As stated in a familiar quote by Joshua J. Marine, “challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Each of the three books selected for the Great Stories Club focuses on a character that struggles with a serious challenge. These stories illustrate that challenges can come in many different forms. Some characters are better than others at tackling life’s problems.
Born Blue by Han Nolan. Harcourt, 2001.
Abandoned as a toddler by her addicted mother, Janie/Leshaya finds a friend in foster brother Harmon, and solace in singing like the soulful “ladies” of Jazz and the blues.
Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman. HarperCollins, 2000.
Fourteen-year-old Shawn suffers from a debilitating condition and thinks his father may be planning to kill him.
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2003.
The story of Bobby Morris, a teenage father first introduced in Johnson’s Heaven, is told by filling in the “now” and “then” of his life in New York City raising his daughter, Feather.
The theme and titles were selected by YALSA’s Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee.