How are we already on our 9th selection for CPI Medal Mania (Newbery Edition)? Keep in mind, we said we were going with 10 selections but let’s be honest, 10 is not nearly enough so be on the lookout for more!
Newbery Prediction #9: Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Publication Date: 08/11/2020
Publisher: Dial Books
Ten-year-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful, they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della’s own wolf—her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della’s world turns so far upside down, it feels like it’s shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she’s been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to be loud.
In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.
Why have we chosen this title?
Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley has done an incredible job of shedding light on a topic that often does not get covered when it comes to the Children/Young Adult literature’s world. I think what makes this story so special is that we are seeing and experiencing everything through Della’s eyes. She has this powerful attachment to her sister Suki and together they can face just about anything and they really truly have when we first meet Della and learn about their story. As a reader you watch Della go through so much in terms of processing her feelings and emotions as well as becoming an advocate for her sister when her sister starts to finally understand and process all of the trauma they both have lived through. It is truly an incredible book and boldly looks at some very serious issues (drug addiction, neglect, parent incarceration, foster care, bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, molestation, trauma, suicide). It is truly a story of survival and finding your voice in the most powerful form.
Want to learn more? Read our author interview with Kimberly Brubaker Bradley in our Winter Edition of Beyond the Page.
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