This harrowing, and ultimately hopeful novel in verse sensitively depicts a girl's journey through the aftermath of abuse. One day after school, on the couch in the basement, Tori's uncle did something bad. Afterward, Tori tells her mom. Even though telling was a brave thing to do, her mom still doesn't believe her at first. Her grandma still takes his side. And Tori doesn't want anyone else—even her best friend—to know what happened. Now Tori finds herself battling mixed emotions—anger, shame, and sadness—as she deals with the trauma. But with the help of her mom, her little sister, her best friend, and others, can Tori find a way to have the last word?
From debut author Sonja K. Solter comes a heartbreaking yet powerful novel that will strike a chord with readers of Jacqueline Woodson and Tony Abbott.
About the Author
Sonja K. Solter graduated from Stanford University and earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University, with a critical thesis on writing trauma in middle grade and young adult realistic fiction. She is currently a creative writing mentor to youth with the Society of Young Inklings and enjoys writing poetry and prose for children of all ages. Sonja lives with her husband and two children in Louisville, CO. When You Know What I Know is her debut novel.
"Written with leap-off-the page boldness and sensitivity, Sonja K. Solter's When You Know What I Know is as fresh and profound a story of hope in the aftermath of tragedy as I have ever read. Young readers will hang on every word of Tori's confusion, pain, and hard-won renewal. A triumph!"—Tony Abbott, author of The Summer of Owen Todd and The Great Jeff
"Solter emphasizes the emotional effects both of the molestation and of the disparate reactions she encounters when others hear about it. This offering of hope after trauma is, importantly, unromanticized."—Kirkus Reviews
"A difficult but important read, giving a voice to sexual abuse survivors and helping others see the complexity of emotions and the hard work that goes into the healing process."—School Library Journal
"The book is smart."—The Bulletin
"This gentle take on a sensitive subject could be comforting for a child coping with sexual abuse. Debut author Sonja K. Solter made a wise decision in choosing to write When You Know What I Know in verse. The poetry conveys the sense of participating intimately in Tori's inner journey through a difficult experience in her life. The tale is emotionally raw without having to be graphic about the abuse."—Barbara Suanders, Common Sense Media, A+ review