#SJYALit: Author Victoria Scott Talks About Social Justice and YA Lit
Today author Victoria Scott joins us to talk about social justice and YA literature, sharing some of her favorite titles. Her newest YA book, Violet Grenade, was released out into the world yesterday.
Google defines social justice as “Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.” Social justice, or a lack thereof, is exactly what lands my main character, Domino, in a precarious situation. She comes from a broken home in the worst sense, and is forced to live on the streets in order to avoid further abuse. So when Madam Karina comes along, offering a shady opportunity, she is left with little choice but to accept.
In my last young adult novel, Titans, I explored class structure within a society, and with Violet Grenade, I’m delving into the dynamic of a dysfunctional home life, and how it affects a young mind. In order to write this story, I’ve pulled great inspiration from several books that tackle social justice beautifully. Among them, these are my favorites:
Tyrell by Coe Booth
Booth captures this raw, heartfelt story with an expert hand. One of the most phenomenal reads available to young adults (and the not-so-young adults)!
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
I read this in middle school, and was extraordinarily impacted by the courage, humanity, and horror, found in this story.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The most memorable, well-written nonfiction novel I’ve ever read. If there were a theme song for social justice in the form of a book, this would be it.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I’m re-reading this one now! It’s such a powerful story surrounding sexism. They’ve made this into a show on Hulu, and I’m dying to start watching it as soon as I finish the book.
House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle
This is an incredible novel about the Choctaw people of pre-statehood Oklahoma. If you haven’t read any of Tim Tingle’s work, this is the place to start. I get chills just thinking about this book.
Meet Author Victoria Scott
Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.
About VIOLET GRENADE
DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.
CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.
MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.
WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.
When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind.
Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson. (Entangled Teen, May 2017)
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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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