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Putting Together a Library for Incarcerated Teens

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message 1: by Fred (last edited Oct 31, 2008 12:08PM) (new)

Fred Kirchner (pedalin_poet) | 1 comments Greetings Librarians:

I'm Fred Kirchner, teen librarian at one of the Dayton, Ohio's branch libraries. Just joined the Goodreads site and this group. I also work occasionally for Project Jericho, a group offering arts opportunities for at-risk teens in Clark County, OH. Here's their web address:

I've been Poet in Residence at several poetry slam workshops for them. Click on Media and you can hear the kids' poems. Some nifty stuff.

Anyway, now we're going to put together a library for teens at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. And we're looking for YA Fiction & Non-Fiction titles for teens behind bars. We'd like to find books about all of the issues facing teens today, ranging from suicide to murder, from cutting to body art, from anorexia to gluttony... you get the idea. Some with female protagonists; some with male.

If you have read (or heard about) any books lately that you think could help a teen in jail deal with issues and make a difference in their growth, or is just a great read, please share some titles. You can just respond to the group, or email me off list at:

Fred Kirchner

message 2: by Emily (new)

Emily I really enjoyed "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Its about a girl who gets raped and how she deals with is.

other "tough issue" books that i found inspiring are:

"Smashed: story of a drunken girlhood" by Koren Zailckas, although I wouldn't recommend that to young teens!

and "Girl, Interrupted" by Susanna Kaysen

message 3: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 6 comments There's always the classic "Go Ask Alice". Although it's set in the early 70's, the drug issues are still topical.

"Smack" by Melvin Burgess tells the story of runaway teens living in abandoned houses in Bristol. When they become addicted to heroin, it takes control of their lives. Each chapter is told by different characters, including adults responding to their situation.

"Sold" by Patricia McCormick looks at the selling of young girls in India into lives of prostitution. This is not from 100 or 50 years ago. This is post 2000. The author also has a book called "Cut", and "My Brothers Keeper" deals with a boy dealing with his older brothers drug addiction.

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks Smack by Melvin Burgess Sold by Patricia McCormick

message 4: by Alan (new)

Alan | 4 comments Monster by Walter Dean Myers--about a kid who gets into just that kind of trouble; all his stuff would probably move well, though.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Fiction -

"Cut" by Patricia McCormick

"Crank", "Glass" or "Burn" by Ellen Hopkins (the protagonist struggles with methamphetamine addiction) - very popular with teens.

"Story of a girl" by Sara Zarr - The character struggles with a reputation because of engaging in sex at a young age.

"Juvie Three" by Gordan Korman - self explanatory

"Perks of being a wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky - drugs, sex, friends, etc.

I'd also second the recommendation of Walter Dean Myers, especially "Monster", which is about a young man who is convicted of murder, really good book.

"Push" by Sapphire or "Imani all mine" by Connie Porter - both are about teen pregnancy.

"Thirteen reasons why" by Jay Asher - Suicide.

Non-fiction -

"The Pact" by Sampson Davis - The true life story of three friends who made a pact to escape the poverty and crime of their neighborhood and make something of themselves, who succeeded, an uplifting story.

"Child called 'It'" by Dave Pelzer - shocking account of child abuse by Pelzer, who is now an author and motivational speaker. The kids love this book for some reason.

"Who am I without him?" by Sharon G. Flake - a book about girls and their relationships with boys, I'd also recommend Flake's fiction, including "Money Hungry" and "Bang!"

message 6: by Jill (new)

Jill | 1 comments "Tweak" by Nic Sheff and "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff are books about Nic's struggle with meth addiction. One is from the son's point of view, one from the father's. Very intense books, but also well-written.

message 7: by Sue (new)

Sue "The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality" covers all sorts of topics compiled by 10 girls ranging from 14-18 years old and endorsed by health professionals.

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