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Random House Children's Books, 2011

16 year old Liz’s guilt hangs heavily after her fight with her forever best friend Kate. Liz said some ugly things at their monthly sleepover and went upstairs to bed, leaving Kate alone on the couch. In the morning, Kate had already gone home. Liz has apologized but Kate continues to avoid her. She’s sorry. Isn’t that enough? Then the rumors begin.

Liz hears that her college age brother, Mike, and Kate had sex. Did Kate want to? Did Mike force her? Who should she believe? Her older brother who bought her first camera, emboldened her through scary Halloweens when she was small, the brother she loves or her forever-best, the friend she has cherished since kindergarten. Charges are filed, the trial looms, people talk, her mother won’t. Through it all Liz is caught in the web of opinion and criticism, the most intense often her own.

Written in verse so descriptive even those who hate to read will be mesmerized by this book. You will read Exposed in one stretched, aching heartbeat waiting for the resolution. Liz’s voice is true to the difficulty of the situation. How should the trial resolve? What can be hoped for in a situation like this? Less intense and more approachable than other titles focused on date rape. Exposed views the situation from Liz’s unique third party perspective: neither the victim, nor the accused but close to both. Exposed explores the collateral damage of choices. How disasters in our life can devastate those we love.

Recommended by Alison Cucchetti, Librarian, Ohio

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