A (sadly) necessary, practical tool for young women who've survived sexual abuse and assault.

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THE SEXUAL TRAUMA WORKBOOK FOR TEEN GIRLS

A GUIDE TO RECOVERY FROM SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE

A licensed professional counselor and a clinical psychologist designed this self-help guide for young women who've survived sexual trauma.

Opening with a letter to prospective readers from the authors, a tone of respectful, positive acceptance is set early on in this workbook, which begins generally—providing information on proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits—and becomes specific, eventually addressing such topics as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Each section includes short testimonials from other survivors (referred to by their first names), fill-in-the-blank exercises, inspirational quotes, and “more to do” activities, in which readers are encouraged to put into practice some of the techniques introduced that may help them cope with such experiences as nightmares, shame, negative self-talk, and flashbacks, among others. Clear, concise descriptions of strategies such as grounding, progressive relaxation, changing life scripts, and mindfulness practices are easy to follow, though the authors also make clear that this guide is not meant to replace working with a professional therapist but rather might make a good supplement. Its earnest, directly therapeutic approach also seems likely to be most effective for those who are already in counseling and who may have worked through any sarcastic or self-conscious resistance to the techniques offered.

A (sadly) necessary, practical tool for young women who've survived sexual abuse and assault. (Nonfiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: June 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62625-399-5

Page Count: 200

Publisher: New Harbinger

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Cathartic and uplifting.

DANCING AT THE PITY PARTY

The experiences of watching a mother succumb to cancer and grieving her death are explored with honesty and compassion.

Feder (illustrator: Unladylike, 2018), the oldest of three sisters in a close-knit Jewish family, grew up with an artistic, spirited, playful, and affectionate mother, someone whose high spirits were the perfect foil for her daughter’s anxious personality. The summer after Feder’s freshman year of college, her mother was diagnosed with cancer, dying in the spring of Feder’s sophomore year. This vulnerable memoir is a tribute to a beloved woman as well as a meditation on losing a parent when one is on the cusp of adulthood. Much like grief itself, the book careens from deep despair to humor to poignancy, fear, remorse, and anger, mirroring the emotional disorientation that comes with such a significant death. By sharing many particulars about her mother—the foods she loved and hated, the silly in-jokes, her endearing (and annoying) quirks—Feder personalizes her loss in a way that will resonate with members of the “Dead Moms Club,” with whom she describes having an immediate bond. Readers who have not experienced deep grief will learn from the missteps of well-intentioned friends and acquaintances. The pastel-toned illustrations effectively convey Feder’s youth and the intensity of her emotions while emphasizing the ultimate message of survival and resilience in the face of life-changing grief.

Cathartic and uplifting. (Graphic memoir. 12-adult)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55302-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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Necessary for every home, school, and public library.

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“This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.”

The award-winning author, who is also a rape survivor, opens up in this powerful free-verse memoir, holding nothing back. Part 1 begins with her father’s lifelong struggle as a World War II veteran, her childhood and rape at 13 by a boy she liked, the resulting downward spiral, her recovery during a year as an exchange student in Denmark, and the dream that gave her Melinda, Speak’s (1999) protagonist. Part 2 takes readers through her journey as a published author and National Book Award finalist. She recalls some of the many stories she’s heard during school visits from boys and girls who survived rape and sexual abuse and calls out censorship that has prevented some speaking engagements. In Part 3, she wraps up with poems about her family roots. The verse flows like powerful music, and Anderson's narrative voice is steady and direct: “We should teach our girls / that snapping is OK, / instead of waiting / for someone else to break them.” The poems range in length from a pair of two-line stanzas to several pages. Readers new to Anderson will find this accessible. It’s a strong example of how lived experience shapes art and an important book for the #MeToo movement.

Necessary for every home, school, and public library. (resources) (Verse memoir. 13-adult)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-670-01210-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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