Module 12 – The Burn Journals


This is an autobiography about a teenager who sets himself on fire in a failed suicide attempt. The rest of the book is about living with the aftermath of this decision. As he recovers and goes back to school he deals with the complicated question of why he tried to kill himself.


This book read like a realistic fiction book. It was very much like Speak or Leverage. I liked that a lot and I felt very connected to the author. I feel like this would be well received by any angsty teenager.

Professional Review

“Brent’s riveting first-person account (Knopf, 2005) of teen angst and uncertainty culminating in an especially horrific suicide attempt, while sometimes hard to listen to, is moving and insightful” (Lombardo 2009).


This would be a good book to read for a troubled teen themed book club meeting. One meeting of the book club could be centered around troubled teens and they could pick from a list of books. Then they would all get together and discuss and talk about how the teens were behaving and how they would have reacted in that situation.


Lombardo, C. (1 January 2009). Multimedia Review: The Burn Journals. School Library Journal Online. Retrieved from

Runyon, B. (2005). The Burn Journals. New York:  Knopf Doubleday.


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