One of the great things about books is how they help us understand one another and also empower us. There is real power in being a force of empathy and compassion. Here are a few books whose incredible stories can help us foster understanding, compassion, and empowerment.
1. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout
Chessy Prout’s remarkable memoir is a story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the wake of sexual assault. It will surely change your life. Learn more about Chessy’s story at ihavetherighttobook.com.
2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them.
3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
If you aren’t already obsessed with Jason Reynolds, here’s a great place to start. This fiercely stunning novel takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
4. Tweak by Nic Sheff
By the time Nic was in early adolescence, he was already addicted to a number of heavy substances. This harrowing story is about recovery, relapse, and family. Nic’s story is coming to the big screen in October with the major motion picture release of Beautiful Boy, starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic and Steve Carrell as his father, David.
5. Crank by Ellen Hopkins
This novel-in-verse is the first in the Crank trilogy deals with a teen who struggles with a meth addiction and struggles to keep hold of everything she’s worked so hard for.
6. The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith
This stunning novel focuses on Eden as her life gets turned upside down in the wake of her sexual assault by her brother’s best friend. This gripping and poignant story is heartbreaking, but still full of hope.
7. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith
Smith’s newest book deals with partner abuse and building a life from the wreckage. It also features a wonderful romance between two young women, Brooke and Dani.
8. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
A harrowing story about a girl who is kidnapped and held captive for years, her psychological trauma, and the fight she must wage to survive.