April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Penguin Teen stands with SAAM. We’re committed to helping keep the conversation going all month long. We find that books can often help us talk about difficult topics – so here are 8 books to help you start a conversation.
1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
After she’s assaulted at cheer camp, Hermione Winters faces a wrenching decision and struggles to regain the control she’s always had.
2.Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
An end-of-summer party leaves Melinda friendless, cast out, and unable to give voice to what really happened that night: she was raped by an upperclassman who goes to her school. This book delves into a hypocritical high school culture, the healing process, and finding the ability to speak out.
3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
When a classmate attempts to rape Annabel over the summer, she reacts by isolating herself from everyone – but it’s through building new relationships that she’s finally able to confront what happened.
4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Thirteen Reasons Why examines the snowball effect that sexual abuse, humiliation, betrayal, guilt, and depression have on one girl’s self-worth and sense of security.
5. Pointe by Brandy Colbert
When Theo’s best friend Donovan returns home four years after his kidnapping, she’ll have to reconcile secrets from her past with her dreams for the future.
6. The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
Exploring toxic relationships, psychological damage, and coming to terms with the past, this is Cassie’s journey to learn to love herself after her mother commits her to a mental institution.
7. Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
This gritty novel written in verse follows high schooler Anke’s struggle to find her voice in spite of an abusive family life.