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Safe [NOOK Book]

Overview

Safe. To Tracy, safe means having Mama close by. Years after her mother's death, Tracy still feels her presence. But the moment Tracy is forced into a car as she is walking home from school one day, safe is ripped away. In the aftermath of an unspeakable crime, thirteen-year-old Tracy must fight her way back to safety and find comfort in her...
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Safe

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Overview

Safe. To Tracy, safe means having Mama close by. Years after her mother's death, Tracy still feels her presence. But the moment Tracy is forced into a car as she is walking home from school one day, safe is ripped away. In the aftermath of an unspeakable crime, thirteen-year-old Tracy must fight her way back to safety and find comfort in her mother's memory once again. Susan Shaw returns with a raw and moving story of a young rape victim's journey toward healing, empowered by poetry and music, family and friends.




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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this extraordinarily tender novel, Shaw (The Boy from the Basement) eloquently encapsulates what it feels like to be a victim of rape. On the last day of seventh grade, Tracy is brutally assaulted by an older boy she knows. From that day on, even after her attacker is arrested and pleads guilty, she has trouble believing she is safe. Worse, she can no longer find any comfort in her memories of her mother, who died when Tracy was only three. "I couldn't even think of Mama and the yellow rose and the yellow dress or the way her stories felt.... How could I fix the shattered piece?" Feeling unprotected, disconnected from her once-happy childhood and alone, Tracy stays indoors for almost the entire summer, unable to face unknown horrors. Going to a therapist doesn't help, although she does find some relief when she practices the piano. Soon music becomes the center of her days, distracting her from scary thoughts but also further isolating her from friends. Intimate, first-person narrative honestly expresses Tracy's full range of emotions as well as her state of paralysis, unable to think about her attack or move past it. The author adroitly avoids spelling out the particulars of the rape, conveying its impact through Tracy's conscious or subconscious choice to try to blank out the details. Readers may find themselves so engrossed in Tracy's trauma that they might have trouble putting the book down until Tracy finally comes to terms with her experiences. Ages 14-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA
Thirteen-year-old Tracy is five-foot-nine and, in her own words, looks mature. As she walks home from school on the last day of seventh grade, the older brother of a boy she knows throws her in his car. She struggles through long, lonely, and cold months before she can even say what happened next: rape. What is equally frightening to Tracy is feeling she has lost her connection with her mother, who died ten years before but whose visits on moonbeams in the night help Tracy feel loved and safe. Those visits vanish after she is raped and beaten, so Tracy shuts herself away from everyone but her father and her piano. She discovers that she can float away on music and begins to work seven hours a day playing and composing. The rapist is caught and offers a confession, but on the day he is to enter his plea in court, Tracy panics and runs away. The perseverance of her friends, the rapist's guilty plea, and the discovery of a new therapist all finally place Tracy on the path to healing. This novel shares many themes with Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1999/VOYA December 1999), although Tracy seems significantly younger than Anderson's protagonist and has a much more involved and sympathetic father who struggles to help his daughter. Tracy's deliberate decisions to cut herself off from others, her refusal to deal with what happened, and her solace in music all ring true. It is a sensitively written story on a difficult subject and another book that will help to give voice to and understanding on a topic too often ignored. Reviewer: Mary Ann Darby
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
As this compelling and well-crafted novel opens, Tracy has already experienced more than her share of trauma and loss. Her mother died when she was three. Then, on the last day of seventh grade, a classmate's older brother abducts her, rapes and beats her, and leaves her for dead. Tracy has survived, but how is she going to live? Set in the immediate aftermath of the rape, the first-person narrative follows the girl's struggle to regain her equilibrium. While classmates and teachers pity her and fear for her, readers experience her urgent attempts to reconnect with the memory of feeling safe. Vivid metaphors and tactile images make her private world a rich and rewarding place to be. Tracy is no pitiful victim. As she works through a period of agoraphobia, she finds ways to help herself heal. She has a lot to draw on: a kind father, the memory of a loving mother, good friends who wait in the wings for her "return." But in the depths of her post-trauma reaction she must first discover safety within herself. She draws on the power of music and her own creativity long before she is ready for talk therapy and all that comes with it. In the literature of trauma, this book is a rare find. The violence and pity are offstage. The focus is on Tracy's feelings as she discovers her capacity to heal in the shadow of pain and loss. Her growth is realistic and hopeful. This is an excellent and ultimately reassuring book.
—Carolyn LehmanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
After her devastating look at the effects of child abuse in The Boy from the Basement (2006), Shaw deftly tackles another difficult topic: the psychological wounds caused by a violent rape. Without really describing the attack or even using the word "rape" until late in the narrative, she focuses on 13-year-old Tracy's inability to cope with her trauma, nearly eliminating any suspense about the crime or the criminal. Instead, suspense centers on Tracy's emotional turmoil as the girl retreats into a solitary world after the attack. Nearly unable to leave her house, Tracy becomes obsessed with playing the piano, an activity she previously disliked. She's comfortable only with her father and her best friend Caroline, and she isn't too sure about Caroline. Visits to a therapist appear to make her worse. Readers may become as frustrated as Tracy with her slow progress, but the girl's courageous struggle will keep them reading. Compelling and affecting, especially for Shaw's audience. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440679223
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/4/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 893,339
  • Age range: 14 years
  • File size: 230 KB

Meet the Author

Susan Shaw works as a music educator and is the author of one previous book for young readers. She lives with her family near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    MR D's cabin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    .

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    fast easy read and kind of boring and dragged, plus i thought it

    fast easy read and kind of boring and dragged, plus i thought it was going to be a little more dramatic

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2011

    great book

    this book is very interesting and a page turner for teens. loved it!!

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Kinda Boring

    This book was very boring at times. This was something that I was excited to read, but when I get into the story it wasnt anything exciting about it at all. I really wouldnt recommend this book to people unless youre into the boring types of books.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    Safe

    Good realistic fiction about a girl who is raped at age 13 and is trying to put herself back together again. This book shows how she tries to cut herself off from her friends because she feels dirty and thinks she needs to be by herself to heal. This could be a powerful book to certain readers. Shaw's a good realistic fiction author; her book The Boy in the Basement was chilling. I gave this book a 5/5.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    boring at times

    the book was okay.sometimes it seemed boring and was slow at times, but by the end it was a bit better.not one of my favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    GREAT BOOK

    This book was amazing its like your inside of her mind.I strongly recommend this book.

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    Posted June 27, 2011

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    Posted March 10, 2009

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 16 Customer Reviews

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