Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is an autobiography that sheds light on the systematic issues within South Africa. The book centers around Trevor’s childhood and the way he was raised. The story ranges from going to church, his relationship with his mom, and even finding a sweetheart for a dance. Additionally, Born a Crime brings attention to heavy issues such as apartheid and domestic abuse. The way he writes brings in a lighthearted tone and uses humor to convey the themes even when they have serious undertones. This way of telling the story allows everyone to understand and comprehend the
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman is a devastatingly realistic look into the life of a homeless child. It tells a realistic story of abuse and homelessness, and yet also is a story of hope. The book is set in India, and follows the two main characters, young girls named Viji and Rukku as they run away from their abusive household and live alone on the streets. They meet other characters and try to survive the harsh life. The book is written as letters in flashbacks from an odd mixture of first person and second person perspective. It gives a unique insight on the characters and helps the
Closer to Nowhere is an inspiring and eye-opening fiction novel by Ellen Hopkins. This book is about a boy named Cal, who has PTSD. When his mom died when he was nine, he moved in with his dad. His dad, who went to prison two times, abused Cal by hitting him and telling him to lie to the government on his behalf. When Cal’s dad went to prison again, he moved in with his aunt and uncle, and his cousin Hannah. Every so often he would run away for one reason or the other. Then something happens at his and his cousin’s school.
I love the way the author describes every single character and lets
The Girl with the Louding Voice, by Abi Dare, is a powerfully unforgettable story about Adunni, a 14-year-old Nigerian girl who wants nothing more than to go to school and become a teacher. Her mother encourages her to continue with her education and find not just her voice but her “louding voice”. Adunni’s life becomes hard and arduous after her mother’s death when her father, who is in need of money for himself and her brothers to survive, “sells” her to a much older man to be his third wife. What follows is a life of abuse and misery and a discontinuation of her schooling. Throughout her
Free Lunch is an autobiography by Rex Ogle, following him through the 6th grade being a kid from an under-privileged, abuse home in a wealthy school district. He's living with his half baby brother, his stepdad, and his mother. His mom puts him on the free lunch program at school and he's confused, but above all, embarrassed. While he's facing embarrassment and judgement from his classmates, he's facing abuse from his mom and stepdad and trying to protect his brother rand help his family.
I really loved this book; it was not only entertaining by very eye-opening to the battles so many
You know, sometimes you just need some escapist fantasy about self-discovery in women. McKinley's seventeen-year-old girl Lissar was just the ticket for me last night. Deesrkin is a beautiful, haunting, and sometimes painful coming-of-age story that ends with a message of hope. The first half of the fantasy fiction is really about the traumatic aftermath of a violent assault and rape by the heroine's own father. These dark themes are handled appropriately, realistically, and with great compassion but they do make for some hard reading in the gateway fantasy.
If you have any
I have feelings about this book. It’s graphic. Sometimes maybe too much so, though it bothers me I would say that. The subject is clear: female desire. But in truth, there’s nothing clear about desire. We want what we want—or don’t—for reasons we sometimes don’t know, for reasons that stem from harmful situations or events. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s complicated—desire is complicated, sex is complicated, and the implications of sex and how sex affects us throughout our lives is complicated.
Three Women follows three women for a span of eight years. Each woman’s story is different
Wow. This little book packs a punch. One of the Boys is short, quick reading, deceptively simple, and deeply affecting.
The twelve-year-old narrator has always revered his affable, charismatic father. After witnessing a "war" of separation and divorce, he desperately wants to be "one of the boys" with his dad and older brother when they decide to leave Kansas for New Mexico. He wants to be there to experience his dad's promised freedom to be like a kid again. So he does what it takes to make it happen.
As they settle into their new lives, the brothers gradually realize their dad uses
Maybe lives on the streets with a tribe of homeless teens. These kids are runaways and throwaways, they have no place to go except cold city streets and have no family other than each other. They are abused, abandoned, and forgotten by society, every day they struggle to survive against the cold, hunger, and constant danger. But now there is a new girl, Tears, a 12 year old whose mother didn’t believe she had been abused by her stepfather. As the other kids start to disappear from violence, addiction, and exposure, Maybe tries to help Tears get off the streets before it becomes too late.
