by Anastasia Higginbotham
In You Ruined It, Anastasia Higginbotham, acclaimed author of Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, sheds light on the confusion and pain that many children feel in the aftermath of incest and sexual assault.
When 11-year-old Dawn discloses that a favorite cousin sexually assaulted her, it's hard to tell what hurts more: the betrayal or the fall-out. After all, everyone always says to tell someone, but does this mean she'll never get to hang out with him again? What if he goes to jail?
And the biggest question of all: How will she know if she can trust someone again?
You Ruined It is a testament to a child's experience of a confusing betrayal, her broken heart, and the loved ones who help her piece it back together.
Target age: 8 to 12
"[A] searing, sensitive portrayal of sexual assault...The focus on the aftermath allows Higginbotham to examine the complicated feelings Dawn has toward her abuser, as well as the layers of trauma for both her and her family members. The collage artwork...brings a sense of believable messiness and compassionate intimacy to Dawn's first-person narration. A wealth of additional front and back matter guides readers with questions, resources, and support; while obviously useful in a therapeutic setting, this could also offer insight to kids with friends who have been assaulted." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"I wish I had this magical brave book when I was young and being abused. So beautifully rendered and carefully told. May it inspire anyone caught in childhood sexual abuse to tell their story and get free." -- V (formerly EVE ENSLER), award-winning playwright and author of bestsellers The Vagina Monologues and The Apology
About the Author:
Anastasia Higginbotham is the author and illustrator of Divorce Is the Worst, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness, What You Don't Know: A Story of Liberated Childhood, Death Is Stupid, and Tell Me About Sex, Grandma--all part of the Ordinary Terrible Things series. She lives in Brooklyn. Librarians love her, but not as much as she loves them.