There shouldn’t be silence about abuse, self-harm, bullying, or any issue that affects us.
Chat with me and YA author Margie Gelbwasser on Twitter on Monday, March 5th at 7pm, on the importance of talking about painful issues and breaking silence through YA books, and more. We’ll be using the hashtag #BreakSilence, so if you use something like TweetChat it’ll be easy to follow along. Ask us questions during the chat, or send your questions ahead of time to twitterchat @ jkscommunications (dot) com.
5 lucky #BreakSilence Twitter chat participants will win 1 of these 5 prizes:
1 signed copy of PIECES OF YOU + signed bookmarks
2 signed copies of HUNTED (paperback Canadian version)
2 ebook review copies of HUNTED
Please help spread the word!
When Margie Gelbwasser wrote her first YA novel, INCONVENIENT (Flux, 2010), her dad said, “The writing is nice, but there are very few Jewish alcoholics.” A Russian woman who read it said, “Yes, to Americans it may seem like the mom is an alcoholic, but she isn’t really.” And then there were those who thanked her for telling their story. Too much of real life is kept behind closed doors, with victims thinking their plight is the norm or that this only happens to them. Margie’s second novel, PIECES OF US (Flux, March 2010), deals with cyberbullying, abuse and dating violence.
She’s been told “These things may happen, but they shouldn’t be written about.” It’s the silence that causes cycles to repeat. “Too dark” for some, is another’s reality. By allowing the “too real,” victims gain strength. Confront the realistic in YA and #BreakSilence.
Visit Margie at her website.
YA author Cheryl Rainfield is an incest and ritual abuse survivor. Her abusers frequently told her that they’d kill her if she talked, and since she’d seen them murder other children, she knew they could kill her, so became became terrified to talk. Writing became her safe way of “speaking”, her way to have a voice. Books, too, helped her survive–helped her escape the abuse she living, helped her dream and hope, and in some small ways helped her know she wasn’t alone. But she never fully found her own experiences reflected in books, and that’s why Cheryl wrote SCARS and HUNTED. She wrote the books she needed as a teen, and couldn’t find. She talked about the things others never seemed to talk about–self-harm, sexual abuse, being queer (in SCARS) and cults, torture, bullying, and homophobia (in HUNTED).
Meghan Cox Gurden in the WSJ called SCARS (and many other YA books) “too dark.” But Cheryl lived “too dark.” Many teens now are living “too dark.” We need reflections of our own experiences to know that we’re not alone, and to give us some hope that things can get better. Join us and #BreakSilence.
Visit Cheryl at her website.