April 26, 2017

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#SJYALit: Ten Young Adult Novels for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a guest post by Clara Kensie

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The statistics are horrifying, staggering, alarming, shameful: One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old. The National Sexual Violence Resource […]

#SJYALit: Good Girls Don’t Wear That! a guest post by Kim Baccellia

As a child I remember my church leaders sharing stories of how girls had a responsibility to dress and act appropriately or else they’d cause boys to have indecent thoughts. This is true in some fundamental conservative groups. If those boys acted on these impulses, the blame was placed on the girl. Not the boy. […]

#SJYALit: Rape Culture–Twenty-five years ago and today, a guest post by Clara Kensie

1992. My senior year in college. It’s Friday night, and I go with some of my sorority sisters to a local restaurant for burgers and cheese fries before we start our round of fraternity parties. There are a couple of pool tables in the bar area, so we play a game while we wait to […]

Sunday Reflections: That’s Me in the Corner . . .

TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE This year was more triggering for me then I ever could have imagined. 8th grade, the worst year of my life. The year of betrayal at the hands of a man who swore to keep me safe, a man I trusted. The year my teenage daughter was now entering into. This […]

#SVYALit: No, It’s Not Normal Locker Room Talk and Yes It’s Important That We Say That (Out Loud Even)

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST IS ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE “Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” 2016 Presidential candidate Donald Trump was recorded saying the words above. Since the tape was released, many, many […]

#SVYALit Book Review: Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel

Publisher’s description Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she’s a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms […]

#SVYALit Book Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian

Publisher’s description Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, […]

Rural Poverty and THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES by Mindy McGinnis

Sometimes, it is indeed a small world after all. Shortly after moving to Texas, I learned that author Mindy McGinnis lived just 10 minutes from the very library I had spent the last 10 years working at in the state of Ohio. This town was my home, the place where my children were born. It […]

Sunday Reflections: Wrestling with Nate Parker and the Narrative of Forgiveness

When I started high school, I completely had to cut myself off from a part of my family in order to protect myself from the man who had spent the previous year molesting me. I was not universally supported in this decision. Many people considered it an inconvenience to the family. Many others remarked that […]

The Book I DNFed: IRREVERSIBLE by Chris Lynch

Today I want to talk with you about IRREVERSIBLE by Chris Lynch. I am currently 50% done reading this book and I am going to do something that I have seldom done before and not only DNF this book but discuss with you why I am choosing to do so. As a librarian and a […]

Book Discussion: Autism in AFTERWARD by Jennifer Mathieu

When I initially began reading AFTERWARD by Jennifer Mathieu, I was certain I would be coming to you today to discuss this title as part of the Sexual Violence in YA Literature Project (The #SVYALit Project). However, as I got further and further into the book, this book became an important read – to me […]

Sunday Reflections: What Should I Tell My Daughters? An open letter to Judge Aaron Persky

Judge Aaron Persky, I have two daughters. This fall, one of them will start the 8th grade. It was while I was in the 8th grade that I was repeatedly molested by someone I knew and trusted. My goal this year is not to help her get straight As or learn a second language, it […]

Sunday Reflections: It’s Not Transgender People in the Bathroom I Worry About When I Think About Sexual Violence

**Trigger Warning** Many years ago I sat at the Reference Desk reading a brief story in Library Journal that I would never forget. It was close to closing time when a mother and daughter walked up to the Circulation Desk to check out their books. The young girl was 8. They were in a library […]

Sexual Violence in YA Lit | SLJ Spotlight


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Share these recently reviewed YA titles and resources with teen readers.

Sunday Reflections: Yes, I Talk to My Teenager About Sex (Sexual Assault Awareness Month)

“Does it hurt the first time you have sex?,” she asked me. I wasn’t so much surprised by the question, but by the where and when of the asking of it. We were in a park. With my mother. But my mother didn’t flinch and neither did I. “I think for some people it does […]

Book Review: The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

Publisher’s description In the tradition of Speak, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault. Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, […]

Book Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

The first thing you need to know about this book is that I cried multiple times while reading it. And yes, that is a positive endorsement. It was real, it was compelling, and it was profound. I believe that everyone should read this book. Book Summary: Hermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and […]

Book Review: The Word for Yes by Claire Needell

Publisher’s description At once honest and touching, Claire Needell’s debut novel is a moving look at date rape and its aftermath, at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart. The gap between the Russell sisters—Jan, Erika, and Melanie—widens as each day passes. Then, […]

Book Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Publisher’s Book Description: Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends […]

Traffick Blog Tour: Christa Desir Interviews Ellen Hopkins for #SVYALit

Today as part of the Traffick blog tour, author and #SVYALit Co-Creator Christa Desir (Other Broken Things coming in January 2016) is interviewing Ellen Hopkins for #SVYALit. You can find all of the #SVYALit posts here. And let me just take a moment to say thank you to Christa and Ellen for their time. Ellen […]