Sharing reviews and Thirteen Reasons Why


Our library is now up and running, with the Senior Section giving ongoing requests for books to add to our bookcase. Over the easter holidays, most of the girls took books or films home and a few of them wrote up reviews for their blog at our last meeting. We had a little bit of chat about one of the books that many had requested, Thirteen Reasons Why as over the holidays a Netflix series based on the book was released and has caused quite a lot of controversy. I was intrigued because the girls had mentioned the book so many times, plus I’ve been a long time supporter of the charity To Write Love On Her Arms which raises awareness of mental health. I did have concerns about the show as the episodes went on though. A friend asked me my opinion after seeing some articles about it on social media and I advised her not to watch for fear certain scenes would be a trigger for her. Several of our members have been watching the series – as I know many teens have (several of young people who I have known from surf camp, as well as teen sons and daughters of my friends have posted about it on social media). I think that the post that Jamie Tworkowski (founder of To Write Love On Her Arms) has written in response to the show is a measured and sensible one. And the TV series for sure has taken quite a few liberties from the original story in the book. I’m guessing for ‘dramatic’ effect (and I suspect, reason to create a Season 2).

Anyway, if you are interested in our members’ opinions on books and films they have been reading and watching you can find them over on their blog. They are doing this as part of their Phase 2 or Phase 3 of Personal Values octant.

Perks Of Being A Wallflower (film)

The House on Mango Street (book)

Thirteen Reasons Why (book)

The next month sees us in school exam season, so we will be having some chilled out nights with less serious discussion I imagine! 🙂 We shall see.


The Library

One of the octants that our Rangers have commonly struggled with is Personal Values. For those of them that have some kind of faith beliefs, they’ve often been able to complete Phase 2 and 3 of the octant very easily by attending their place of worship and volunteering there. For the others, they tend to struggle past getting Phase 1 complete.

One of our Rangers came up with a great idea to complete Phase 2 or 3 by reading autobiographies of people and sharing with others how they inspired her. With that in mind, our younger group have started their own Senior Section library – which they decided to extend to include films as well as books.

They have so far given me a few requests of books – some autobiographies, some fiction – and DVDs that they felt provoke thought on issues that can lead to shaping your own personal values.


So far the library is to include:

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (above is a young adult adaptation of her biography published by Barrington Stoke)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio (children’s fiction book)

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (YA fiction)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou



He Named Me Malala

The Help

We’ve also moved their blog to WordPress, as we discovered during the election that people were struggling to comment on the posts using blogger and we wanted a way that the girls could write posts but also have an adminstrator who is a leader to monitor the blog to ensure internet safety. Our hope is that this will enable the girls to share as part of their Phase 3 about what they’ve learned.