Readers have called my young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen “edgy.” Readers have had a lot of questions about the characters profiled there. Some of those questions have been, well, edgy themselves. With only a chapter spent with each, readers fiercely want to hold the characters accountable and make sure they get the respect they deserve.
1. What are the best and worst parts of being a 15-year-old day laborer?
2. Why are you so attracted to Alfredo when he’s taken advantage of so many girls? What stops you from going to him?
3. What do you think about Juany’s relationship with her son, Niño? And Alfredo’s?
4. How do you feel about getting left behind with Juany and Alfredo’s baby?
5. You talk about maybe something good happening next. What kinds of possibilities do you imagine or hope for?
Readers have also seen themselves in characters or seen their friends in the pages. Some of things they see about themselves and others make them curious, some scare them, and some offer hope. Each set of questions is followed by some websites and organizations where you might get answers. I call them “resources” for lack of a better name. But they could also be called a lifeline, a revelation, or evidence of things not seen. Don’t be afraid to look for answers.
There are resources out there for undocumented youth. The folks at United We Dream can help with all kinds of things.
Also, if you’re wondering whether you or someone you know is in an unhealthy relationship, visit the folks at Love Is Respect.org. Lots of helpful stuff here.