Drugs and teens are a typical satire for many movies, shows and books. As a teen I dealt with the issues of drugs, sex, race issues, crime, gangs, teen pregnancy and diet issues. Those were real and difficult issues for me. Truth is, I really didn’t need a book to tell me about gangs – I lived where gangs were. I didn’t need a book to tell me about drugs, I lived around tons of drug addicts and acohol. But you know what I needed books for? To show me that I wasn’t alone, that there were other kids that handled these same issues differently. Some kids did it better, some kids suffered and failed, others succeeded. Books gave me that resource, and a safe haven to experience the things I’d seen an to process them.


Real life is different. No book yet that I have read can really depict the things I experienced and have seen firsthand growing up. Truthfully, living it hurts. But reading it gives us insight without the pain.

I’m talking about this now since I have a young family member going through the effects of drug experimentation. The effects are being placed in a controlled environment in hopes of rehabilitation. The kid didn’t grow up seeing firsthand the effects of drugs. Bypassing crack heads as he walked to the corner store like I did. Maybe, just maybe if he’d seen that reality, he would have thought twice before he opened pandora’s box.

HERE are SOME BOOKS that open up conversation about teen issues like drugs, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and more. Please add to the list. I plan on sending some of these books to my teenage relative battling some of these issues.

SNITCH by Allison Van Diepen

TYRELL by Coe Booth

THE FIRST PART LAST by Angela Johnson

CRANK by Ellen Hopkins

CUT by Patricia McCormick

MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers

BAD BOY by Walter Dean Myers

TWEAK by Nic Sheff


~ by LM Preston on January 22, 2011.

2 Responses to “DRUGS? TEENS? And YA BOOKS”

  1. isn’t that true of anything though? a book will have a dramatic narrative arc to forward the story. if someone just wrote down everything that happened to them as they saw it, it could well be a very interesting read, but odds are it would be very boring to read. you have to remember that writing is an art. art is artifice. artifice is trying to recreate real life, but i doubt it never accurately will. modernist books like ‘in search of lost time’ and ulysses come close, but again, are so hard to read.


  2. You edited a query of mine on YALITCHAT that concerns drug usuage. It is difficult, either personally partaking in using drugs, or knowing or seeing others do them. This is why I write realistic fiction: I like the idea of escaping my own life in a book, but to read a book that confront reality head on and offers new outlooks on a world I already know… seems really nice. Not to toot my own horn, I just wanted to create something I wished to have found more of back when I was younger.

    I’ll have to read some of these novels you’ve posted. They might be exactly what I needed back then.

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