I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout with Jenn Abelson | SLJ Review

Gr 8 Up –For Prout, being accepted into the exclusive St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire was meant to be a source of stability; however, by the end of her freshman year, the 15-year-old was in turmoil.

redstarPROUT, Chessy with Jenn Abelson. I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope. 416p. photos. S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. Mar. 2018. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534414433.

Gr 8 Up –For Prout, being accepted into the exclusive St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire was meant to be a source of stability; however, by the end of her freshman year, the 15-year-old was in turmoil. In 2014, a senior by the name of Owen Labrie lured and assaulted her as part of a “Senior Salute” ritual at the school. This is Prout’s account, cowritten with journalist Abelson, about her life before and after the rape, including the trial of her assailant and her burgeoning activism around justice for those who have experienced sexual assault. This is an outstanding examination of rape culture, injustice, and privilege. Readers will instantly connect with Prout’s genuineness and her candor as she details her daily life and the ways in which institutions and people fail survivors of sexual assault by resorting to victim shaming and hostility instead of effecting change. Prout’s advocacy will be an inspiration to teens, and the representation of her fiercely supportive family is one that is sorely needed. Black-and-white photos are peppered throughout. VERDICT This outstanding memoir is a must for YA collections.–Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2018 issue.

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