Friday, February 16, 2018

Be the One by Byron Pitts - OPTIONAL

Pitts, Byron  Be the One, 119 pages. Simon and Schuster, 2017. $18. Content: Language: G; Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: R.  

ABC News Correspondent Byron Pitts tells the story of six teens who have overcome hardships in their lives.  He tells about the hardships of each of the teens which includes: rape, being bullied, caring for mentally ill parents, living in war torn countries, and the death of loved ones.  As each youth tries to persevere, Pitts asks each teen “Where do you go when the world hurts too much?”  They find hope and peace through art, their families or in other small ways.  

The book has an introduction that explains why Pitts wrote this book, then six different chapters on each of the teens.  At the end there is an author’s note where he expresses his desire for youth to keep trying.  There is also a list of helplines that youth can use. The teens stories felt rushed.  I didn’t feel like I was able to get to know the individuals, so their hardships seemed to be what stood our more than the hope that they found.  It’s a very sad read, but teens need to learn what other kids are going through so they can be empathetic and not bully others.  That said, the violence includes a child who watches his uncle being tortured and it’s very graphic and gruesome.  The rapes also happen to very little kids and although it’s not detailed it’s upsetting.  

HS – OPTIONAL.  Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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