'Charlie St. Cloud': 4 Books for Film's Teen Fans

Jeanne Sager
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Charlie St. CloudIt's no surprise the release of Charlie St. Cloud this month is being grasped by a host of teen causes to highlight their plight.

After all, star Zac Efron is only now moving out in earnest from his Troy Bolton phase.

But with groups like To Write Love on Her Arms, a self injury and teen depression awareness non-profit, and more embracing the film's story of living through loss, this could be the film parents send their kids to so they can open up some pretty uncomfortable talking points.

Until the film hits theaters, however, here are some books to add to your kids' reading list that will do the same thing:

1. The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood. The book on which the movie is based, it's the story of a boy whose younger brother dies in a car accident -- leaving him to figure out if he is betraying his brother by moving on.

2. Willow by Julia Hoban. Hoban's debut novel came out this spring and it too focuses on a car accident. This time title character Willow is at the wheel of the car in a rainy night accident that claims the life of both of her parents. She turns to cutting to punish herself in a spot-on look at pure teenage pain.

3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Reportedly the next movie project of Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, this new-to-paperback tale of a teen looking back at her life before the accident that both claimed her parents and put her in a coma is a bittersweet look at teen priorities.

4. Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going. An obese teen on the verge of suicide is pulled back quite literally from the edge by a skinny, dysfunctional, at times drug-addled, unlikely hero. Take your pick of what Troy has to overcome: a deceased mother, a father he sees as unreasonable, his weight, his social anxiety ... this story doesn't attempt to pussyfoot around any of it. The result is right on the teen level and goes right to their heads.

 

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