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The Burning
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The Burning
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"A smart, explosive examination of gender discrimination and its ramifications." — Publishers Weekly From Laura Bates, internationally renowned feminist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project,...
"A smart, explosive examination of gender discrimination and its ramifications." — Publishers Weekly From Laura Bates, internationally renowned feminist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project,...
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  • "A smart, explosive examination of gender discrimination and its ramifications." — Publishers Weekly

    From Laura Bates, internationally renowned feminist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, comes a realistic novel for the #metoo era. The Burning will prompt all readers to consider the implications of sexism and the role we can each play in ending it

    What happens when you can't run or hide from a mistake that goes viral?

    New school. Check.
    New town. Check.
    New last name. Check.
    Social media profiles? Deleted.

    Anna and her mother have moved hundreds of miles to put the past behind them. Anna hopes to make a fresh start and escape the harassment she's been subjected to. But then rumors and whispers start, and Anna tries to ignore what is happening by immersing herself in learning about Maggie, a local woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. A woman who was shamed. Silenced. And whose story has unsettling parallels to Anna's own.

    The Burning is a powerful call to action, perfect for readers looking for:

  • feminist novels for teens
  • young adult realistic fiction books
  • contemporary novels with historical fiction elements
  • books that deal with current events and issues
  • Praise for The Burning:

    "A haunting rallying cry against sexism and bullying." —Kirkus Reviews

    "Emotionally charged...powerful." —Booklist

    "A painfully realistic, spellbinding novel." —Shelf Awareness

    "Bates's twist on a cautionary tale will take readers on an emotional roller coaster". —School Library Journal

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2020
    A victim of misogynistic bullying finds strength in the story of a 17th-century accused witch. When Anna and her mother move to the small Scottish town of St. Monans, they're trying to escape both their grief over Anna's father's death and their horror at the severe slut-shaming she experienced at her old school. Anna hopes for a fresh start, but she's haunted by fear of her past--until someone else's past finds her instead. Anna discovers a mysterious necklace in their new home and begins experiencing memories that aren't her own, drawing her to the story of a local woman who was ostracized and accused of witchcraft after having a baby out of wedlock. This gentle touch of the supernatural emphasizes how little misogynistic vitriol has changed over the years, as painful descriptions of the bullying Anna endures are interwoven with flashbacks to her counterpart's public shamings. A halfhearted romance feels forced, but the core of Anna's story will be viscerally recognizable to any young reader who's experienced cyberbullying or revenge porn. As Anna tells her tormentors, as she stands in solidarity with other girls who've been victimized: "You can call me a prude, and you can call me a whore, but really you're just calling me a girl." One of Anna's new school friends is coded as black; other major characters are white. A haunting rallying cry against sexism and bullying. (discussion questions) (Fiction. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2020

    Gr 9 Up-Bates's debut novel is a contemporary social statement on the impact of bullying, peer pressure, and vicious crowd mentalities both online and in person. Anna flees England to start fresh in Scotland after being maliciously cyberbullied and blackmailed at her old school. In the digital age, physical miles mean nothing and her past quickly catches up to her. Adding a magical realism element, Bates connects Anna to the story of a local woman, Maggie, who was accused of witchcraft in the 17th century. Visions of Maggie's life serve more as a narrative vehicle for Anna to understand that there are parallels in the social justice system in the digital age to the madness of witch hunts in the past. Addressing important topics such as peer pressure, slut-shaming, and bullying, Bates tries to navigate between storytelling and attempts to empower the reader with feminist values. It's hard to do the subject matter justice and Bates's attempt is clearly laudable in her research and execution. VERDICT Bates's twist on a cautionary tale will take readers on an emotional roller coaster, hopefully feeling stronger and less alone upon conclusion. For fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why.-Melanie Leivers, Burnhaven Library, Burnsville, MN

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 20, 2020
    Bates’s powerful debut roars with feminist themes and #MeToo awareness. Grieving the death of her father, 16-year-old Anna Clark and her mother move from England to a Scottish fishing village to distance themselves from online slut-shaming that occurred in Anna’s past. At St. Margaret’s Academy, Anna makes friends with Cat and Alisha, but is surprised when she’s groped in the pool and a group of popular boys harass and circulate vicious rumors about other female students. Adjusting to life in her new town, Anna is immersed in the local history of Maggie Morgan, an unwed mother accused of witchcraft and publicly shamed around 1650. As Anna’s former life is revealed through invasive social media posts, she experiences Maggie’s persecution through vivid dreams. Anna’s voice radiates with a blend of fear and building anger as she seeks justice for herself and the other girls at St. Margaret’s. Bates incorporates poetic descriptions (“tongues like blades”) while clearly connecting the inhumane treatment of 17th-century women through witch hunts with harmful attitudes held toward today’s young women. A smart, explosive examination of gender discrimination and its ramifications. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephanie Purcell, Simon & Schuster UK.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2020
    Grades 9-12 In this emotionally charged UK import by the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a teenage victim of revenge porn starts over in a new school and learns how often history repeats itself when it comes to sexual double standards. Anna and her mother have moved to the tiny Scottish village of St. Monans, hoping to escape the past. Anna has deleted her social media presence and is going by her mother's maiden name. Anna soon makes good friends and finds an actual nice guy to flirt with, but a chance remark sets off a wildfire of innuendo and harassment. A local history project also leads Anna to reflect on the uncomfortable parallels between her own situation and that of a seventeenth-century woman accused of witchcraft by a possessive nobleman. This interesting historical mystery is undercut by supernatural elements that aren't smoothly integrated. Though Bates provides a powerful, hopeful ending for Anna, the authenticity of the harassment and cyberbullying is difficult to read; some may find it traumatic, others cathartic. An author's note with resources is included.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews "A haunting rallying cry against sexism and bullying."
  • Shelf Awareness "A painfully realistic, spellbinding novel."
  • Teen Librarian Toolbox "In The Burning, Bates challenges us all to think deeply and critically about a lot of issues surrounding teen girls... Definitely recommended."

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