STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

My Favorite Book: When I Grow Up by Todd Strasser made me grateful for the life I have



Joined: 11/16/2012
Posts: 2
EmmaCap
Since I was about three years old my parents have told me I need to read. Not only did they tell me to read; they read to me, they read with me, and they even occasionally watched me read. People always told me, “Books are inspirational”, “Reading changes how you look at the world”, but I still believed reading was just a pastime for middle-aged parents with nothing better to do. I would read when I was told, and I would read when I couldn’t sleep, but I never really read for pleasure. To be honest, up until about a year ago, I never really read at all. Then, all of a sudden, I would find myself wanting to dive into a novel and just enjoy it. Gradually I’ve begun to read more and more. About a month ago I was wandering through the young adult section at my local library, and I stumbled upon a book by the name of “If I Grow Up”.
I thought the title was peculiar: “If I Grow Up”. All I could think was I think the “if” should be a “when”. My curiosity toward this meaningful title induced me to pick up the book and check it out. Upon reading the first chapter I understood what this book was going to be about. A young boy, by the name of DeShawn, was growing up in what is commonly called “the projects”. The projects are not a fantastic place to grow up, and that’s a complete understatement. DeShawn’s family and friends are involved in a brutal gang. Throughout this book, so many people die it’s difficult to keep track. That’s why this book makes me feel so grateful.
I am a fourteen year old girl, living in a middle class family, with absolutely no violence in my life. Not until I finished “If I Grow Up” did I find out there were true statistics all throughout the book. One of the things that stood out to me was the lack of education in the projects. All my life my family and friends have discussed what colleges we want to go to, and we have never even thought about the money aspect of it. I go to a private high school, paying tuition every year, and don’t even think about it. The book talks about how most kids in the projects drop out of their public school and join a gang, because that’s the only way they’ll afford to feed their families. If you think about it, these kids can’t afford to go to a free school.
“If I Grow Up” changed the way I think about my everyday life. It made me see what a simple life I have. It helped me understand that so many people in the world are less fortunate than I am. I encourage everyone to read it, and see what you make of it.

Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us:  StageofLife.com is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on StageofLife.com.  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Past Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of our past writing contests and teen trend reports from the last four years. Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with teachers, teens, and college students as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2014 Writing Contests

 Stage of Life Mission Statement

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog

StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy