Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Against Me

by Jenny Downham

Rape is an ugly thing.  It tears up not only the victim, but their family and friends.  But the family of the perpetrator, what about them?  What is their family supposed to do?  When Mikey's sister claims she was raped, Ellie's brother is the one accused of it.  As he goes to jail, and then is released, she stands by him because that's what sisters do.  But what if the claim is true?  Who can she stand by then?

"You Against Me" is interesting because it not only looks at the aftermath of rape from the point of view of the victim's family, but also of the perpetrator.  The book addresses the shame and fear experienced by the victim, but also the social and emotional repercussions that those related to someone who commits a terrible crime face.  Both Ellie and Mikey have to come to terms with the face that the other's family is not the enemy, and have to learn that regardless the truth is the only thing that is really important, even if it is what tears one of their families apart.

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 10-11th Grade

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