Friday, May 11, 2012

Up and Coming: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Release Date: May 31, 2012

They tell you that school is supposed to be a safe place and mothers are supposed to take care of their children, no matter what. For Noelle, neither of these things have been true for a long time. Her mother is so unconcerned for her well being that she won't let Noelle use up the hot water by taking a shower in the morning and she hasn't asked her how her day was in years. School is an obstacle course, avoid Warner, the jock who is always gunning for Noelle, in the lunch room; stay out of the way of Carly, the girl who makes herself feel better by making lots of other girls feel worse; don't feel bad if you get picked last again in P.E..

Despite all of this, Noelle is keeping her eyes on the future. One day when she will be out of this school and this town. She has a good friend, Sherae, who is always ready to cheer her up and she's lucked into a spot on the lit mag that meets during lunch, so she has some excuse to avoid the gauntlet that is the lunch room. Even with these bright spots there are lots of days where Noelle's life just feels like a slow slog through quicksand. But, as the title says, Noelle is not about to go without a fight. Her steely determination in the face of all of this is what makes her so easy to root for. This girl has grit. If there was ever a character you wanted to succeed, it's Noelle.

The author talking about her real-life inspiration for the book.
It's easy to look at high school (and junior high) with rosy glasses, for many it's an amazing time with friends and all sorts of promise to come. In Keep Holding On, Colasanti gives readers a look at what it's like for the other kids, the ones for whom it's a battle to get through. It's a very real feeling look at just how unrelenting bullying can be and the effects that it can have on all the parts of a student's life. Bullying is a HUGE issue in schools and this book does not shy away from it. Colasanti even talks in the back-matter about how some parts of this book were pulled from her own experiences.

This is the perfect book to go along with the fact that May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.  If there is something in your life that is causing you to feel stressed or depressed, whether it's bullying or something unrelated to school, we hope that you'll reach out to someone in your life.  1 in 4 American adults is living with a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition.** It's nothing unusual or shameful, and the library has a guide to resources on the topic. If you need more info, check our subject guide, here.

For more novels on these topics, you can also check out our booklists:
Mental health

**source is

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