Aiden was six when he went missing during a bad rainstorm which flooded the banks of the river that runs through their village. His family and police believed he had been swept away by the river and drowned, having only found his jacket floating in the river and no body. Ten years later his mom is married and in her last month of pregnancy when she gets the incredible news that Aiden is alive. Told from the viewpoint of Aiden's mom, Emma, the Silent Child is a psychological thriller that will engulf you in the chaos of Emma's intense emotions as she tries to figure out who took Aiden.
This book was extremely hard to read, but also hard to put down.
The Sound of Gravel is the memoir of Ruth Wariner, a woman who spent the first fifteen years of her life in hell. Ruth was born into a poverty stricken, fundamentalist Mormon colony in rural Mexico in the 70s. Her father, who was killed when she was a baby, had 42 children. Ruth grew up with her mom, nine siblings, and step-father. They lived in a tiny house with a dirt floor and no indoor plumbing or electricity. Mouse droppings on the kitchen floor and wind blowing through the mud walls of the house were the norm.
The Sound of Gravel is the true story of Ruth Wariner, a young girl growing up as a Mormon fundamentalist in the 80’s, traveling between Mexico and the United States with her ever expanding family. After Ruthie’s father is killed by his own brother when, her mother remarries, becoming the second wife to a practicing polygamist. Ruthie spends the majority of her youth living on a Mexican commune in a house without plumbing or electricity, sharing a bed with her mother and siblings, and living off government checks that her mother receives by falsely claiming US residency. She passes her time
Told mostly in reverse order, But I Love Him chronicles the relationship between Anna and Connor. The reader is introduced to Anna, a high school senior, who has spent the past year focused on Connor, and has slowly given up the people and things that were important to her prior to meeting him.
Through Anna’s accounts of her interactions with Connor and people in their lives, the reader gets a sense of the conflicted feelings Anna has toward him. The story being told from end to beginning is similar to viewing a mess being picked up—it starts off as a disaster, but piece by piece, things
It took Joy Harjo fourteen years to write her memoir Crazy Brave. In it she tells of her parents' tumultuous marriage. Harjo's beautiful mother opposes her own father, traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma in search of a mate. When young, Harjo's father had been sent to a military academy where he “learned anger as a method to control sensitivity.” When the violent marriage ends, an abusive stepfather steps in to consume the family. At sixteen, when her stepfather tries to send her to a Christian boarding school, Joy pleads with her mother to send her, instead, to The Institute of American Indian Arts.
Taylor Greer has just graduated from high school in rural Kentucky. Born to a poor, single mother and without many of life’s advantages, Taylor manages to talk her way into a lab technician’s job at the hospital, save enough money to buy a beat up Volkswagen Bug, and get out of town before she winds up pregnant or as some tobacco farmer’s wife. Most of Taylor’s pluckiness can be attributed to the roots her mother has provided her—encouragement and faith in her daughter’s abilities that are worth far more than the money she doesn’t have to offer.
Taylor heads west in her Bug without a
Reality Boy is a work of fiction that shows the awful truth about Reality TV. But don’t let the word “awful” turn you off. This is an amazingly well written book. The author, A.S. King, does something magical: Just as you begin to lose faith in the human race, she shows us how it's all going to be OK. For Gerald. And for us.
Gerald's a seventeen-year-old who starred on a reality TV show when he was five. I don't know about you, but I get embarrassed when my mom shares goofy pictures of me as a kid on Facebook. Can you imagine what it's like to have your whole life broadcast before the
What a sad, sick, powerful story. Three runaways desperately attempt to flee from the ugliness they've always known. These kids are both awful and sympathetic. Custis, a homeless boy, narrates most of the story. When strangers ask how old he is, his reply is always just, "old enough". Custis never mentions his parents or any permanent caregivers. He has recently fled a pedophile who, in exchange for “owning” Custis, had been letting him sleep on the floor in a room that smells like dog. During his escape, Custis befriends two other runaways—Boobie, a 17-year-old who has just murdered his
Growing up in a rural British Columbia is difficult enough for Jess, Courtney and Dani Campbell before their mother dies. But after their mother passes things really get difficult. One night things get really bad; Jess grabs the shotgun and accidentally shoots and kills their dad. Afraid of what will happen, the girls hide the body and take off for Vancouver before anyone can realize what has happened. When the truck breaks down in the middle of nowhere they reluctantly accept help from two young men who are passing by and things go unbelievably downhill from there. Because they fear a
What a heart wrenching, yet inspiring, read this was! I listened to the audio book and couldn't tear myself away. It's been a long time since I found myself so immersed in a story, or since I have read a story so incredibly tragic and yet, at the same time so hopeful.
