Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO and BECAUSE I WAS A GIRL are nonfiction YA books about empowering women. One is a memoir and the other is a collection of short personal stories with the same theme.

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope by Chessy Prout with Jenn Abelson. New York: Simon & Schuster (2018) 416p. ISBN 9781534414433 hc. $18.99 Gr. 9-12 (362.883 PR YA)

15 year-old Chessy Prout tells about her experience as a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a senior student at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire in 2014. She describes the assault , as well as the aftermath of shame, self-doubt, and being shunned by fellow students after reporting the incident. With the support of her family, she testified against her attacker in court in order to encourage other victims to speak out and to reveal the attitudes in our institutions that intimidate victims into silence. Readers will be inspired by Prout’s memoir of courage against a system that bullies rape victims.

BECAUSE I WAS A GIRL: True Stories for Girls of All Ages edited by Melissa de La Cruz. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2017. 245p. ISBN 978125015446-0 hc. $18.99   Gr. 7-11  (305.4 BE YA)

Divided into decade-long time periods from 1920 to present day, notable women write about their journeys from childhood to productive adults.  These inspiring women made a difference in the world despite opportunities that favored men and attitudes of low expectation for females.  They kept their dreams in front of them and became respected for their talents.  Readers may recognize some of the names such as, Melissa de la Cruz, bestselling author; Delores Huerta, civil rights and labor leader; Zoey Luna, activist for transgender youth; and Gloria Molina, Hispanic politician.  The diversity and scope of the stories is impressive.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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