This powerful, hard-hitting manual will surely help young people and possibly save lives. Crisis counselor Benedict writes for girls and boys, understands teenage realities of sex before marriage and is knowledgeable about youngsters' concerns. Without shying away from the most frightening subjects (incest, doctors and teachers who betray their power of authority, etc.), she remains positive and empowering, stating: ``You can change that.'' Direct guidelines are offered for safety; also listed are physical self-defense techniques (e.g., the Power Yell) and how to deflect guilt-evoking date mind games (``You know you want it''). More broadly useful than just in cases of sexual attack, it includes appendixes for both teens and parents, which add to this book's exceptional value. (12-up)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up With tact and realism, Benedict relates the facts about sexual assault. In straightforward language, she explains all aspects of sexual assault from common street harassment to rape and date-rape, incest, and male victimization. The physical and psychological trauma of being a victim is not minimized and is described in first person by young people who relate their own experiences. Their words have credibility and immediacy. The chapter on sexual rights and responsibility is strongly stated and can be paraphrased as, ``Don't hesitate to say no!'' The book is permissive but non-judgmental about sex, drugs, and alcohol, stating that ``If you feel unmistakable desire and eagerness, however, and you aren't frightened by sex, you probably are ready.'' Further on she states, ``If you get high on drugs or drink when you're out, don't go home alone.'' She advises setting one's own sexual limits in relationshipsand then sticking to them. There are several comprehensive chapters on self-protection. The final section discusses what to do in the aftermath of assault; it is empathetic and also persuasive about the importance of getting help from parents, other adults, authorities, friends, and hotline organizations. A list of crisis centers and service organizations throughout the nation and an informative appendix for parents completes this practical guide. Elise Wendel, Orchard Road School, Skillman, N.J.