Young Adult Literature


by Laurie Halse Anderson


From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-This powerful novel deals with a difficult yet important topic-rape. Melinda is just starting high school. It should be one of the greatest times in her life, but instead of enjoying herself, she is an outcast. She has been marked as the girl who called the police to break up the big end-of-the-summer party, and all the kids are angry at her. Even her closest friends have pulled away. No one knows why she made the call, and even Melinda can't really articulate what happened. As the school year goes on, her grades plummet and she withdraws into herself to the point that she's barely speaking. Her only refuge is her art class, where she learns to find ways to express some of her feelings. As her freshman year comes to an end, Melinda finally comes to terms with what happened to her-she was raped at that party by an upperclassman who is still taunting her at school. When he tries again, she finds her voice, and her classmates realize the truth. The healing process will take time, but Melinda no longer has to deal with it alone. Anderson expresses the emotions and the struggles of teenagers perfectly. Melinda's pain is palpable, and readers will totally empathize with her. This is a compelling book, with sharp, crisp writing that draws readers in, engulfing them in the story.
Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


-School Setting


-ALA Best Book for Young Adults
-ALA Top-10 Best Book for Young Adults
-ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults
-Edgar Allan Poe Award finalist
-IRA Young Adult Choice
-Junior Library Guild Selection
-Michael L. Printz Honor Book
-National Book Award Finalist
-New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age
-CBWI Golden Kite Award
-YALSA Popular Paperback for Young Adults