By: Carla Mendez


The Burn Journals is a book written by Brent Runyon. Brent was born in the year 1977. He published two other books besides this one. In the year 2006, he published a book called "Maybe." Three years later he published another book called "Surface Tension: A novel in Four Summers." Runyon is married and has three stepchildren. He enjoys writing young adult books that can be relatable. His book; "The Burn Journals," was nominated for a Georgia Preach Award for Young Readers.


The Burning Journals is a nonfiction autobiography.


This is a story of a very young boy who was playing around in the locker rooms at his school. He was messing around and lit some matches up. The matches lit a gym shirt on fire and his teacher soon found out. He was afraid of his parents reactions when they found out what had happened in school that day. On his way home from school he came to a conclusion and thought that killing himself was better then to see is parents actions and instead of seeing what his parents would do to him. He decides to make an attempt to suicide by soaking his bath robe in gasoline, lighting a match, and lighting himself on fire. Immediately after his brother notices and calls for emergency. Brent had 3rd degree burns on approximately 85% of his body. The story continues for one year explaining how Brent goes through his recovery. He explains his feelings and also thoughts of everything that he experienced. This is a story of a boy explaining his journey through depression and many things under that category.


The main character in this book is Brent Runyon. This book is an autobiography so it is the same author. He wrote this book at the point of view of the age of 14, while he was finishing 8th grade, and just starting high school.


There are three main settings of this book. One is Brent's home in Falls Church, Virginia. Another setting is the hospital he was in called The Children's National Medical Center which is located in Washington, DC. The last setting was in a rehab hospital called the Alfred I. DuPont Institute in Wilmington, Delaware.


One of the main conflicts in this book is how Brent has to go through his recovery. Besides having to go through his recovery and be in a hospital bed for a long while, he had to learn to accept the fact that he made a horrible mistake with his actions.

Mood and Theme

The mood of this autobiography is sad but interesting at the same time. The theme of this book is accepting and learning from your mistakes. This is because Brent had to accept what he did to himself but learn from it and realize that he should not do things like that because the next time it can impact his life in a worse way. Another theme is appreciating your life. Brent was lucky enough to have a second chance at life after almost committing suicide.


I enjoyed this book because one can relate to it in different ways. I recommend this book to young adults and adults. This is because it is told in a different perspective showing step by step to Brent's recovery. It is a very good book because it shows accepting your mistakes can make our life easier and for you to live your life well.


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