think this is one of the signs of being a member of the Nerdy Book Club. I went to the store to pick up a copy of Eleanor & Park after reading John Green’s review in the NYTimes this weekend.  I already had a copy from NetGalley, but I like having a physical copy.  Plus, I know it sounds like a book that will be popular with my students.

I browsed the bookstore for a while, as I can never just buy one thing there.  I spent some time looking at the Moleskine notebooks (I have an addiction) because I need a new notebook for a new project.  (See me justifying it there?)  Unfortunately, they did not have the limited edition Le Petit Prince notebook I was looking for.

Then I wandered over to the bestsellers and considered buying a few adult books.  But then I saw Admission and added it to the pile in my arms.  I am a Princeton glutton and I am fascinated by the college admissions process, so it was a no-brainer.

Next, I spent some time in the YA section.  Luckily, I own most of the books already.  I ended up grabbing a copy of Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) because I remembered a lot of my Nerdy friends recommending it.  And I did jot down a few titles to add to my classroom library later.  Some of those included Cory Doctorow’s Homeland and Lauren Oliver’s Requiem (Delirium series).  While there, I also managed to convince myself that I did not need a John Green TFIOS tshirt.

Ok, fine.  Maybe they just didn’t have my size.

All in all, I escaped from Barnes and Noble relatively cheaply.  I had a $20 gift card so it was a cheap trip.  Not too bad for this Nerdy Book Club member!

Oh, and Eleanor & Park is fabulous so far.

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