YA Novel: EDGE THE BARE GARDEN (or How Not To Bully Yourself or Others)
Reading other writers, and widely across genres, is vital; it only makes for better writing of my own.
While reading Roseanne Cheng’s YA novel, Edge The Bare Garden, I was transported back to high school.
Edge highlights growing pains, and how they figure into a particular traumatic event. The story is offered through the eyes, ears, heart, and memory of an endearing protagonist who only goes by the “I” pronoun (a very clever way for the author to give the story universal significance—as this “I” could be any of us). The narrator’s reflections of internal and societal/school-based struggles, therefore, offer teaching lessons with regard to tolerance for others, as well as for the one’s own self.
As an adult reader, I appreciate being reminded of how choices have consequences, and how when one specifically has the opportunity to do the right thing by others, but instead decides to not follow through, the sweeping impact it can have on both the self and others.
Bullying, self-doubt, redemption, and self-acceptance are but some of the universal themes that the author, Cheng tackles here, in beautifully written prose that is authentic in tone without being preachy.
As I said, I felt transported back to high school as I read, and I’d attribute this to Cheng’s realistic, dimensional portrayal of teenage characters, their lives at school and at home.
Cool, too, is the fact that this novel is part of author Cheng’s program: Teachable lit (Young Adult Literature. With Purpose). At the end of the novel, she includes a chapter-by-chapter study guide with relevant vocabulary and essential questions.
Edge The Bare Garden offers lessons for us all.