What a teacher of ‘at-risk’ teens says about ‘Adios, Nirvana’

by Eric Shalit, Blog Developer on February 10, 2011

“Adios, Nirvana” was recently reviewed on DeRaps Reads, a blog for ‘young adult lit reviews & more’. We’re pleased that “Adios, Nirvana” is having a positive impact on readers. Here’s an excerpt from the review:

“Many of you know that I am a teacher, but what I don’t usually talk about is the fact that I work (pretty exclusively) with teens who are considered to be “at-risk.” In our local jargon, this means that my students will probably not graduate if they have no intervention. I am telling you this because this story, this character, Jonathan, reminded me of so many young men that I’ve met over the eight years that I’ve been doing this.

Jonathan typifies the most difficult type of at-risk teen to work with, in my opinion. He is super smart, creative, sensitive, and in serious pain. He is gifted, so school work does not really pose a challenge to him. His mother is a single mother, and is very lax and in a great amount of anguish over her son’s death. More than this, Jonathan pretty much sees the world for what it is — a series of hoops to jump through, a means to an end.

I was impressed with the way that the school dealt with Jonathan. Rather than coming up with a generic, impersonal academic plan, they allotted time for Jonathan to find his strengths and his bearings as a teen who has lost his twin brother, his best friend.

This book is raw and beautiful and mentions all sorts of music and writers that I love. Poetry and lyrics and intelligence are a focal point. Jonathan feels like a real person, one that you’ll want to encourage, unsure if he’ll actually make it.

I loved this book for its writing, its realism, and its honesty. Very good indeed.”

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