Thursday, June 6, 2019

Monday's Not Coming and Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

I'm a little late to the Tiffany D. Jackson party, but let me tell you that I am here for Jackson's storytelling and plot twists. This past school year, I was hanging out in the school library trying to find something new to read. Our wonderful librarians both suggested Tiffany D. Jackson, and I can't thank them enough for turning me onto this author. I've been tired of the dystopian YA novel for awhile now, and I'm always attracted to realistic fiction or fiction that deals with what's happening in the world right now. Jackson is able to take issues that people try not to think about and put them in your face. You can't look away, and you can't stop reading. Both of these books are page-turners, while I read them with my classes during silent reading, I would constantly talk under my breath or much so that my students were constantly asking what was happening in my book. No English teacher can be upset with that. Often our brief but sweet ten minutes of reading time would turn into much longer periods as I asked them to keep reading...just a few more minutes for Mrs. G. They giggled but obliged. I have never read two books back to back so quickly--not even the Twilight series or Harry Potter.

Without going into spoilers, if I had to choose my favorite of the two, I would choose Monday's Not Coming since I am educator and see similar scenarios every school year. Not quite at the extreme level that Jackson presents, but there are kids who go overlooked more often than not. Plus, what I thought was a twist turned out not to be THE twist, so Jackson keeps you on your toes until the very end. I loved Allegedly as well, just as much even as Monday's Not Coming, though I was very upset at the ending (but in a good way!). With both female protagonists, Jackson presents young girls who struggle with identity, confidence, and mental health, and she doesn't hide behind anything to portray characters who are fragile. That's what we need more of in this world--to see fragility and to become educated on how to cope. There are a couple of authors out there who are trying to write about the real world (Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, Elizabeth Acevedo), and I'm happy to say that the world is finally starting to listen. 

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