“13 Reasons Why” infiltrates Darby’s curriculum
Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why has taken the world by a storm with the rise of the popular Netflix 13 episode adaptation. The book and show both focus on Hannah Baker, a high school girl who commits suicide after a series of toxic events. Thirteen Reasons Why has recently become a part of Hilliard’s Honors English 9 curriculum.
Hannah’s story is told through thirteen tapes, each focusing on one person who influenced her demise. Asher’s book focuses on what goes unseen in high school and how much teenagers tend to keep feelings hidden.
Darby substitute Paul Batterson attended an interview with Asher at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. In this interview he stated that in order to get ideas for this book he sat down with his wife and two other friends and asked them about their experiences in high school.
Students now have a choice between Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, Thirteen Reasons Why, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher, or The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. Both Speak and 13 Reasons Why deal with the subject of bullying. These books are taught so early at Darby to hopefully have students realize that there are people at school willing to help you if you feel at loss of what to do, and that hurtful actions have harmful effects. It also hopefully opens a dialogue between students, as keeping feelings inside could really do a number to your health.
With relatable young adult books like Speak and 13 Reasons Why, students will hopefully feel safer in their school and know that there is always someone that they can reach out to if they are in need.