When She Hollers

( 8 )


Tish has taken enough. She will no longer be abused. She will no longer be passive. So she takes a knife with her wherever she goes. Today is not going to be like any other day. Today is going to be different.

Tish, a teenager who has been enduring abuse from her adoptive stepfather since she was a small child, finally decides she must do something to stop him.

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Tish has taken enough. She will no longer be abused. She will no longer be passive. So she takes a knife with her wherever she goes. Today is not going to be like any other day. Today is going to be different.

Tish, a teenager who has been enduring abuse from her adoptive stepfather since she was a small child, finally decides she must do something to stop him.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Voigt's (see PW Interviews, p. 225) searing new novel plunges the reader headlong into the crisis facing its protagonist, a teenager named Tish who can no longer endure her stepfather's sexual abuse of her. As the novel begins, Tish disrupts the family breakfast by pointing a survival knife at Tonnie, the stepfather, and threatening to attack him if he comes near her ever again. In tackling the subject of abuse, Voigt takes no short cuts: Tish has tried reasonable measures before resorting to the knife; her unprotective mother is not unloving, only fatally vulnerable; no deus ex machina, no selflessly dedicated teacher or best friend arrives to save Tish. Instead, Voigt focuses on the rest of that single, brutal day. Tish goes to school, knife hidden in her Docs, staving off panic--until gym class, when she can no longer keep the knife a secret. Tish must--and does--find someone to help her, but she herself must determine her course of action. The tension intensifies almost unbearably; without sacrificing the tautness of her narrative, Voigt endows each character with a life that somehow goes on beyond the page. An exceptional offering. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
Tish is one confused, frightened girl. Pushed to the point of no return, she takes refuge behind a knife, hidden in her shoe, believing that this can protect her from her incestuous stepfather. But the voice of reason, which occasionally surfaces within her, moves her to confront her problem and her fears that no one will believe her or care. Voigt has tackled a distasteful topic, with forthrightness, bringing Tish to the realization that only she can help herself and doing so will bring a promising, but not perfect, future. 1996 orig.
The ALAN Review - Diana Mitchell
Lies are woven into the fabric of Tish's family life. Her mother lies to herself about the horror happening in her own house. Her stepfather couches his night-time visits to Tish's room in lies. Even Tish lies by daily creating a new persona for herself at school in order to preserve her mystery and her "I-don't-care" attitude. Then Tish confronts her stepfather with a knife at breakfast. Will this change what's happening to her? Will this prevent her from ending up dead like Miranda? This tension-filled, fast-paced book is hard to put down. My only discomfort with this novel is the "solution" offered to Tish at the end, which seems beyond the reach of many victims and a bit too easy. Most teens will enjoy this terrifying, vividly written novel, especially if they want a close-up look at the face of sexual abuse.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-With the first sentence of this searingly honest novel, readers are plunged into the consciousness of a teenage girl who is fighting for her life. Tish's adversary isn't disease or physical injury; instead, it is the devastation of ongoing sexual abuse. The novel spans one day, from the moment at breakfast when she warns her stepfather to stay away from her, to the realization-in the late afternoon-that she can escape his domination. In between, readers travel with Tish through her day in high school, experiencing her rage, helplessness, and blistering humor. Readers who want to go beyond the current headlines will get an accurate and unforgettable picture of domestic tyranny. Nowhere in children's literature is the link between abuse and violence (including teenage suicide) so clearly delineated, nor the mind-bending effects of dissociative defenses so accurately portrayed. Voigt wisely stays away from depictions of the abuse itself. Nonetheless, this book is strong stuff, best read by emotionally mature readers. Be sure to tell guidance counselors about this novel, which contains crucial insights into abusive relationships. The most important of these is Tish's epiphany in which she realizes that her stepfather's power, while nearly absolute at home, is limited to a relatively tiny sphere. She discovers a doorway to the rest of the world and with it her own liberation. This groundbreaking book-like its protagonist-is raw, courageous, and a winner.-Carolyn Polese, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780780760196
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning Prebound
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2009


    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: When She Hollers by Cynthia Voigt
    Title of review:
    Number of stars (1 to 5): 3

    In Cynthia Voigt's When She Hollers, Tish is faced with an issue that is unforgettable and has many consequences. Not only is it physical consequences but emotional and mental. I believe the author wanted the audience to realize that this kind of thing really does occur in everyday life. The whole point of the book may be an issue that isn't talked about that's very serious and traumatic but the story itself was drawn out.

    Description and summary of main points
    Tish has been going through this horrible situation for a long time but finally lashes out and attempts to stand up for herself by threatening her stepfather with a knife at breakfast. Since her mother is in denial the truth speaking actions and words of Tish don't go as wanted/planned. Going to school with the knife in her Docs may not have been her best decision considering it causes more trouble than it keeps it away. That feeling of security may have been a good idea at the time but in the end she may have started wondering if what it caused was right or wrong.

    The first chapter was mind blowing. The way it started out by going right into her dilemma I believe was the best way to begin this book. After the first couple chapters the story seemed to be drawn out. In order to make the book as long as it is Voigt elaborated a little too much on the components. For example the school complication lasted for many chapters. Even with that the book was still suspenseful. I just wanted to keep reading to find out the truth. I had an idea but I wanted to read it in text. In the end the way she tells the truth is so sad. It tore me up.

    This drawn out book's main point was one that is hardly talked about but affects many people everyday. Although Cynthia Voigt elaborated too much I was still addicted to reading it. Tish's trouble made me feel so angry because that kind of thing really does go on and it shouldn't. I was able to tell what she was feeling and going through because of the way Cynthia wrote the book. Although the ending aggravated me I still would tell people to read it.

    Your final review
    Overall I give the book 3 stars. I loved that the book was able to make me feel a certain way and actually start relating it to real life situations but I didn't like that it was exaggerated on so much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    It was....DIFFERENT

    When I first saw this book, I got it from my school library, I was like FINALLY an interesting book, and when I read the first page I was like WHAT the heck is going on, it confused me, they just bluntly started saying things, I didn't know who was who. And then as the story went on I was NUH UH! O NO she didn't and stuff like that. And before I got to the last 20 pages, I realised, what the FREAK the book is already ending. The only reason I gave this book 3 stars is because There was only ONE i said ONE part, that I re-read over and over again, and it made me cry. It really did, I dont usually cry for those things even though u know it's sourt of sad, but I read it and just how they made her say it and the whole writing it down thing, It tore me up. Yeah I cried, I really did. And when I got to the end I realised how much bull it was. It's a good 40 minute read, if it takes U THAT long, but if u happen to come across this book I wouldn't buy it, but sit down and read it, u might FEEL her pain, like I did, for that 30 seconds. I don't know why I'm chomping this book so bad maybe it's because they basically tell u everything in the first chapter so the rest of the book is like...Ok.But I DO recomend some good books, and since you can obviously tell I'm a picky reader, U know there alright

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2003


    this is my absolute favorite book. she gets u going from the start. the first page is literally hold your breathe material. such a good book and everything comes together. it is so worth reading. i read it over and over again its just that good!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    Makes you think

    This book ,I believe, is one of the best i have read. It takes you through Tish's experience with her adoptive father step by step. It makes you realize that things like this really do happen everyday. And its sad, because some of those poeple dont try to get help because of fear. But Tish's story gives you hope that some will have the courage to come forward and get help. Its a really awesome book and i recomend it to everyone.

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    Posted August 22, 2009

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    Posted April 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

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