Recommended for ages 14+
This surrealist novel follows the lives of four teens under pressure, ready to explode. School and testing stress, past trauma, and loss have taken them all to their limits and no one seems to see them. One turns herself inside out; one splits in two; one tells lies, and one builds an invisible helicopter that will fly far away.
Using four narratives, we get the story, piece by piece, slowly gaining clarity but never quite fully grasping it. I Crawl Through It is an indictment of the society we’ve left to our kids; focusing on ourselves, testing, and our children’s accomplishments and how they’re perceived more than seeing them for who they are and what they need.
This isn’t an easy novel to read, but it is an important one. Who hasn’t wanted to become something – someone else to deal with high school? Who hasn’t wanted to fly away from all the stress in life? When teens, who are supposed to be enjoying themselves at this stage of life want to run away and disappear, though, we need a book like I Crawl Through It to give us a sense of the disjointed, upended feelings we may be missing.
Many teens will see themselves in this novel. More adults should be reading this book to get a handle on what our adolescents are up against.
Author A.S. King received a Printz Honor for Please Ignore Vera Dietz. Her “official hideout” on the web offers educator resources, links to her blog, information about her books and author visits, and links to social media.
iBooks has selected I Crawl Through It as one of their 25 Best Books of September!