Sunday, February 26, 2012


Marcus, Kimberly. 2011. EXPOSED. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375966934 [Suggested Grade Levels 9-12]

Kimberly Marcus's debut verse novel explores the depths of hurt-- losing a best friend, losing faith in family, and facing truth. When Liz’s best friend Kate accuses Liz’s brother of rape, Liz does not know whom to believe-- her brother or her best friend. Liz has always trusted in her photography, her friendship with Kate, and her family, but suddenly all of these become "out of focus" as she tries to deal with all the emotions resulting from her brother's actions. In the end she must make some difficult choices and discovers that no matter what she chooses she will lose parts of her life that are important to her. Written in free verse, the book is a poignant story told from the unusual point of view of the sister and friend rather than the rape victim as raw emotions and truth are exposed. Using photography to “frame” the story works well and the integration is seamless. While the suggested grade levels are 9-12 there are many younger middle school readers for this book despite its difficult subject.

Use this book to discuss issues of rape and assault; invite a police officer to talk to girls about the legal procedures when someone is raped—a good program for a girls’ book discussion group, Scout group, or even church group. Write poetry or choose a favorite poem and take a photograph to illustrate it.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. SPEAK. ISBN 9780312674397
Downham, Jenny. YOU AGAINST ME. ISBN 9780385751605
Summers, Courtney. SOME GIRLS ARE. ISBN 9780312573805

By Janet Hilbun

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