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Fighting Words



by
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Dial
ISBN
9781984815682

Awards and Honors
2020 Kirkus Prize Finalist for Middle Grade
2021 Newbery Medal Honor Book
Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Best Middle Grade Books of 2020
2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Honoree
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion
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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.Author’s note, with resources and discussion questions.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Contact Between Adult and Minor , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

272

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

3.6: points 7

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Dec 2020

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Sisters. Foster parents. Friendship. Incarcerated parents. Sexual abuse of children. Consent. Trauma and healing. 

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Della's story starts as a flash-forward, beginning with the easy part. The easy part isn't actually easy. Della and her older sister Suki are in foster care, having run away from Clifton, the man they'd been living with since their mother was incarcerated. Clifton had threatened them for years, telling them if people found out he wasn't their father, he wouldn't be able to keep them and they'd have nothing to eat and nowhere to live. When Suki catches Clifton molesting Della, and takes pictures for evidence, the two ultimately end up in protective custody. Della is a conscientious narrator, always alerting readers to the harder parts of her story. Her tough exterior is misunderstood by her teacher, who takes issue with her language (the word "snow" is used throughout as a substitute for stronger terminology) but Della starts thriving, making friends and beginning to trust her foster mother Francine. Yet Suki is getting worse; she is plagued by nightmares, refusing to see her friends, and fighting with Della for the first time. A content warning for her suicide attempt is necessary, as the ultimate truth emerges that Suki herself was sexually molested by Clifton for eight years. Despite the horrors the sisters have endured, there is humor and warmth in this multifaceted, brave novel. Bradley creates fully developed, believable characters that readers will root for. It is heartwarming to see the sisters evolve as characters, as they begin to get help for all they have witnessed and experienced. VERDICT Raw and honest, this ultimately empowering novel is an important book for readers of all ages. Adults may want to follow up or simultaneously read the book with younger readers to discuss the difficult issues addressed.-Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Lib., Portland, OR?(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up-Della's story starts as a flash-forward, beginning with the easy part. The easy part isn't actually easy. Della and her older sister Suki are in foster care, having run away from Clifton, the man they'd been living with since their mother was incarcerated. Clifton had threatened them for years, telling them if people found out he wasn't their father, he wouldn't be able to keep them and they'd have nothing to eat and nowhere to live. When Suki catches Clifton molesting Della, and takes pictures for evidence, the two ultimately end up in protective custody. Della is a conscientious narrator, always alerting readers to the harder parts of her story. Her tough exterior is misunderstood by her teacher, who takes issue with her language (the word "snow" is used throughout as a substitute for stronger terminology) but Della starts thriving, making friends and beginning to trust her foster mother Francine. Yet Suki is getting worse; she is plagued by nightmares, refusing to see her friends, and fighting with Della for the first time. A content warning for her suicide attempt is necessary, as the ultimate truth emerges that Suki herself was sexually molested by Clifton for eight years. Despite the horrors the sisters have endured, there is humor and warmth in this multifaceted, brave novel. Bradley creates fully developed, believable characters that readers will root for. It is heartwarming to see the sisters evolve as characters, as they begin to get help for all they have witnessed and experienced. VERDICT Raw and honest, this ultimately empowering novel is an important book for readers of all ages. Adults may want to follow up or simultaneously read the book with younger readers to discuss the difficult issues addressed.-Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Lib., Portland, OR?(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Stories with strong, relatable characters that portray believable contemporary or historical real-life experiences.

14 books per Year
$285.46 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Diversity,Fiction,History,Realistic Fiction
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Grades 5-8
Realistic Fiction Middle Plus
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