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Teen Volunteer Book Reviews

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Perks is a fascinating look at high school life, observed through the eyes of someone who is able to appreciate what young people do and why.  The main character, Charlie, describes his freshman year in high school through a series of anonymous letters, whom are written to a person he does not know.  Using this medium, Charlie is capable of describing his life without fear of judgment.  Charlie is a socially inept teen, who makes friends with a group of seniors who belong to a more popular clique.  Thus, he becomes a wallflower; a witness to a world that until recently, was unfamiliar to him.  The letters give Charlie the opportunity to experience everyday high school life from an innocent, forgiving, and unbiased viewpoint.  Perks makes the problems of teens real.  Charlie’s fly-on-the-wall view of teen life gives a new dimension to addressing real issues, and real situations.  The book gives a new and interesting perspective on the lives of teens, and is a motivating story – A recommended read for anyone who has experienced high school!

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison displays a true mastery of human emotion and understanding in this story of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who believes her happiness depends on having blue eyes, and white skin.  This book explores issues of racism, and child abuse, in the American Mid-West, during the Great Depression.  This wrenching read begins at the end, and then follows each of the characters involved.  The Bluest Eye is a study of human relationships and the effects racism can have on a child.  Morrison explores every character in detail, often exposing their good and bad natures.  It all culminates in the horrid realization that Pecola cannot be saved.  Because society sees Pecola as not fitting the accepted mold of what is beautiful, she struggles to succeed.

The Bluest Eye, despite its tragic message, is a beautiful book.  There is a sense of honesty in being able to see all the complex, and often contradicting sides of human nature.  After reading this masterful work, one is able to see that every human carries their own story.

Recommendations by Camille @ Schlafly

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