The author, artist Candy Chang, started the “Before I Die” project in New Orleans by painting over a graffiti-ed wall of an abandoned house. She had no idea how the community would react or if the art instillation would succeed. Within a day, the wall was full of responses: funny, serious, individual and worldly. The idea took off and “Before I Die” walls have been placed throughout the world. The book highlights locations around the globe, in many languages. It includes pictures and highlights of about 50 walls from around the world. The end of the book highlights “remixes”, that were sparked by the “BID” idea but use a different prompt (“Today I’m grateful for”, “Before/After I graduate”); a statistical breakdown of responses; and tips for creating your own, the templates, etc.
Why I picked up the book: I won this book in a giveaway. I think it would be great to add to the teen collection at the library and booktalk to classes.
Why I finished the book: I’d love to put up a “Before I Die” wall. I think the anonymity aspect is probably the best. I’ve been thinking of what I might write and if it was anonymous I would probably bear more of my soul than I would on my public review.
I’d give the book to: anyone, teen or adult. The wall postings of others make you think deeper about life and would be a good writing prompt as well.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Review by Jenn, YA Librarian (View all my reviews)
Before I die I want to: be comfortable with myself.
Before I die I want to: return to Hawaii and introduce my husband and son to my second home.
Before I die I want to: see my son grow up, get married, and meet my grandchildren.
Before I die I want to: resolve relationships that are broken.