We’ve been getting a lot of questions from parents and adults, and having some great conversations with teens about the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, based on the popular YA book by Jay Asher.
Our teen librarian Nicole has watched the show and read the book, and she thinks they are both important works for parents and older teens to be aware of and explore. This story, in both formats, could have great value if the experience of reading or watching is shared and talked about by families, as well as in classrooms.
While she would not recommend it to teens who are, or have been coping with suicidal ideation, bullying, or sexual abuse/assault, she believes it has value for people who have connections to people who have dealt with these challenges.
Anyone who engages with this narrative should consider it carefully, with awareness of support resources on the topics it addresses. Here are some things to help you learn more about the show, the controversies surrounding it, and suggestions on ways to address its content. If you have articles or ideas to share, please add them in the comments below.
From our Rightbook blog: “Asher’s prose is both dark and beautiful as he narrates from both the perspective of Hannah Baker-a high school girl who committed suicide and left behind a box of tapes with the thirteen reasons why she ended her life-and Clay Jensen, who admired Hannah from afar and finds himself on her list. Hannah’s tapes reveal secrets not only about herself, but also secrets about bullying and its dramatic consequences.” – Marissa B., Teen Library Associate (2011)
About the show:
Common Sense Media: 13 Reasons Why
The Mighty: 4 Important Lessons From ’13 Reasons Why’
Rolling Stone: Does ’13 Reasons Why’ Glamorize Teen Suicide?
Huffington Post: What ‘13 Reasons Why’ Gets Right And Wrong About Rape
The Mighty: Parents: Read This Before Talking With Your Kids About ’13 Reasons Why’
Common Sense Media: 5 Conversations to Have with Your Teens After “13 Reasons Why”
We are Teachers: 7 Essential Discussion Questions for “13 Reasons Why”
Helpful Information Sources
For those currently in crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
National Association of School Psychologists: “13 Reasons Why” Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators
Stop Bullying: How to Talk About Bullying
Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: Suicide Prevention Information for Teens
American Psychological Association: 7 Essential Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide
As always, you can visit your Branch of the Fairfield Public Library to talk with our librarians if you have questions, are searching for more resources or are looking for support. We are here for you.