Youth from all socioeconomic backgrounds face many problems in today’s world, including that of abuse, eating disorders, bullying, and drugs and alcohol. Students, who are experiencing these problems, often do not have ways of relating to others or learning about the very issues in their lives. Realistic fiction is a very popular genre among middle school students right now, because it allows them to do just that. Readers want to be able to relate to the characters in novel that are also experiencing the same types of problems. In Sara Zarr’s second novel, Sweethearts (Zarr, 2008) the characters are very relatable as their thoughts and problems are true to life. The novel’s protagonist Jenna Vaughn must accept who she once was, when her only supportive childhood best friend and first love, suddenly reappears in her life.
By: Sara Zarr