The main character is Carey, who believes she is 15 years old. She suffers abuse and neglect at the hands of her meth addicted, mentally ill mother who kidnapped her away from her father when she was five. She has been hidden away in the Obed Wild and Scenic National Park in Tennessee, along with a six year old half sister.
The Tale of One Bad Rat is a very special story. In this graphic novel, Bryan Talbot tackles the serious subject of child sexual abuse and its after-effects. “Once upon a time, there was a very bad rat …” thus begins the story of Helen Potter, an abused English teenager, who runs away from home with her beloved pet rat and finds herself begging on the streets of London. Helen, an artist herself, has always found solace in the books of (Helen) Beatrix Potter and found similarities between her life and the life of her favorite author. Beatrix Potter’s courage and success provide a very powerful
Described as an American Gothic Suspense thriller, this story centers around Arthur Scott’s childhood home on Bent Road in western Kansas. He left in the 1940’s following the tragic death of his beloved older sister. In 1967 when racial tensions in Detroit made life complicated for Arthur’s family, he moved his family of five back to the western Kansas neighborhood. Adjustments were difficult, especially for Arthur’s wife, Celia, and the two youngest children, Daniel and Evie. Most of the narrative is from the point of view of these three. All is not peaceful and calm on this prairie. A
How would you learn to use stairs if you lived every day of your first five years in an 11' x11' room? What it would it be like to see a bird flying, or know what a blade of grass looks like? That's life for Jack. His Ma has been held captive in the room for seven years. She bore and raised Jack there, living off the frugal "generosity" of their captor. Told entirely by Jack, this poignant and often oddly funny narrative begs the question "what kind of ROOM are you living in?" Jack is not a victim. He knows nothing else. Room, chair, rug, duvet and other items are his world and his family. I
The Clearing by Heather Davis is a kind of time travel romance. Amy, a senior in high school, has moved to a small town to live with her great aunt after her suffering physical and mental abuse at the hands of her boyfriend. Amy hopes that by moving to this small rural town she will be able to put the past behind her. Being a city girl, Amy explores her aunt's farm and discovers a thick mist that has settled over the clearing behind the wood pile.
Henry is stuck in June 1944, the summer he turns 18 and will be drafted into the army as his brother Robert was before him. Ever since Henry
I started reading this book with a bit of trepidation. I expected the book to be pretty scary, or at least somewhat frightening. Initially I did find the story to be a bit creepy, but as the story continued, it lost its scare factor. Finding out the ghost is haunting Judas Coyne for a specific reason suddenly saps all the terror, and some of the events are pretty hokey: the ghost came with a suit, packed in a heart-shaped box that Jude stuck in a back closet. The ghost sends an email to Jude from the address box.closet.net. Truly un-scary and just too laughable. The plot is predictable, so
First, let me apologize to those readers who are on the waiting list for Half the Sky. While certainly compelling, it is not a quick read, and I took more than my fair check out period. As a conscientious borrower, let my overdue status serve as a testament to the weight of this book. According to the accompanying website www.halftheskymovement.org “Half the Sky lays out an agenda for the world's women and three major abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based violence including honor killings and mass rape; maternal mortality, which needlessly claims one woman a minute”
Ever since the release of the movie Precious, with its six Academy Award nominations, the book it’s based on, Push by the author Sapphire, has become popular. I love underdogs. Any chance I get to wallow in another’s sorrow is one I rarely pass up. When I first heard what Precious/Push is about—a sexually, emotionally, and physically abused African-American teenager growing up in Harlem—I couldn’t wait to see it. Instead, I fell victim to the movie’s hype and wanted to love the movie much more than I actually did. Both Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role and Mo'Nique in a supporting role did