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Sonja K. Solter (The Children's Book Podcast #606)

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Sonja K. Solter (@SolterK) shares WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT I KNOW, her debut middle grade novel in verse. Tori, our young protagonist, tells us her story, beginning with why she does not want anything to do with uncle Andy. But it’s those around Tori whose job it is to believe her, and that does not come easily at first. Sonja’s book is as much about being a survivor as it is about believing the victim. It is about sexual assault, but it’s also about the ripples traveling outward from trauma. It is a story I read, was challenged by, and returned to several times, and it’s a story I think belongs in your awareness and on your bookshelves as well.

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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.


Sonja K. Solter (website)


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