Reading List: Young Adult Fiction About Abuse

I can hardly wait for Nanowrimo to start! And be sure to check out my promos for translations that are on sale over Halloween/Day of the Dead.

It has been a while since I posted a reading list! Abuse is one of the topics that I write a lot about. Looking over my list and some other young adult novels, I think I am going to break it down into four separate lists.

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Mental/Psychological Abuse

I will start today with physical abuse. There are lot of memoirs about physical abuse, but there are not a lot of popular young adult books that revolve primarily around physical abuse.

My books that include main characters who are (primarily) physically abused:

 

Chloe, Between the Cracks #4

Chloe had always been the perfect daughter. Diligent, obedient, good at caring for the other children when Mom wasn’t home. She always worked hard and did everything she was asked.

But she couldn’t please her mother and the parade of stepfathers. It seemed like the harder she tried, the worse the abuse got.

Chloe had known for a long time that she was two people. The Chloe who watched and the Chloe who experienced. She had been watching for so long, she wasn’t sure she could feel anything anymore. But if she can’t overcome her past and start living in the real world, she knows she will lose herself forever.

Placed on the In the Margins Committee Recommended Reads, 2018 by Library Services for Youth in Custody.

 

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Deviation

“You’re a good kid, Henry.”

Everyone knew that he was a good guy; geeky, responsible, hard-working.  Henry has had a lot to deal with in the past.  Now, as he should be focusing on his schooling and preparing himself for the future, he is hindered by abuse, the challenge of raising his baby brother while dealing with his mother’s deep depressions, and the return of a ghost from the past Henry has tried his best to forget.

But it seems that Henry can’t avoid the nastiness of life.  As hard as he tries, it’s one more disaster after another as his life spirals out of control.

Can Henry escape the darkness, or is he doomed to be consumed by it?

 

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Don’t Forget Steven

He never told what went on behind closed doors. But this time, he can’t remember.

Things never have been easy for Steven. He accepts that, and just makes the best of things. He might not have parents or a happy home. Or enough to eat most days. But at least he has a couple of loyal friends who stand by him and help out when they can. At least he has school, someplace he can go to escape the abuse.

But just when he thought things couldn’t get much worse, they did.

Steven is accused of murder. But that isn’t the worst part. The really bad part is not even knowing if he did it.

 

Tattooed Teardrops

“I don’t plan on getting in any trouble.”

Tamara had thought that when she got out of juvie, things would be easier. But before long, it seems like her life is spiraling into chaos.

If she can’t prove to her probation officer that she is innocent of the allegations against her, she’s going back to prison, and Tamara just can’t let that happen.

 

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Lion Within

(Note this one is not a young adult book and is pretty graphic.)

Leo is a troubled young man, constantly on the brink of disaster. In the midst of his own emotional turmoil, Leo meets Elizabeth, single mom of a newborn, with a lot on her plate and a past that she won’t acknowledge.

Leo has always been driven to rescue others, and Elizabeth becomes the newest project to help him forget his own troubles.

Can Leo reach Elizabeth, and at the same time, come to terms with his own past? Or is he messing around with something beyond his ability to manage?

 

A few more, just with links because I don’t want this post to get too long:

Once Brothers

Intersexion

Michelle, Between the Cracks #3

 

The other books that I have picked out are:

 

holes

Holes, by Louis Sachar

My son loves the movie version of Holes.

“If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” Such is the reigning philosophy at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention facility where there is no lake, and there are no happy campers. In place of what used to be “the largest lake in Texas” is now a dry, flat, sunburned wasteland, pocked with countless identical holes dug by boys improving their character. Stanley Yelnats, of palindromic name and ill-fated pedigree, has landed at Camp Green Lake because it seemed a better option than jail. No matter that his conviction was all a case of mistaken identity, the Yelnats family has become accustomed to a long history of bad luck, thanks to their “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather!”

 

thief

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

I have featured The Book Thief once before on Teaser Tuesday.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

 

hunger

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

A different kind of physical abuse, but Hunger Games is so popular, I thought I would include it.

In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives.

 

Tell me what you think!

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He Was Walking Alone

He Was Walking Alone

(Book #4) Richard Harding was walking alone when he was struck by a vehicle and died. A tragic accident that was no one’s fault.

But if that was so, then why was his girlfriend so sure that it was intentional homicide? Zachary Goldman is on the case. With Christmas approaching, he is as determined to distract himself from his own troubles as he is to ferret out the truth of Harding’s death. 


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