Readers have called my young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen “edgy” and 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 did you think when you first found out that the man you were digging a fence post for was the father of the boy who went missing a year ago?
2. When you’re sleeping on the run, you say you listen in the dark to figure out what’s around you, but after a while you stop, just breathe, and feel like you become the air. You said, “I start to disappear into the night.” What did you mean by that?
3. What is your explanation for the guy who appeared in a flash of lightning during a storm one night, then disappeared just as fast?
4. Do you believe in aliens and portals to another universe, like you learned about in comic books? Or in spirits that walk the earth, as Consuelo talked about?
5. Why do you think it’s so hard for people to live in uncertainty, in not knowing, in the mystery of this life?
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.
Once again, the amazing folks at TeensHealth.org have tons of resources for helping you sort through the complexities of life. Things like mental health, dealing with problems, and being your best self. See what they have to say.