Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon

It hurts to read The Burn Journals, but if you can bear the pain, it's a story you will never forget. Unfortunately, it's a true one.

When Brent Runyon was fourteen, he tried to commit suicide by setting himself on fire. He changed his mind almost immediately after lighting the match, but it was too late. His entire body was severely burned and he had to endure months of painful physical and mental rehabilitation.
I don't usually recommend tearjerkers, but I consider The Burn Journals to be a must-read. Jennifer Mattson of Booklist seems to share my feelings:
"Some excruciatingly painful moments notwithstanding, this can and should be read by young adults, as much for its literary merit as for its authentic perspective on what it means to attempt suicide, and, despite the resulting scars, be unable to remember why."
To see photographs and learn more about the book, please visit It's worth the cry.