Many of you are familiar with a Netflix show called 13 Reasons Why. Based on a book by Jay Asher, it is about a boy named Clay who receives 13 cassette tapes from a girl Hannah after she commits suicide. It is a powerful story, and one that I reviewed way back in 2007.
There has been a bit of backlash against the TV series, even though it was well reviewed before its debut on March 31st of 2017. I will be honest, I have yet to watch the series, and it has been around 10 years since I read the book. Because memory is a fuzzy thing, Here are some links, and other perspectives on the show.
The Associated Press published an article on April 28th, looking at fears parents, teachers and school psychologists have about the series and its depiction of teen suicide. (New York Times)
Producer Selena Gomez has been called to defend the show, and it's popularity has it picked up for a second season. It is important to note that the show is for a mature audience and there are issues highlighted in the show that should be discussed with teens. (Creators.co)
Here is a post from a librarian who has watched the series, and can hopefully shed some light on the importance of watching the whole series, including the 30 minute segment "Beyond the 13 Reasons." (Kara the Librarian)
If you are a parent concerned about your teen reading the book or watching the series, check out the article from JED regarding things to consider before watching the show.
I also recommend the site Common Sense Media, where parents and kids/ teens can weigh in on all sorts of media. Here is their positive review of the Netflix series, for older viewers (ages 16+).
Lastly, if the content in 13 Reasons Why is triggering for you, or you feel like you don't have anyone to turn to please call Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They are there 24 hours a day to help you realize that you do have something to live for.
Finally, whether you are a teen who wants to read or watch 13 Reasons Why, or a parent concerned about your teen and 13 Reasons Why, please talk about it. Books (and TV shows) can serve as a window to the world outside, as well as a mirror reflecting what is going on inside a person. Talk to the people you are worried about, and don't just assume the worst. Use this book/ show as an opportunity to reach out to others.
Hollywood Reporter's Review of the Show
13 Reason's Why Tumblr
13 Reasons Why Netflix Adding More Content Warnings (Hollywood Deadline)
13 Reasons Why Talking Points (JED)