The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "On the Razor's Edge"
On the Razor's Edge
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In this story a young woman begins cutting herself after her father discovers she is having sex and shuts her out of his life. She loves the feeling but her mother gets her into therapy. She manages to stop mutilating herself, partly because of the therapy and partly because her parents’ divorce creates a happier home life for her.

Discussion: Before you give out the story tell your students they will read a story about a young woman cutting herself. You might even want to read aloud the first two paragraphs under the subhead “The First Cut,” which describe the first time she abuses herself in this way. Ask them what events might have preceded this blood letting. What could have prompted her to cut her arm?

Writing: After they read the story have them write a letter to the writer to express their feelings about her situation. Or they can write a letter to her mother and/or father. The letters can offer advice, express their sympathy, or voice their disgust.
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[Other Teacher Resources]
(NYC-2004-03-03)

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