In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), I'd like to share 30 essential YA books that will help you and others Support, Protect, Educate, Advocate, Know, Understand, and Prevent further sexual assault. Really, you should read them just to read them. But for this month especially, you should read them even more. You should share them with others. You should educate yourself and your family and loved ones. You should read these with your bookclubs and find them in your local bookstores. Librarians and bookstores should make displays featuring these books to raise awareness among your readers. You should go online and buy copies for yourself, your friends, or to give as gifts. These are the books that need to be read.
For years, growing up, books like this did not exist. Libraries and bookstores were my haven. As I walked through the aftermath of my own trauma (CSA), I found solace in books. They were my therapy. Now, I have found 30 titles all centered around sexual assault, rape, child sexual abuse, incest, sex trafficking and related topics. This is a positive sign of change, and YA books are at the forefront of that change.
Our children need to know. We need to learn and know more. There are those who are out there, and hurting, and the aftermath of their assault, abuse, or rape has silenced them. I've been there. So often, family members are at a loss for how to help a survivor, and books provide a direction toward recovery. We all know someone who has experienced sexual assault, abuse, or rape. They need our support to help them find the strength to heal and move forward.
Give survivors a book from this list. No words need to be said, but they will find themselves, and their voice again in the pages of that book. Be an advocate, a support, a protector, a friend who understands, someone who knows, maybe you've been there, too. Let's do what we can to prevent even one more sexual assault.
Let's eradicate sexual assault from our culture, our families, and our world. Let our children of tomorrow grow up in a safer, less dangerous world because we did something about it. I hope you'll find your voice and write your story, too, if you've faced sexual assault, abuse, or rape. We need all of these stories and more.
Here are the books that will equip us for that fight:
1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by E. K. Johnston Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
2. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
3. Traffick, by Ellen Hopkins Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
4. The First Time She Drowned, by Kerry Kletter Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
5. The Way I Used to Be, by Amber Smith Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
6. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
7. This Is Where the World Ends, by Amy Zhang Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
8. Swagger, by Carl Deuker Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
9. Scars, by Cheryl Rainfield Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
10. The Packing House, by G. Donald Cribbs Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
11. The Gospel of Winter, by Brendan Kiely Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
12. Fault Line, by Christa Desir Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
13. Boy Toy, by Barry Lyga Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
14. Faking Normal, by Courtney C. Stevens Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
15. Inexcusable, by Chris Lynch Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Here are even more #YAforSAAM:
What titles would you add to this list? Please share them in the comments below. In addition, if you've read one or more of these titles, comment below to share how you were changed after reading them. Then, share these with your friends and family and become part of the change in this world. I believe books are one of the best vehicles for change. Keep reading!