Sunday, January 12, 2014

the people who have seen too much

I saw this amazing advertisement from the Dutch organization KNGF -  service dogs for veterans...

… and I couldn't get it out of my mind. 

The translation: 'We teach our dogs to wake up people with a trauma when they are experiencing a nightmare, because we don't only help people who cannot see, but also the people who have seen too much.'

Then this weekend I read The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson. The Impossible Knife of Memory uses contemporary young adult literature to shed light on the growing, devastating, complex effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hayley Kincain, our heroine, is in her senior year of high school. She lives with her dad, Andy, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran. Andy has PTSD; he is tormented by memories of his tours of duty. The chapters told from Andy's point of view provide a glimpse into the chaos and despair that is war.

This book is intense, but has a lot of heart. It is a beautiful look into a dark but ever relevant topic.

Teens will love the cynical, smart, disillusioned, rebellious Hayley. She has just enough wit and hope to tackle such a painful story.

Get this book for yourself, for the teens you know, and for anyone who loves good writing that pulls you in from page one.

For more information on service dogs in the United States, check out The Humane Society program called Service Dogs for Veterans or another program called Operation Freedom Paws.

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