This book is about a young man starting high school. That fact right there is enough for plenty of adolescents. High school is prime time for coming of age, and there are many challenges that go with it. Charlie, the main character, struggles with things such as finding friends and fitting in, doing well in his classes, and basically surviving high school. He also struggles with a rough past, anxiety, and depression.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
While Charlie's exact situation may not apply to many students, the way he feels might. The book shows the innermost thoughts of a teenager, and opens a sense of vulnerability in the reader. Adults can harness that to address issues that are challenges for many adolescents. Recognizing that they may not understand what is happening to them, adults can guide them to a safe environment where they can learn to handle the issues they struggle with. This is a part of coming of age, a loss of innocence and a growing awareness.
As practitioners and students deal with these issues, there are some tools that could be used. Dealing with very applicable themes such as facing challenges and coming of age, it could be beneficial for students to keep a journal of their thoughts and feelings. These do not need to be journals that teachers or other adults read, but is a place for the students to analyze how they relate to the characters in the books. As a result, they should learn more about themselves.
Another tool could be guest speakers. There are many adults who have experienced difficult things who could come and speak with students. This way, they could answer questions directly rather than having discussions (which would be good as well). In person meetings can have a great effect on adolescents.