Saturday, April 2, 2016

30 Essential YA Titles Perfect for SAAM

 
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:
 
#YAforSAAM:
 
 

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:
 
 
 
16. All the Rage, by Courtney Summers Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
17. What We Saw, by Aaron Hartzler Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
18. Stained, by Cheryl Rainfield Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
19. The Mockingbirds, by Daisy Whitney Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
20. Panic, by Sharon M. Draper Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
21. Punch Like a Girl, by Karen Krossing Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
22. I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, by Jacqueline Woodson Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
23. What Happens Next, by Colleen Clayton Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
24. Because I Am Furniture, by Thalia Chaltas Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
25. Where the Stars Still Shine, by Trish Doller Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
26. Dime, by E. R. Frank Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
27. Pointe, by Brandy Colbert Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
28. Run the Game, by Jason Myers Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
29. Bait, by Alex Sanchez Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
30. Period.8, by Chris Crutcher Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
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!


8 comments:

  1. I just started reading your book - will post more when I finish. I would add "A Work Of Art" by Melody Maysonet to your list.

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  2. Thank you for reading, Dan, and for suggesting Melody Maysonet's book. Much appreciated!

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  3. Just finished your book - besides Melody's this is the only other book I've read in this genre. I thought it was great to read such an emotional and detailed account of sexual abuse surrounded by things any teen boy deals with (dating, mean kids, troubles at home, embarrassment, confusion, anger, etc.) - thank you for sharing this story!

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  4. Dan, I truly appreciate you sharing your reading experience, and letting me know how that was for you. I'm glad to hear you thought it was great the way it shows a balance between things boys deal with normally, and the emotional affects of sexual abuse. Thank you so much for reading!

    Regards,

    Don

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  5. Thanks so much for including TRAFFICK, which is the sequel to TRICKS. I've also written IDENTICAL, which is about paternal childhood sexual abuse. So important to give victims a voice and let them know they're not alone.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen, for clarifying why TRAFFICK, TRICKS, and IDENTICAL should all be on this list! I welcome all suggestions for additional titles.

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  6. A wonderful list of books! And thank you for placing BECAUSE I AM FURNITURE among them. The heartfelt response to that piece of writing still amazes me.

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    1. Thank you, Thalia, for writing such an important story. I look forward to more!

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