Don’t read this one with the kids unless they are educated about, and fortified against, the unthinkable.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It has happened to some of us. A relationship of trust and confidence turns out to be nothing but the worst betrayal other than outright murder. Some bear their scars well, and others allow themselves to be more like their attackers than they would like, if they thought about at all.
New Yorker Maria Padian has written a young-adult novel called Wrecked, in which a sexual assault takes place on a college campus. Or was it an assault? Everybody on campus has an opinion. The two BFFs of the young man and woman, respectively, are thrown apart by the sides they’ve taken, and thrown together by something larger than either of them.
In conjunction with the Young Adult Abuse Prevention Program (YAAPP, an organization that “delivers education, services, and advocacy that enable youth to make choices within their dating relationships that are safe, healthy, and informed”), the Portland Public Library is hosting a month-long book discussion group about Wrecked for teens, on Saturdays in April at their main branch (5 Monument Way). The meeting this Saturday, April 1, starts at 2:30 p.m.
If your teen wants to commit to all five meetings, they can get a free copy of the book by making contact via http://www.yaapp.org or calling 207.767.4952. Those who want to come to meetings sporadically are also welcome. The first meeting, on Saturday, April 1, is for introductions only; there is no reading assignment. And guess what? Maria Padian herself will be present to participate in the discussion at the final meeting on April 29.
It’s a gentle, educational, sociable way to talk about a subject that is none of the above. We leave you with a phrase about Wrecked from Booklist (and trust in the fact that they don’t shower words like these on every book they come across): “Particularly relevant for high school seniors and college freshmen.”