Friday, July 24, 2020

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - ESSENTIAL

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley 256 pages Dial Book for Young Readers Penguin Random House, 2020. $18

Language: G (0 swears, 0 'f'); Mature Content: PG Violence: PG13 (attempted sexual assault)



10yo Della and her older sister, 16yo sister Suki have recently been placed in foster care. It should have happened years ago, when their mother was incarcerated, but instead they have been living with Clifton, who is not their father.  When something terrible happens, the girls run and Clifton is now in jail awaiting trial.  Suki has always been there for Della, watching out for her and making sure everything was ok, but who was watching out for Suki? 

Fighting Words is a hard hitting, raw story dealing with the after effects of sexual abuse.   Suki has had to grow up fast - as the primary caregiver and protector of her little sister, while Della, who swears a lot (but as she is telling the story, she replaces swears with the word "snow" - brilliant ) is coming to terms with the abuse her sister experienced without learning all the details. This careful handling of a very serious - but unfortunately too common - subject,  coming from the viewpoint of a 10 year old leaves a lot to be filled in by the reader; the more background knowledge you bring, the more the story blooms, and aches. 

Lisa Librarian

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