Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
MTV Books
February 1, 1999
213 pages
ISBN:  0671027344
Ages 14 and up

A coming-of-age novel in the vein of A Separate Peace and The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the story of Charlie, a brilliant freshman, whose best friend has committed suicide.  Charlie tells his story through the letters he writes to his "friend."  Charlie is a wallflower who sees things others miss like his grandfather quietly crying at Thanksgiving.  With the help of Bill, his English teacher who assigns Charlie extra reading, and his two new senior friends Samantha and Patrick, Charlie manages to navigate his first year of high school and avoid sliding into depression.  Charlie loves the novels he writes about for English class, and he loves rock and roll and making mixed tapes for friends, a real nineties kind of thing to do.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower tackles tough teen issues like teen suicide, mental illness, drug use, teen sex, promiscuity, rape, pregnancy, and violence.  This is not a novel for middle-school students, but I think high school students will empathize with Charlie's struggles and the world he inhabits.  Stephen Chbosky is directing the movie, which will be released next year and stars Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson and Hoot) as Charlie, Emma Watson as Samantha, and Paul Rudd as Bill.

To get this book from Amazon, click on this link:  The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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