The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love Francisco Stork books and this fictional book about depression, suicide attempts, recovery and friendship was so moving. I also read this book as part of our May twitter chat we will have on YA/student instabilities they face 5/24 AT 8pm with #yabookchat. Vicky is a teen who has tried to commit suicide and spends time in a mental health facility where she meets and bonds with 3 other mentally ill teens- E.M., Mona and Gabriel. Vicky has a very supportive Doctor in Dr. Desai and a father, sister and step mom who do not understand why this has happened. As Vicky talks in group (gets to know her "friends"), and works in the hospital, she becomes more aware by talking and confronting her feelings that she suffers from depression. What I liked is how Stork shows Vicky and her family being totally shocked that Vicky was in fact depressed, did not understand what depression is, and how she must continue to talk and learn how depression can and will affect her and what tools she will need to keep with her to deal with this throughout her life. I liked the baby steps Vicky took to become mentally strong and how she continued to slowly look at the light and the sun as growth in her life and pledge not to be afraid or lonely anymore. I think this book should be read by all teens, guidance counselors, teachers and parents should read and learn from this book. Stork has taken his own experiences with depression and attempting suicide and woven a stark, realistic, and moving story about overcoming and living day to day with mental illness - highly recommended.
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