Kim Brown on Katherine Scott Nelson’s novella Have You Seen Me

In the worlds of some teenagers, life can be hard.
The challenges that some teenagers have to endure may make it seem impossible to live.
The violence, drug use, and bad behavior tend to be the escape from the harshness of their realities.
The ridicule, constant fighting and disagreements with parents, school mates and other family members who have no clue about the pain that a teenager is going through do not help. Teenage life can be extreme, even for the calmest teenager. Being accepted for who one really is the hope of many teenagers, but is rarely realized.
There will always be the stigmas, the misconceptions, and the expectations of the world and the family for a teenager to try to live up to. But you will find in this book, Have You Seen Me, a novella by Katherine Scott Nelson, two teenagers, both struggling with their own way of life and trying to make life work right for themselves.
This book is a great read for mothers and fathers, and teenagers who are great at just being who they are. As parents we often get so caught up in trying to structure our children’s experiences that we forget that we live in a great huge world that has more of an influence on our children that we do. The longing to belong as a teenager is important, and this is a difficult season of life. Although we want to create a perfect teenager who always stays on the right path, we should just be thankful for our son and daughter’s soul and life.
In this book you will see how teenagers at young ages are exposed to the most detrimental experiences inside and outside of the home. One chooses to escape momentarily, while the other tries, unsuccessfully at first, to disappear forever.
No matter the problems that a teenager is facing, they should know that there will always be resources that will be able to help them. Running away from the challenges of family and home, unless to escape physical or sexual abuse, can end in tragedy.
Thank God for friends. In this book, we see these two friends who face similar challenges in life, one who runs away to New York City, and another who is cautious enough to endure the test of time. He is confused, yet unable to take such drastic steps to relieve his frustration, and anger. He holds on and is able to still grow as a teenager, and also lend a helping hand to his friend in trouble.
Through hardships, adversities, anger, family disagreements, distressing and difficult circumstances, conditions of pain, sickness, or dysfunction, we need our teenagers to hold on and be strong. We need our teenagers, despite all the right or wrong choices they may have made, to seek refuge in a family member or friend. As we see in this book, the teenager who goes astray not only takes their family and friends through pain, but they also ultimately hurt themselves in the short and long term.
Now, some advice to teenagers:
As teenagers we have to understand that we can be empowered by many people. The main thing is to learn to love discipline, and to learn to love the ones who may have a different view than ours. We as teenagers have to learn to love ourselves and take time to learn about the world, people and places that surround us.
Kim Brown welcomes thoughts and feedback, and may be reached at kimbrown_kimronice@yahoo.comĀ