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The #SVYALit Project 2015 – Schedule and Book Preview

We’re hard at work putting together the 2015 schedule for The #SVYALit Project. New information will be added here as we update details, but this is the basic schedule and books we’ll be talking about. You can find the project outline with goals and previous posts here. This year several amazing authors will be joining Christa Desir, Carrie Mesrobian, Trish Doller and me as we use Young Adult Literature to discuss issues of sexual violence in the lives of teens. We would love for you to read and join the discussion because this is a very important and timely issue.

January and February: HAZING

Books: PRESS PLAY by Eric Devine, BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican, and LEVERAGE by Joshua C. Cohen

Google Hangout: January 28th at 12 Noon Eastern, moderated by Eric Devine

Publisher’s Book Description for PRESS PLAY: “Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.

Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.

Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.”


Publisher’s Book Description for BRUTAL YOUTH: “Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that’s even worse in Anthony Breznican’s Brutal Youth

With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the stridently religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek signs up. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a hard-fighting past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Paskal —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.

To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their embittered guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.”

Publisher’s Book Description for LEVERAGE: “The football field is a battlefield

There’s an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on – and off – the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy – including the most innocent bystanders.

When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school’s salvation.

Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.”

Not all hazing incidents are a form of sexual violence, but many are. There have been several recent cases in the news highlighting the need to talk about this subject with our teens and the adults that care about them.

All 3 of these titles are available now so you can begin reading them and discuss with us in January.

March and April: Rape Culture and ALL THE RAGE by Courtney Summers

We’ll be posting about this topic and hosting a Twitter Read-Along and Twitter Chat with Courtney Summers, moderated by Trish Doller and Christa Desir. ALL THE RAGE will be released April 14, 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin.

Publisher’s Book Description:  “The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous.But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?”

EVERY LAST PROMISE by Kristin Halbrook

“Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative and emotional novel about a girl who must decide between keeping quiet and speaking up after witnessing a classmate’s sexual assault.

Kayla saw something at the party that she wasn’t supposed to. But she hasn’t told anyone. No one knows the real story about what happened that night—about why Kayla was driving the car that ran into a ditch after the party, about what she saw in the hours leading up to the accident, and about the promise she made to her friend Bean before she left for the summer.

Now Kayla’s coming home for her senior year. If Kayla keeps quiet, she might be able to get her old life back. If she tells the truth, she risks losing everything—and everyone—she ever cared about.” (Publisher’s Description) Publishes April 21st from HarperTeen



Books: BOY TOY by Barry Lyga, SWAGGER by Carl Deuker

What this portion of the project will look like is still being worked out but it is being coordinated by author Eric Devine and we are honored to announce that authors Barry Lyga and Carl Deuker will participating in some way.

Publisher’s Book Description for BOY TOY: “Josh Mendel has a secret. Unfortunately, everyone knows what it is.
Five years ago, Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand. But they don’t—they can’t. And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won’t stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink. And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.”

Publisher’s Book Description for SWAGGER: “Levi was simple, like a child. It was the best thing about him, and it was the worst, too.

When high school senior Jonas moves to Seattle, he is glad to meet Levi, a nice, soft-spoken guy and fellow basketball player. Suspense builds like a slow drumbeat as readers start to smell a rat in Ryan Hartwell, a charismatic basketball coach and sexual predator. When Levi reluctantly tells Jonas that Hartwell abused him, Jonas has to decide whether he should risk his future career to report the coach. Pitch-perfect basketball plays, well-developed characters, and fine storytelling make this psychological sports novel a slam dunk.”

Some additional books on this topic include: ALTHEA & OLIVER by Cristina Moracho , FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky and 33 SNOWFISH by Adam Rapp. There is an annotated list of some titles dealing with this topic here. See also more on how we fail male survivors of sexual violence.

July and August: LGBTQIA and Sexual Violence

As you saw yesterday, this portion of the #SVYALit Project is being coordinated by TLT contributor Amanda MacGregor  who will be heading up this part of the SVYALit project, along with Vee Signorelli from GayYA and Nita Tyndall, a contributor to GayYA.


Books: DROWNING INSTINCT by Ilsa J. Bick, THE LUCY VARIATIONS by Sara Zarr, WE ARE THE GOLDENS by Dana Reinhardt, EASY by Tammar WEbber, TEACH ME by R. A. Nelson, BOY TOY by Barry Lyga, THEN YOU WERE GONE by Lauren Strasnick. There are 185 novels listed as being about “student/teacher affairs” on Goodreads.

We will be working out the details more about this component but it currently looks like we will host a Twitter Read-Along and Chat with DROWNING INSTINCT author Ilsa J. Bick.

Publisher’s Description for DROWNING INSTINCT: “There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire.

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain… magnetism.

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.”

November and December: 2014 Overview & a Look at 2015

We’ll take a look at some of the various 2015 and upcoming 2016 titles coming out that touch on this topic and do a wrap up for 2015. We’re hopeful to do another Google Hangout with the profound A. S. King to discuss I CRAWL THROUGH.

Books: AFTER THE FALL by Kate Hart (2016), DIME by E. R. Frank and I CRAWL THROUGH IT by A. S. King

Publisher’s Information about I CRAWL THROUGH IT: Printz Honor author A.S. King’s I CRAWL THROUGH IT, a surrealist novel about four teens who find unconventional ways to escape standardized tests and their perilous world — and discover that the only escape from reality is to face it, again to Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown, for publication in Fall 2015, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).

THE FORGETTING by Nicole Maggi

“Georgie’s new heart saved her life…but now she’s losing her mind.

Georgie Kendrick wakes up after a heart transplant, but the organ beating in her chest doesn’t seem to be in tune with the rest of her body. Why does she have a sudden urge for strawberries when she’s been allergic for years? Why can’t she remember last Christmas?

Driven to find her donor, Georgie discovers her heart belonged to a girl her own age who fell out of the foster care system and into a rough life on the streets. Everyone thinks she committed suicide, but Georgie is compelled to find the truth – before she loses herself completely.” (Publisher’s Description) Publishes February 3, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire

BONE GAP by Laura Ruby

“Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

As we follow the stories of Finn, Roza, and the people of Bone Gap—their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures—acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness—a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.” (Publisher’s Description) Publishes March 3rd, 2015 from Balzer & Bray

As always we will post periodically about books we read, issues we stumble across, etc. And please follow the #SVYALit Project Tumblr for the stories we find in the news, updated statistics and more.

Please Note: If you are the author of a book that falls into this discussion and you would like to write a guest post or participate in some way, please feel free to email me. And if you read a book that you would like to review or discuss, please feel free to email me.

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