Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Such an important book. So thankful that Kimberly Brubaker Bradley made this accessible for younger readers. Della and Suki are characters that will be with me for a long time. If you have a daughter, make sure she reads this.

From the acknowledgements: "...a novel for ten-year-olds featuring sexual assault, a suicide attempt, foster care, homelessness, meth addiction, and eighty-six uses of the word snow." (She uses "snow" as a replacement for curses.)

This was a work of heart for Bradley. It is amazingly well-crafted and age-appropriate. The parallel storyline of the boy in Della's classroom who harasses the girls with "bra strap snapping" and the way Della finds her voice to get the adults to pay attention and to get him to stop...SUCH good modeling for our girls. The actual words about consent that they can use when it happens to them. 

I also loved finding HOW TO STEAL A DOG tucked into the story doing what books are meant to do  (and what Bradley's book does) -- lets the reader know that they aren't the only one. Not the only one who's been homeless and living in their car, not the only one wears free clothes, not the only one who's been sexually assaulted. 

You will want to read this. It's hard, but it's laced with humor and love. 

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