I personally believe that this book is actually quite educational for children, simply because it shows that life isn't perfect. Everyone wants their child to be safe and have a good life and not have to suffer tragedies, but we all know that will never happen. our children will eventually find their way into trouble or situations in which they need help, and we need to prepare them for that. Reading this book can teach them that you can't always have money growing from trees, jobs aren't forever, and that debt is possible, shown by Johanna losing her job, late on paying car insurance, and other things like needing money for food. Although, i do find the sexual content very inappropriate, parents need to understand that Johanna herself DOES realize she can't have happy Joyland forever, since her dreams change into reaching for Reeve and losing her, and the end when they throw the ashes. The whole concept of abuse and drugs teaches children that drugs are bad, and DO ruin relationships, proof by Reeve and her mom's relationship. It also shows how abuse can affect a childs relationship as well, like how Reeve keeps pulling away, only because she's afraid, and the way she treats her brother. The language, i believe is unnecessary, but it does give you a peek into modern-day teenagers, whom actually DO curse and swear a lot. It does teach that abuse isn't right, and some teens do fall under terrible relationships. Personally, i hated Novak during the entire story. She just seemed like she was an unnecessary jerk the whole time.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking