Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Page Count: 304
Publishing Date/Publisher: March 12, 2019 by Penguin Young Readers Group
Review: Laurie Halse Anderson has been a powerhouse in the realm of Young Adult Fiction, so it was interesting to learn a little bit more about her through this poetry memoir. I like the format in verse because I think it will make the book seem less daunting to reluctant readers. I was able to breeze through it in a couple hours, and despite it’s brevity, there is still a lot to unpack.
I think this is an important book because it reveals the gap in education regarding consent, and really just sex in general. Because sex is still such a taboo topic, society is failing to educate youth about their own bodies and the importance of respecting others.
One of the most tragic aspects of sexual abuse/assault is that the victims often do not fully understand what has happened/is happening to them. They push down their shame and internalize their trauma, which often manifests itself in destructive ways. Because of this, it is so important that we talk through these issues with our youth, and let them know that it is ok to speak out if someone is doing something that doesn’t feel right.
I personally think this should be required reading in middle schools, because it is important to start this conversation early. It is not graphic, but it absolutely gets it’s point across, which I think makes it appropriate for both middle school and high school students.