Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Identity Issues

By Jeffrey S. Kaplan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Identity through Self- Awareness: Kathryn Lasky's Memoirs of a Bookbat

Patricia A. Crawfordand Rosaria C. Upchurch

A pebble on a sandy beach can change the course of a river, a tiny dewdrop can warp a giant oak forever.

--Author unknown

We expect that our lives will be impacted by our circumstances. Be they positive or negative, joyful or tragic, we know that looming rites of passage and other key events will not only leave their marks, but will also have the potential to transform our worlds in significant ways. However, the driving forces that ultimately change our life course and perspective often lie not so much in the big events, but rather in the small, seemingly insignificant happenings of our daily experiences. Often, we operate in a type of survival mode, navigating each hurdle that comes our way and developing strategies to cope with all that life has to offer. Only with time, perspective, and a growing sense of self can we come to better understand the cumulative impact that these passing events have had on our lives and personal development. Only then can we come to a point of decision, a turning point where we suddenly realize that we must take control of our life circumstances, lest they take control of our very sense of being.


SYNOPSIS

Such is the case for Harper Jessup, Kathryn Lasky's delightful, resilient, and complex protagonist in Memoirs of a Bookbat ( 1994). As the

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