We’re in the month of Halloween, and the major theme of the month is scary. Those things that cause fear in people, like clowns, monsters, Slender Man, and Psycho Slasher Chainsaw Guy from Hell. To fit the theme of the month, I’m listing four books where characters confront their fears. Confronting fears can take many forms, so I’m focusing on the more literal meaning.
Note: Since I am getting into more specific details of the books below, there will be spoilers.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The world of Divergent is divided into five factions. One of them, the Dauntless, routinely perform stunts and acts that are life-threatening, meaning they have a strong dose of bravery or recklessness. Toward the end of Dauntless training for Tris, she and her peers are quite literally forced to face their fears. At first, they have to go through simulations to discover their fears and to try to fight their way through them. Tris has to work especially hard to learn to tackle them in a non-Divergent way. Later one of her fears is brought to life. By the end, she earns herself a nickname for her fears.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
This is an obvious one to put on the list, if you’ve read the book or watched the movie, because one of the biggest conflicts is between Harry and the Dementors (evil creatures who suck out all happiness and your soul, if you don’t know). Harry learns very quickly in the third book that he is more afraid of Dementors than of Voldemort, and a Dementor is the form of his Boggart (creatures who defend themselves by transforming into your worst fear). He uses that Boggart to learn a spell to ward off Dementors, and later he is able to use the spell against real Dementors. This is hardly the only book in the series that includes Boggarts or facing fears, but this one takes it very literally.
Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done by Andrea Gonzales & Sophie Houser
This is actually a memoir of two amazing teen girls who created a video game at summer camp. Sophie is the one who had stage-fright. She works through this fear of speaking in front of people by presenting her project and joining a group to help her overcome her fear.
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
Janna Yusuf is Muslim teen girl who has a crush on a boy in school, has been making a graphic novel for years, and is trying to deal with the changing dynamics at home. She was sexually assaulted by a guy who is thought highly of in her mosque and who is a relative of one of her closest friends. She is understandably afraid of her attacker and her family and friend’s reactions to his conduct. As she is forced to be near him, she does receive some confidence boost from her friends and a rescue from one that helps her face him. Then she has to face others’ reactions to what happened.
Which book characters have you read about who face their fear(s)? It can be in any way that one can face their fear.