An edgy, realistic, and hopeful novel about a teen survivor of sexual abuse who uses self-harm to cope.
Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse, especially because she still can't remember the most important detail – her abuser's identity. Frightened, Kendra believes someone is always watching and following her, leaving menacing messages only she understands. If she lets her guard down even for a minute, it could cost Kendra her life. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. Since her own mother is too self-absorbed to hear her cries for help, Kendra finds support in others instead: from her therapist and her art teacher, from Sandy, the close family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, the classmate who's becoming a friend and maybe more. But the truth about Kendra's abuse is just waiting to explode, with startling unforeseen consequences. SCARS is the unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth.
Many teens secretly self-harm; it is often a painful, hidden issue. Cheryl Rainfield has drawn on her personal experience of self-harm, sexual abuse, and trauma/dissociation, to offer an insider perspective in SCARS.
She shows Kendra cutting for many of the same reasons that she has — to relieve unbearable emotional pain; to escape or suppress abuse memories and related overwhelming emotion; to not kill herself; to shut herself up; to try to feel better; to silently cry out for help; and to punish herself. Although cutting hurt Cheryl, it also helped her survive.
#1 in ALA'sTop 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and is on ALA's Rainbow List. It is a also 2010 GG Finalist (Governor General Literary Award).
A percentage of all the profits from the sale of Scars go to the Toronto Rape Crisis Center/Multicultural Women Against Rape and Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN). Author Cheryl Rainfield is a huge supporter and, as a side note, those are her arms you see on the cover of the book.