Shut Up – Marilyn Reynolds

Single mom Maria Barajas and her sons, 17-year-old Mario and 9-year-old Eddie, are an extremely close and functional family. To supplement her income, Maria joined the National Guard—and now she’s being sent to Iraq. The boys go to live with Maria’s sister Carmen, who is fussy and not especially loving and whose boyfriend, Denton, has an unhealthy interest in Eddie. When Mario walks in on Denton abusing Eddie, he tries to get help. Faced with the prospect of being separated from each other, the brothers seek refuge with relatives in Northern California. As always, Reynolds excels in portraying teens’ actions, dialogue, and feelings. Her compassion and empathy for youths in tough circumstances and her straightforward writing style create a moving tone that is never cloying. Teens who have been abused or have witnessed the abuse of a younger sibling will find support and understanding here. While the book seems aimed at reluctant readers, all teens can find something to identify with or learn from in this cathartic and ultimately hopeful tale of recovery from sexual abuse.

This book is not necessarily a very challenging read, but it is very helpful in giving insight and advice to those suffering from abuse and those who know someone that may be suffering from abuse.  I would suggest this book for all young adults to read because its not only a good story, but it will help inform you on these real life dangerous situations that occur all the time and how to handle them. – Brittany, Teen Clerk

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