Up Late with Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why


Just last week Allison (PCTELA Executive Director), Anne (2014 Conference chair) and I met in Lancaster to discuss all-things conference 2014. As you all know, the conference will be held in Pittsburgh this year on October 24 and 25. One of our keynote authors is the amazing Jay Asher. Speaking about him with Allison and Ann last week made me want to revisit his amazing novel Thirteen Reasons Why.

From Goodreads – Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

As I said before, I read this book a few years ago and decided to revisit it recently. Not only could I not put it down for the second time, but also my students are just as obsessed with this book as I am. Thirteen Reasons Why has been checked out of my classroom library more than any other book on the shelves. Every time I hold a “title talk” in my room, at least one student is reading 13RW. In fact, there was a waiting list this past school year…I couldn’t even keep it on my shelf. Not a bad problem to have.

Jay does an awesome job of tackling a really difficult issue in this novel. You feel the highs and lows of Hannah’s life as you read each of her “reasons.” Without giving too much away, and because this is a short-review, I am going to end with this…

Students love it. I love it. You should definitely read it. And come hear Jay speak at PCTELA 2014!

Happy reading!
Jennie, PCTELA President


Up Late with Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why

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