The 411 on the books from our authors particiating in the Sexual Violence in YA Lit project
For the Sexual Violence in YA Lit project, we will be reading several titles and talking with their authors. Here’s a look at the titles we will be discussing. We recommend that you read the books each month if you can, but we will be discussing the issues and additional titles as well.
Faultline by Christa Desir
When Ben first meets Ani, he knows that she is something special. Then one night at a party, Ani is gang raped. Told from Ben’s point of view, this is the story of how sexual violence affects not only the most immediate victims, but those that love them.
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
Evan Carter considers himself the ultimate player, he believes in sex without strings and consequences. Then one day, there are very real, violent consequences. Suddenly Evan can’t think of sex without thinking of violence and nothing seems safe.
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Callie was kidnapped as a child and has spent her whole life on the run. One day, she is returned to a family she never knew she had and struggles to deal with the emotions of all the things that happened to her while on the run with her mother, including being abused by her mother’s boyfriend and her mother’s mental illness.
Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
“No one really knows who Andrew Winston Winters is. Least of all himself. He is part Win, a lonely teenager exiled to a remote boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts the whole world out, no matter the cost, because his darkest fear is of himself …of the wolfish predator within. But he’s also part Drew, the angry boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who, one fateful summer, was part of something so terrible it came close to destroying him. A deftly woven, elegant, unnerving psychological thriller about a boy at war with himself. Charm and Strange is a masterful exploration of one of the greatest taboos.” (Publisher’s Summary) Kuehn is the winner of the 2014 Morris Award for a debut novelist.
Canary by Rachele Alpine
Kate is thrust into the glamorous life at an elite private school when she starts dating one of the star basketball players. But one night, another player on the team takes his power too far and Katie is now being asked to stay silent. In a case that is eerily similar to the Stuebenville case, Katie must decide whether to stay silent to protect her dad’s job or to reveal the truth about what happened to her.
The Gospel of Winter by Brendan Kiely
“As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan’s fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father’s wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg—the only adult who actually listens to him.
When Christmas hits, Aidan’s world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg’s affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who’s a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan’s.
The Gospel of Winter maps the ways love can be used as a weapon against the innocent—but can also, in the right hands, restore hope and even faith. Brendan Kiely’s unflinching and courageous debut novel exposes the damage from the secrets we keep and proves that in truth, there is power. And real love.” (Publisher’s Summary)
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
“Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does. When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.” (Publisher’s Summary) – Publishes 2/25/2014
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
“Theo is better now.
She’s eating again, dating guys who are almost appropriate, and well on her way to becoming an elite ballet dancer. But when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four long years with his kidnapper, Theo starts reliving memories about his abduction—and his abductor.
Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything she’s been living for at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.” (Publisher’s Summary) – Publishes 4/10/2014
Maid of Secrets/Maid of Deception (The Maids of Honor series) by Jenn McGowan
“Orphan Meg Fellowes makes her living picking pockets—until she steals from the wrong nobleman. Instead of rotting in prison like she expected, she’s whisked away to the court of Queen Elizabeth and pressed into royal service, where she joins four other remarkable girls in the Maids of Honor, the Queen’s secret society of protectors. Meg’s natural abilities as a spy prove useful in this time of unrest. The Spanish Court is visiting, and with them come devious plots and hidden political motives. As threats to the kingdom begin to mount, Meg can’t deny her growing attraction to one of the dashing Spanish courtiers. But it’s hard to trust her heart in a place where royal formalities and masked balls hide the truth: Not everyone is who they appear to be. With danger lurking around every corner, can she stay alive—and protect the crown?” (publisher’s Summary)
Gilt by Katherine Longshore
“When Kitty Tylney’s best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII’s heart and brings Kitty to court, she’s thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat’s shadow, Kitty’s now caught between two men–the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat’s meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.” (Publisher’s Summary)
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
“Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?” (Publisher’s Summary)
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
In the near future, water is scarce. Some people will do anything to get it. And some people will do anything to protect what little they have. Lynn has never known a world in the before, all she knows is now. She is used to living with her mom and protecting their water. But there are wisps of smoke in the horizon. People are coming. Is Lynn ready?
Ashes by Ilsa. J. Bick
“An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.” (Publisher’s Summary)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A. S. King
In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.” (from A. S. King’s Blog)
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About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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