LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL by Jo Knowles
Laine couldn't understand why the popular girl ever wanted to be friends in the first place. Back in elementary school, Leah insisted they were BFF despite the manipulative and mean way she treated Laine. But when Leah convinces her to "practice" in the closet, things take a dark turn. Laine feels ashamed and confused about what's happening, but Leah acts like the whole thing is no big deal.
LESSONS FROM A DEAD GIRL (Candlewick, 2007) explores the years long relationship between Leah and Laine and the secrets that both bind them and threaten to destroy them. It's dark and disturbing, written with an authenticity that may make you wonder if the story is auto-biographical (it's not).
Abuse has a ripple effect, creating a chain of pain that seeps into every crevice of the victim's life and author Jo Knowles paints a disturbingly real picture of how certain events stay with us forever and can be integral in defining the kind of person we become.
Although the story begins in elementary school, the story is definitely for an older reader -- probably 9th grade and up. Highly recommended.