Leslie’s Journal by Allan Stratton

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Stars: ****

I received this book for review from Annick Press. I also read it during the Read-a-Thon. I’m also counting it towards the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge and Young Adult Challenge.

“This could be the Go Ask Alice of the millennium….” – School Library Journal

I think I might just agree with that. Although it’s been many years since I read Go Ask Alice, I do remember the gist of it and how gripping and upsetting it was. Leslie’s Journal is very similar. I believe it’s just a work of fiction but it certainly sounds like it could have been a real girl’s journal. Reading it brought back memories of cliques and teasing from my high school years.

Summary: Leslie can’t seem to avoid trouble, whether it’s at school or at home. Just as life seems at its lowest, Jason McCready, the exceedingly cool new guy at school, enters her life. Now Leslie is the envy of all the girls. But Jason’s appearance is deceiving –he is determined to control every aspect of Leslie’s life and he begins terrorizing her in unimaginable ways. When a substitute teacher reads the private English-class journal in which Leslie reveals Jason’s abuse, Leslie is suddenly forced into hard choices and terrifying action to take back her life. Read More

I had a hard time putting this book down except for the parts where I wanted to shout out to Leslie to not do what she was doing or to wake up and smell the coffee. I almost felt like I was actually her friend witnessing her doing these destructive or harming behaviours and couldn’t stop her.

This is actually a revised edition, updated for the millennium with cellphones, texting and cyber bullying. I think the author did a great job of making it seem up to date. This is a book that deserves more awards. Here’s what accolades it’s already received:

Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (ALA), Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (ALA), The Best, Notable and Recommended List (Teacher Librarian Magazine)
Also the author is a Printz Honor winner.

Ages 13 and up

See a short video about the book on the Annick Press Facebook Fan Page

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.