Brief Outline of
I. Introducing the characters and introducing the setting of the novel.
II. Exposing the complex, difficult, and often ugly problems many teens face today. (Note to adult readers: If you do not believe that this novel is an accurate picture of the awful problems teens face today, then you are out of touch with their world. It's this bad and worse. Yet teens, like those who come to life in this book, still have hope: They have Strong Wills.)
III. Communicating the need for teens to take responsibility for their lives. Frustrated by how difficult it can be to access professional counseling, teen characters declare their ability to help themselves. Teen readers can do the same. (Often professional therapy is inaccessible to teens due to its cost, due to parents not wanting trained eyes observing family secrets, due to parents not thinking counseling is important, due to the lack of cooperation by the teens, etc.)
IV. Giving teen readers time to begin to like the characters and begin to feel for them, bond with them, and identify with the characters with whom they have the most in common, cheering hard for them. Through the stories of the teen characters, teen readers travel and learn from the road of hard knocks.
V. Teen characters begin to figure out life for themselves: How to survive the problems in their families, how to survive the mistakes they've made themselves, and how to build better tomorrows. They author their 19 Strong Wills for the strong-willed, their new standard for cool. Teen readers mature with the teen characters and personalize their discoveries.
VI. Teen characters come face-to-face with the harsh reality of the injustices of our culture, and they deal with it. Teen readers, through them, learn to succeed in spite of injustices.
VII. Teen characters complete their 19 Strong Wills for the strong-willed. Their 19 new commitments are designed to help teens cope with the problems most teens face today. Teen readers, the author prays, will also adopt the Strong Wills.
VIII. Teen characters organize a Teens With Wisdom Society, a group that helps kids cope with the problems in their culture and learn to achieve and do well in spite of any discouraging experiences on the obstacle course called life. Teen readers are doing the same.