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After the Death of Anna Gonzales

Review

After the Death of Anna Gonzales

Terri Fields has written many, many books including picture books, middle grade books and young adult books. Some of her young adult books include MY FATHER’S SON and HOLDUP, and AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ, which all focus on the teenager experience. Not only does Terri Fields write, but she also teaches and makes sure many of her students write as well. She is a teacher in Arizona and has won Arizona’s Teacher of the Year Award and was selected to the All-USA Teacher Team, which honors 20 teachers. Terri Fields currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I found AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ to be a very good book. One of the things Terri Fields did very well was managing not to blame anyone for Anna’s death."

AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ takes place the morning after Anna Gonzalez, a high school student, takes her life. The story follows 47 people at the school, from faculty and teachers of Anna’s to the fellow students of Anna’s on the day after. While the name of the book has the name Anna Gonzalez in it, AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ has less to do with Anna Gonzalez and more to do with the people she left behind. High school students, teachers and faculty each give their take on one portion of the day.

Anna thought she was invisible and while it’s clear that she was to some, this book shows how no one is ever completely invisible, whether it means being best friends or just your designated partner in a certain class. Each person brings a different voice, a different point of view and a different take on her. Some do not even realize what has happened. Some miss her. Some use her. As the story goes on you learn little bits and snippets about not only Anna but also what type of school she went to, the types of students she talked to and even the types of students she didn’t talk to.

I found AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ to be a very good book. One of the things Terri Fields did very well was managing not to blame anyone for Anna’s death. In many books --- especially young adult books --- about teen suicide, the author either glorifies suicide or makes it seem like a certain person or a group of people was the reason why a person killed himself or herself or both but AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ manages to show how while Anna’s death was devastating, it was not any of the student’s or faculty member’s fault. The poetry was very nicely written. It took me about 20 minutes to read AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ, but the impact has lasted a little --- more like a lot --- longer. The book really makes you think about life and perspective and how you never really know what someone is going through.

AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ is a book that many people, especially teens and parents and really anyone spends a lot of time with teens should read. Terri Fields does a great job with AFTER THE DEATH OF ANNA GONZALEZ.

Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member on February 27, 2018

After the Death of Anna Gonzales
by Terri Fields