Abusive Situations

burnedalivebetter.jpgBurned Alive

Souad is a Palestinian teen living in a country in which women are treated more poorly than animals. Her only salvation from the daily abuse levied by her father is to get married, and there is a young man who has expressed interest. But Souad must wait until her older sister is married, and there are no boys interested in her. Souad makes contact with her future husband, Faiez, although it is forbidden. Because her family is mortified, Souad's brother-in-law drenches her with gasoline and sets her on fire.

Souad. Burned Alive. Bantam Books, 2005.

Deathjaysonadoffspage.jpgThe Death of Jayson Porter

Jayson Porter is just trying to make it. Make it at school. Make it at work. Make it with his girl. But he can't stop his mother's constant physical and mental abuse. He thinks he has a plan to escape the pain, but the plan goes horribly wrong. He loses more than he ever had to begin with, and life seems darker than death.

Adoff, Jaime. The Death of Jason Porter. New York: Disney Book Group, 2008.


Does one son, treated so differently than the other, have the right to seek revenge on his father for years of physical abuse? A father’s rage, targeted at his youngest son, Enrique, forever shapes the family. Enrique struggles with his own anger over why he is the victim. The older brother battles feelings of inadequacy as he watches his father attack Enrique. The two brothers, along with their mother, must decide how and if they move forward to a healthier future.

Hernandez, David. Suckerpunch. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.