Safe by Susan Shaw
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile Books
Release date: October 2007
Overview: Tracy is a “normal” thirteen-year-old girl. She enjoys basketball, hanging out with her best friend Caroline and dreads piano lessons. She has a great relationship with her dad and has a special way to remember her mom who died when she was three. She has grown up feeling and being safe. Her life is drastically changed, though after she is raped, beaten and left for dead by a classmate’s older brother. She no longer feels safe anywhere or with anyone.
Tracy’s story is heartbreaking and on more than one occasion, I just wanted to give her a hug and keep her safe myself. Shaw aptly illustrates Tracy’s denial of the crime against her and the many methods Tracy employs to find a “safe” place (getting lost in her music, isolating herself from friends, staying at her own home, etc.). The one thing I had trouble believing was that Tracy and her friends were thirteen – they behaved as more mature teens would.© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy