Go Ask Alice

Anonymous - 213 pages

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About the Book

I decided to read Go Ask Alice after Mrs. Pannell did a booktalk on it for Banned Books week. It seemed like an interesting book because it was written in journal format. It ended up being a really good book and I would recommend it for other teenagers.

The story is about an anonymous 15-year old teenage girl who gets caught up her school's drug crowd. She becomes addicted to several substances and starts having trouble hiding it from her parents, so she runs away from home with some of her friends to San Francisco. When she arrives, she has to work very hard to feed her addiction, and eventually ends up in a very desperate situation. I won't go any further to avoid spoiling the book for you.

The journal format of the book was a little annoying to read, as it had some continuity issues and was told from the perspective of a teenage girl, but that is to be expected from a book that is nonfiction. Yes, this book is actually a true story, and the epilogue states that the subject of the book died of a drug overdose only 3 weeks after deciding not to keep a diary.

This book is somewhat explicit with details (nothing sexual), and some parents might consider it to be inappropriate for teenagers. However, I think that the details help develop the story and make it more "real". This book was banned for its content, and I think that ban was not justifiable. I usually oppose banning books just because I oppose censorship, but I think that this book specifically is a good example of material that teenagers should be exposed to as a way to help them mature.

Specific Question: How has this book broadened your perspective on the ways of people, your idea about life, culture, teenagers, etc.

This book has broadened my perspective on the ways of teenagers by describing a story and situation far worse than anything I can imagine myself in. Going to school at CSD can make you take some things for granted, and not every school has the same opportunities and advantages that CSD has. This book's story is a very extreme example, but it is true, and I am sure that some people experience something similar to it every year.