Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL

Becoming Fierce cover_FINAL
Sometimes it totally sucks being a teen. Trying to fit in, dealing with bullies, a changing body, and the feeling that no one really gets it. It’s hard on the head and often seems like no one else understands.

That’s what Becoming Fierce is all about. Those not-so-fun times that come with being a teen but also how others have gone through similar things and made it to the other side. New and established Canadian authors share experiences from their teen years that have stuck with them. Some of the stories are dark and heartbreaking while others are light-hearted and grin-worthy. Regardless, they all have something in common: while things may seem like an epic fail now, they do get better.
Susin Nielsen, author of the award-winning young adult novel The reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, contributes the foreword.

I remember my teen years with crystal clarity, even though I left them behind 21 years ago today, I had friends and good experiences over those years from 13 to 19, but I can safely say that I did not enjoy them for a lot of the time. It is strange that in life memories of good times are often outshone by memories of negative experiences.

I was lucky; I survived my teen years and eventually grew into a fully functional adult. Not all young people are as fortunate, almost every week, I seen and hear stories about the toll that drugs, abuse and suicide have on teens; it seems that life demands a heavy toll of young people cut down before their dreams and aims can be realised. It does not end there; those that survive still have to endure a gauntlet of peer pressure, bullying, body shaming and worse.

Becoming Fierce was not an easy read for me, the stories triggered memories of times that I would much rather forget, and that I think is the point of the collection – not to reawaken old memories but to reach out to young people in similar circumstances through their words and shouting out the message that they need to hear: that they are not alone, the dark times do end!

I generally judge stories by the effect they have on me, and this collection is powerful indeed.

khplogo20% of the proceeds raised from the sale of Becoming Fierce will be donated to Kids Help Phone Canada’s only toll-free, 24-hour, bilingual and anonymous phone counselling, web counselling and referral service for children and youth.

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