Young Adult


When She Was Good  - UK - by Norma Fox Mazer
Em Thurkill spent the first 14 years of her life suffering her father's alcoholic rages and her mother's silences, and the next three trapped with an abusive older sister. Heartbreaking, mesmerizing, and ultimately uplifting, this story of a teenage survivor is a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit.

Bee and Jacky by Carolyn Coman
A reader from London UK , 4 March, 2000
This was for me a book that once picked up could not be put down. It is a short book where every word has effect, where family dynamics are laid open.. This book is not about sex, it is not titillating. It will make you gasp make you feel as if you are a fly on the wall of that family. Most of all it will bring home with a massive shock the initial trauma of the children coping with and wanting to make better their father's disabilities following the Vietnam war, in the way that children often cope - by acting out. The acting out goes beyond that which is assumed to be usual. As the book progresses the children are older and in their own ways are traumatised by their need to establish a bond in this very dysfunctional family. The book made me think about incest, think about dynamics, reach out for the pain and hurt that all of the members of the family unit felt, each in their own way. The book also made me sad, made me cry out wanting to make things better.

The Me Nobody Knows
Synopsis

One in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. These teens have trouble distinguishing between a typical concern and one that results from sexual abuse and the ensuing shame. In this valuable book, written for the adolescents themselves, the authors validate the conflicting emotions aroused by sexual abuse and offer simple, concrete advice for reporting an incident and seeking counseling.

The Storm's Crossing
From Horn Book

Twelve-year-old Maggie doesn't like the way her father touches her and visits her room at night, but she can't make him stop. Forced dialogue and an occasionally plodding pace won't prevent readers from painfully empathizing with Maggie, as the author, through a series of tense scenes, describes the trap of sexual abuse, from which Maggie eventually escapes. -- Copyright © 1994 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

Laurie Tells
Linda Lowery, John Eric Karpinski (Illustrator)
Lowery uses spare, powerful language to describe how an eleven-year-old girl feels about her father sexually abusing her and how she finds someone safe to tell. The first-person account, painfully on target, explores a range of emotions and thoughts while providing useful information. The sensitive illustrations reinforce the text's emotional weight. -- Copyright © 1994 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

I Can't Talk About It : A Child's Book About Sexual Abuse
Graci Evans(Illustrator), Doris E. Sanford
Synopsis - There is no place so potentially violent as home. It is sometimes a place of specail betrayal because the child's guard is down. If you are abusing a child, please accept help.

When She Hollers
Cynthia Voigt
In an intense, powerful novel, Voigt explores what happens when a teenage victim of sexual abuse decides to be a victim no longer. Tish, abused by her stepfather since she was a small child, takes responsibility for her own survival. In the opening sentence, Tish places a knife on the breakfast table and declares, from now on . . . I'll have this knife. . . . All the time.Not an easy book to read, but it may give some readers hope and may help others to understand why a victim of abuse might turn to violence. -- Copyright © 1995 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This
Jacqueline Woodson
Twelve-year-old Marie, who comes from the well-off African-American community of her Ohio suburb, is still reeling from her mother's sudden departure two years earlier. She develops an unlikely friendship with Lena, a poor white girl who has also lost her mother, and the two forge a strong bond. Yet Lena has a sadness that runs even deeper than Marie's: she confides that her father has been sexually abusing her. Woodson's characters are deftly drawn, whole individuals; her spare prose and crystal images create a haunting, poetic novel. -- Copyright © 1994 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved

My Aunt Is a Pilot Whale
Anne Provoost, Ria Bleumer (Translator)
From Booklist , March 1, 1995
Gr. 6-9. This well-written, sensitive novel tells several complex, interwoven stories. Anna, the narrator, lives with her parents on Cape Cod near a beach house haunted by Goody Hallett, either a sea witch or a mermaid. Anna's aunt Tanja and uncle Tony and their daughter, Tara, unexpectedly come to Cape Cod and rent the haunted house. Anna has difficulty understanding Tara, but as Tara reveals herself bit by bit, Anna's innocence gives way, first to revulsion and fear, then to compassion. After Tara's mother commits suicide, Anna learns from Tara that she is being sexually abused by her father. When a pod of pilot whales beaches itself near Anna's home, Tara and Anna meet marine biologist Petr' Ann, who senses Tara's problem, and through her intervention and the reluctant assistance of a terrified Anna and, eventually, Anna's parents, Tara gets help. Provoost not only handles the incest theme well, but also skillfully portrays the complex nature of familial relationships, particularly between the two young cousins--and that friendship is the story's central issue. Additionally, there is an engrossing parallel tale about the community's whale-rescue efforts and the girls' places in the natural environment surrounding them. Merri Monks
Copyright© 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Uncle Vampire
Cynthia D. Grant
Sixteen-year-old Carolyn is convinced that her handsome, young uncle is a vampire, but the other members of her dysfunctional family seem unable to see what is happening. As the painful, dramatic story unfolds, the reader realizes that the uncle is really sexually abusing Carolyn. Grant's plot and character development are flawless; the tightly woven novel is impossible to put down. -- Copyright © 1994 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.