West Allis Community Read

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and the City of West Allis, the West Allis-West Milwaukee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force, West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, and Aurora Health Care are partnering to offer a full month of activities that will encourage conversation about addiction and mental health issues and work to #stopthestigma surrounding these issues in the community.

You’re invited to read the novels "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff and "Tweak" by David's son, Nic Sheff. These true stories offer a father and son's perspective through the son's journey of addiction and recovery. Then, join us in May for community events designed to inspire, unite, and #stopthestigma to encourage those who may need help to connect with community resources. Check back soon for dates and details about these events, but start reading the Community Read books now!

Books, audiobooks, and ebooks are available through West Allis Public Library.

Photograph of book cover of author David Sheff’s novel "Beautiful Boy"About "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff

From DavidSheff.com

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery.

Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets.

David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic. "Beautiful Boy" is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

Photograph of book cover of author Nic Sheff’s autiobiography "Tweak"About "Tweak" by Nic Sheff

From SimonandSchuster.com

Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It's a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.