May 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Sunday Reflections: If We Want to End Sexual Violence, We Have to Change the Way Adults Talk About It

Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence, Rape Some weeks (months?) ago, the news broke out that a high school near me was embroiled in a horrific sexual violence case. At first, the media kept referring to it as “hazing”. After a lot of push back, the media and community have started to use the terms sexual assault. […]

Sexual Harassment in KidLit

As a librarian, I don’t often feel genuinely a part of kid or yalit. I’m not an author. I’m not a publisher. I’m not an agent or an editor. But I am someone who regularly talks about books and puts them into the hands of kids and teens. So these last few days, I have […]

#YAAtoZ: Consent in YA, a guest post by author Sara Baysinger

Welcome to February, where we are discussing the letters C and D as part of the #YAAtoZ Project. Today we’re talking consent with author Sara Baysinger. For a complete look at the #YAAtoZ posts, go here. Consent. It’s a loaded word with crystal clear meaning, yet somehow the lines still get blurred for *certain* people […]

#MeToo: Teens, Libraries and Sexual Harassment

Over recent weeks, a wide variety of discussion has been happening about sexual violence, harassment, and assault. These are important conversations that have wide reaching implications. Make no mistake, these things are also happening in the lives of our teens. With the discussion there has been a lot of sharing online with the hashtag #MeToo. […]

On MOXIE, THE NOWHERE GIRLS, Current Events and the Power of Books

There has been a lot of very important discussion in the news this past couple of weeks about sexual harassment and abuse by men in positions of power, in no small part thanks to the revelations regarding Harvey Weinstein. Of course women know and have known for years that type of culture and abuse isn’t […]

Take 5: Some of the Best Feminist YA on Rape Culture in Quotes

Sometimes there are books that I finish and I immediately think, I want my teenage daughter to read this book right away. Today I am sharing 5 of those books that are specifically about sexual violence, rape culture, and the ways we talk about and view women’s bodies. Some of them talk about female friendship, […]

Book Review: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed and What You Need to Know About MRAs

Publisher’s Book Description Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story. Who are the Nowhere Girls? They’re everygirl. But they start with just […]

Sunday Reflections: Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Lead Pipe, aka on “Due Process” in Literature and Yes, Another Discussion of MOXIE

A teen stumbles on a body in a field. Or their best friend is missing. Or they get a mysterious package in the mail. What do they do? They almost never call the police. Never. In the great tradition of Scooby Doo, they investigate themselves, because of course they do. In fact, if they didn’t, […]

Let’s Talk about MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu

Trigger Warning: Sexual Violence This past year was a rough one for The Teen. I got repeated texts from my daughter asking me to come please pick her up at school because she didn’t feel safe. She came home and talked about boys touching her and her friends in the hallways, catcalling, asking them to […]

#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 […]