Monday, May 08, 2006

Turning in Mom

The Arizona Republic had a fascinating story a couple of weeks ago as part of a special series it's doing on the impact of meth on children and families. "Painful Decision by Girl, 14, May Have Saved 2 Lives" by Dennis Wagner uses a lively narrative style to show what happens to a Phoenix girl who must decide whether to turn her meth-dealing mom into police. Wagner used police reports, a videotaped police interview and courts records to research the story, but what makes it stand out is his use of a second-person voice. Here's how he starts the story: "You are a 14-year-old girl with a black Lab and a little brother and a mom who cooks meth in the kitchen late at night." It's an unusual approach that makes an end run around the dilemma of whether to identify the girl. Do you think it works?


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