PUNCH LIKE A GIRL by Karen Krossing


Age Range: 13 - 15
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Unable to speak of her assault, a 17-year-old girl begins acting out.

Friends and family don't understand why Tori's shaved her head and started fighting. Sure, they know she broke up with Matt, but that's no reason to sock a stranger right in the nose. Tori's got a lot of free time right now: Her hair-trigger rage drives her friends away, and an alleyway fight leaves her too injured for the soccer team. It's almost a good thing her parents are forcing her to do community service, if only to fill the days and distract her from the invasive, frightening text messages from Matt. As a volunteer at a battered women's shelter, Tori bonds with a particularly troubled girl, encouraging the child to reach beyond her own nightmares and rescuing her from a deadly situation. Tori's emergence from trauma is lightly sketched, a shorthand recovery that relies on narrative conventions rather than character development—making for an easy read about a hard topic, which is no bad thing. Unusually, her coming of age requires not that she stop being violent but that she learn to apply violence appropriately.

A fast-paced book about healing through helping others, speaking up and physical self-defense. (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4598-0828-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2015


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