Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Teen review: Memoir

Reviewed by Amy Sepulveda, grade 11

Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle is an extraordinary book telling the tale of her past and childhood. She takes readers on the journey of her life from her perspective, and describes in detail the horrors and hardships with which she has dealt, along with her brother and two sisters.

Right from the beginning, readers find out that Walls’s father is an alcoholic. Neither parent treats the four children well, leaving them to fend for themselves. The family moves from place to place every few months, and the kids can never truly fit in at any school. Many times, Jeannette and her siblings had to dig through trash cans for food during lunchtime because their parents would not provide for them. It is a remarkable story of survival, to which almost anyone can relate as they put themselves in the shoes of Walls as she tells her story.

When I picked up The Glass Castle because of the suggestion given to me by a friend, I had no idea what to expect. In the 288 pages, readers’ eyes can be truly opened up to the world and the lives people lead around them. It is amazing how much people take for granted as a part of everyday life, when it is in fact a sort of luxury. My mind was blown when I put myself in the place of Jeannette Walls, and it helped me learn to appreciate the smaller things in life as well. I would absolutely rate this book a 5/5.

Editor's note: We would suggest this memoir for more mature readers (high school). It is available at Burbank Public Library as a book, an e-book, an audio book, and in Spanish.

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