The Best YA Books to Start the Conversation About Sexual Assault With Your Teen

Oct 8, 2018 at 2:55 p.m. ET
YA Books to Start the Conversation on Sexual Assault: #TimesUp
Image: Farrar, Straus And Giroux, Simon & Schuster, Quercus, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Getty Images. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

Long before Kavanaugh, Weinstein, #MeToo and more brought the topic of sexual violence front and center in the news cycle, activists emphasized the importance of educating kids of all genders about “yes means yes” consent and the devastating effects of rape culture

Important movements are happening on college campuses across the nation, but conversations about sexual assault and consent need to begin as early as possible. After all, 46 percent of high school-age students have had sexual intercourse; they're not exactly naive strangers to the topic of sex. Speaking with your preteen and teenage children about consent is a crucial way to empower and educate them as they begin to explore their own sexuality.

If you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Conversations about sexual assault are never easy, and most teens aren’t exactly clamoring to chat with their parents about anything related to sex. Starting the conversation is often the trickiest part — and that’s where books come in. A number of amazing young-adult books address sexual assault and consent, and reading them with your children is the ideal gateway to beginning this important discussion. Read on for our picks.

A version of this article was originally published in January 2018. 

1 /8: 'The Nowhere Girls' by Amy Reed

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "The Nowhere Girls" by Amy Reed
Image: Simon & Schuster.

1/8 :'The Nowhere Girls' by Amy Reed

2 /8: 'Asking for It' by Louise O'Neill

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "Asking For It" by Louise O'Neill
Image: Quercus.

2/8 :'Asking for It' by Louise O'Neill

3 /8: 'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson
Image: Farrar, Straus And Giroux (BYR).

3/8 :'Speak' by Laurie Halse Anderson

4 /8: 'All the Rage' by Courtney Summers

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "All the Rage" by Courtney Summers
Image: Macmillan.

4/8 :'All the Rage' by Courtney Summers

5 /8: 'The Way I Used to Be' by Amber Smith

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "The Way I Used To Be" by Amber Smith
Image: Simon & Schuster.

5/8 :'The Way I Used to Be' by Amber Smith

6 /8: 'What We Saw' by Aaron Hartzler

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "What We Saw" by Aaron Hartzler
Image: HarperCollins Publishers.

6/8 :'What We Saw' by Aaron Hartzler

7 /8: 'Moxie: A Novel' by Jennifer Mathieu

7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault: "Moxie: A Novel" by Jennifer Mathieu
Image: Macmillan.

7/8 :'Moxie: A Novel' by Jennifer Mathieu

8 /8: Pin It!

Pin it ! 7 Books To Start The Conversation About Sexual Assault
Image: Farrar, Straus And Giroux, Simon & Schuster, Quercus, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Getty Images. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

8/8 :Pin It!