During the Fully Booked Junior Book Crew (JBC) sessions this past summer, we asked some of the participants about what books changed their lives. Here’s an entry from Franco, about Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

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I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, but the only book that I can honestly say has had a concrete and lasting effect on my life so far is Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story.

The book chronicles the life struggles of New York city adolescent Craig Gilner. In many ways, it occured to me that I am exactly like the main character. Ned Vizzini worded out with extreme precision every insecurity and frustration I had bottled up inside at that time in my life. These ranged from the typical high school woes to more extreme issues such as mental illness and self-harm. It gave me so much hope to read about how Craig gradually overcame these struggles. The change and eventual turnaround the protagonist experienced was almost completely replicated in my life after reading the book changed the way I see things. I decided right there and then that it was not okay to be that defeated at 15.

Toilet humor and excessive profanity aside, this book is not one to be taken lightly. It was written with purpose, and I believe that stories like this have the potential to change lives the way it changed mine.

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The Fully Booked Junior Book Crew is a summer workshop that focuses on reading, writing and creative play with book lovers between 11-16 years old. If you’d like to be part of the next one and are in that age range, check back with us in February-March 2015! We recruit during those times.

 

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