YA Wednesday: Why We Shouldn’t Joke About Suicide, Suicide & Depression in YA, Teens Spreading a Suicide Prevention Message, The Original Ending to Thirteen Reasons Why


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Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in people ages 12-18, and many people have been touched by this heart-breaking issue. There are a lot of resources available to teens struggling with suicidal feelings.

There is also some debate about how YA novels should approach this difficult topic. Is humor appropriate? What about unhappy endings? Should YA authors vet novels that deal with suicide with professionals or seek out sensitivity reads before publishing them?

When I was a teen the popular movie, Harold and Maude, approached suicide with over-the-top  black humor and an uplifting message.

I had a suicidal friend who watched this movie over and over. It meant a great deal to her. Ultimately, I think it can be difficult to predict how a creative work will influence its audience and this applies to young adult fiction as well. So today I’m going to use this space to  promote awareness of teen suicide and some of the varied YA novels that address it.

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