This post is a reader’s response to a book read for the 2013 Hub Reading Challenge.
In my check-in posts for this year’s Hub Reading Challenge, I found myself repeatedly stating that I had read something I would not otherwise have picked up and was glad I did. One of the best things about the Challenge is how it encourages me to read outside my comfort zone. Taking the risk to read something you normally wouldn’t is easier when you know that a group of professionals you trust has pronounced it an excellent book.
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf is the story of Jeffrey Dahmer before he became a killer. It is the story of a troubled young man told through the eyes of his junior high and high school classmates. It is a chilling tale of a teen in crisis who never received the help he needed. And it is a book that was never going to make it to my To Read pile for two reasons: I don’t self-select graphic novels because I’m not confident about choosing them, and, as a recovering horror-phobe, I usually avoid creepy stories. But this title was on not one, not two, but three lists for the Challenge. Maybe I really did need to read this book. Boy, am I glad I did.