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Sexual Assault Awareness Month Book List

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign in April to raise public awareness about sexual assault and to educate communities and individuals on sexual violence prevention.
Check out these titles to learn more, or stop by the library for more information. Click on the title to place holds in our catalog.

Young Adult

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake / Teen Fiction BLAKE

When Mara’s twin brother Owen is accused of rape by her friend Hannah, Mara is forced to confront her feelings about her family, her sense of right and wrong, a trauma from her past, and the future with her girlfriend, Charlie.

Dear Medusa by Olivia A. Cole  /  Teen Fiction COLE

This searing and intimate novel in verse follows a sixteen-year-old girl coping with sexual abuse as she grapples with how to reclaim her story, her anger, and her body in a world that seems determined to punish her for the sin of surviving.

For Girls Who Walk Through Fire by Kim DeRose  /  Teen New Fiction DEROSE

Four high school girls take justice for their sexual assaults into their own hands by forming a secret witch coven and casting revenge spells on their attackers.

Even When Your Voice Shakes by Ruby Yayra Goka  /  Teen Fiction GOKA

After Amberley is raped by her employer’s son she realizes she two choices–stay quiet and keep her job or live her truth and speak up for herself and for justice.

The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg  /  Teen Fiction KONIGSBERG

It is summer in Phoenix, and seventeen-year-old Maximo offers to help a Jordan, a fellow student in high school, with the food truck that belonged to Jordan’s deceased father, and which may be the only thing standing between homelessness for Jordan and his mom; the boys are strongly attracted to each other, but as their romance develops it is threatened by the secrets they are hiding–and by the racism and homophobia of those around them.

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore  /  Teen Fiction MCLEMORE

After Ciela and Lock are sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería and his secret forest of otherworldly trees.

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes / Teen Fiction REYES

Ariana Ruiz is a Mexican American autistic teen “with a heavy dose of selective mutism,” trying her best to get through high school in one piece. And it seems she may even have an opportunity at romance when the dreamy and popular Luis Ortega asks her out. But during a friend’s party, Luis takes advantage of her selective mutism and her trust to have sex with her without consent. Ariana struggles to process and manage what is happening to her until she finds a note in her locker reading “Me Too” and info on a Tumblr account called The Luis Ortega Survival Club – a support group for people whose reputations were ruined by Luis.

All The Fighting Parts by Hannah V. Sawyerr  /  Teen New Fiction SAWYERR

In the wake of being sexually assaulted by her pastor, sixteen-year-old Amina struggles to regain her footing until she finds the strength within herself to confront her abuser in court.

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith  /  Teen Fiction SMITH

Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes. What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be. 

No More Excuses: Dismantling Rape Culture by Amber J. Keyser  /  Teen Nonfiction 362.883 K

In the US, someone is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. More than 320,000 Americans over the age of twelve are sexually assaulted each year. One in thirty-three American men will be sexually assaulted or raped in his lifetime. Yet only 3 percent of rapists ever serve time in jail. Keyser explores the patriarchal constructs that support rape culture. The keys to dismantling them: redefine healthy manhood and sexuality, believe victims, improve social and legal systems and workplace environments, evaluate media with a critical eye, and stand up to speak out.

The Sexual Trauma Workbook For Teen Girls: A Guide To Recovery From Sexual Assault & Abuse by Raychelle Cassada Lohmann  /  Teen Nonfiction 616.85 L

The Sexual Trauma Workbook for Teen Girls offers healing, real-life stories from survivors and powerful, evidence-based tools to help you reclaim your life after sexual abuse or trauma.

Shout: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson  /  Teen Nonfiction BIO ANDERSON

A memoir in verse shares the author’s life, covering her rape at thirteen, her difficult early childhood, and her experiences surrounding her publication of “Speak.”


The Power by Naomi Alderman  /  Adult Science Fiction ALDERMAN

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool, a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature, an ambitious American politician, a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls and women now have immense physical power–with a flick of their fingers, they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, everything changes drastically.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich  /  Adult Fiction ERDRICH

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface because Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison  /  Adult Fiction MORRISON

The story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedloe, a black girl who prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her , so that her world will be different.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara  /  Adult Fiction YANAGIHARA

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition … Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is [their center of gravity] Jude, … by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome–but that will define his life forever.

At The Dark End of The Street by Danielle McGuire  /  Adult Nonfiction 323.119 M

In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer—Rosa Parks—to Abbeville. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that exposed a ritualized history of sexual assault against Black women and added fire to the growing call for change.

I’m Saying No!: Standing Up Against Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Pressure by Beverly Engel  /  Adult Nonfiction 364.153 E

In spite of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, many women are still afraid to say no to unwanted sexual advances and reluctant to report sexual violations. Far too many college students are being raped and are afraid to report it. Women are subjected to sexual harassment, sexual bullying, and sexual pressure every day on the street, at work, and at home but are unable to speak truth to power or to report these sexual offenses. I’m Saying No! is written specifically for these women—women who are still afraid to speak up for themselves, women who need to learn how to do so, and women whose personal history of child sexual abuse or sexual assault as an adult has wounded them so much that they have lost their voice.

Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture by Roxane Gay  /  Adult Nonfiction 364.1532 G

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out.

Whatever Gets You Through: Twelve Survivors on Life After Sexual Assault by Stacey May Fowles  /  Adult Nonfiction 362.883 F

Through the voices of twelve diverse writers, Whatever Gets You Through offers a powerful look at the narrative of sexual assault not covered by the headlines—the weeks, months, and years of survival and adaptation that people live through in its aftermath.

Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival by Diane Noomin  /  Adult Graphic Novel 362.883 N

Inspired by the global #MeToo Movement, Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival is a collection of original, nonfiction comics drawn by more than 60 female cartoonists from around the world.

Know My Name by Chanel Miller  /  Adult Nonfiction 364.1532 M

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time. Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words.

A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by Christian T. Miller  /  Adult Nonfiction 364.1532 M

August, 2008. Marie, a teenager, reported being raped in her Seattle apartment by a masked man. Confronted with inconsistencies, she was charged with false reporting and branded a liar. Years later Colorado detectives discovered they were dealing with a serial rapist. Miller and Armstrong follow the tale of doubt, lies, and a hunt for justice– and the long history of skepticism toward rape victims.

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and The Birth of the Me Too Movement by Tarana Burke / Adult Nonfiction BIO BURKE

From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the “me too” movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words-metoo-and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history.