Voices From the Wreckage: Young Adult Voices in the #MeToo Movement

Kimberly Karshner (Ed.)

by Caitlin Metheny (University of Maine), Laura Beal , Carla Plieth (University of Cambridge), Aneta Stępień (Maynooth University, Ireland), Máire Ní Mhórdha (Maynooth University, Ireland), Alison Tracy Hale (University of Puget Sound in Tacoma), Rachel McShane , Zöe McLaughlin (Michigan State University), Cody Parish (University of Colorado Colorado Springs), Luca Sarti , Tatiana Konrad (University of Vienna), Michelle Wise (Tennessee State University), Jeri Ewert , Angel Sloss-Pridgen (American Baptist College)

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“Voices From the Wreckage: Young Adult Voices in the #MeToo Movement” offers the reader ample scope for theoretical and practical reflection about the importance of YA literature as a source of safe spaces for young people to consider expressing their experiences of sexual trauma and to seek ways of healing from it. As the first study to focus on the connections between international YA literature and the #MeToo movement, it constitutes a major contribution to YA culture studies and will certainly appeal not only to an academic audience but also to librarians and educators.

Prof. Dr Hab. Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak
Institute of English Studies
University of Wroclaw, Poland

[…] Karshner gathers fourteen authors who, across twelve chapters, analyze how trauma is presented in literature for young adult audiences, engaging with diverse representations in both characterization and culture in terms of identity, geography, and genre.
[…] Rather than just making a general argument about the healing potential of these narratives, this book provides a road map for educators, exploring the practicalities and mechanics of introducing this content in schools.
[…] At a contemporary moment during which many forces are converging to ban books, or otherwise curtail access to books that discuss sexuality, this compilation of essays is a timely and inspirational tool for those of us who wish to engage in these ‘controversial’ conversations.

[Extract from book review appearing at the 'The International Journal of Young Adult Literature,' 2023, Volume: 4, Issue: 1. Page/Article: 1-5. Reviewer: Laura D'Amore. DOI: 10.24877/IJYAL.126]

'Voices From the Wreckage: Young Adult Voices in the #MeToo Movement' is an edited collection by Kimberly Greenfield Karshner (Lorain County Community College). This collection focuses on situating young adult voices in the #MeToo movement, and into American culture and identity. Children’s and young adult literature is an area of study that has rapidly evolved in the past ten years, bringing previously silenced voices to light. This is especially true for YA LGBTQ+ voices, and also for young narrators who are not only discovering, celebrating, and coming to terms with their identities, but also dealing with assaults on their identities.
This collection will build on what writers like Laurie Halse Anderson have begun, first with her groundbreaking book on sexual assault, 'Speak', published in 1999, and more currently, her follow-up book, 'Shout' (2019). These authors continue what Anderson started, exploring texts from the perspectives of YA male and female voices, Native American and international perspectives, and LGBTQ+ character representation. Chapters investigate various literary forms such as graphic novels, memoirs, and novels, and cover topics such as sexual desire, consent, trauma, and survivorship. The literature featured in this volume will assure young people that they can tell their stories and that they will be heard.
'Voices From the Wreckage' will be a valuable tool for anyone who teaches Young Adult Literature, or for those who are avid readers and fans of the genre. The authors in this collection are starting and continuing very important conversations on the topic of sexual abuse and trauma, a conversation necessary for the intended audiences of these books, and for adult readers and teachers who are facilitating the emotions connected to these topics.


Introduction: A Record of the Wreckage
Kimberly Karshner
Lorain County Community College

Survivorship: Consent, Appropriation, and Healing

Chapter 1 “But, I Didn’t Say Yes”: An Examination of Sexual Coercion and Consent in Young Adult Literature
Dr. Caitlin Metheny
University of Maine
Dr. Laura Beal
Independent Scholar

Chapter 2 The Unacknowledgement of Rape: Female Sexual Perpetrators and Boy Victims in Young Adult Fiction
Carla Plieth
University of Cambridge

Chapter 3 Consent and Adolescent Sexual Desire in Normal People and Sex Education
Dr. Aneta Stępień
Maynooth University, Ireland
Dr. Máire Ní Mhórdha
Maynooth University, Ireland

Chapter 4 From Silence to Speech: The Legacy of Speak in the Era of #MeToo
Alison Tracy Hale
University of Puget Sound

Chapter 5 “Dancing Indian Princess”: How Appropriation of Native American Dance Leads To Sexual Violence
Rachel McShane
Independent Scholar

Chapter 6 Kebayas, Saris, and Cheongsams: Trauma and Intersectionality in Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire Trilogy
Zöe McLaughlin
Michigan State University

Chapter 7 Metaphorically Speaking: Narrative Imagination, Animal Imagery, and Power Dynamics in Speak
Cody Parish
University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Chapter 8 Dealing with Domestic Violence and Child Sexual Abuse in Deirdre Sullivan’s Needlework
Luca Sarti
Independent Scholar

Identities: LGBTQ+ Voices and Representation

Chapter 9 LGBTQ Graphic Novels for/about Teenagers: Adolescence and Queerness in Honor Girl & Adrian and the Tree of Secrets
Tatiana Konrad
University of Vienna

Chapter 10 Graphic Lesbians: Graphic Memoirs Come Out in Young Adult Literature
Michelle Wise
Tennessee State University

Chapter 11 The Importance of LGBTQ+ Characters in Young Adult Literature: Representation and Availability
Jeri Ewert
Independent Scholar

Chapter 12 Beaten Bodies: Using Bibliotherapy for Young Adults Experiencing Sexual Trauma and Abuse
Angel Sloss-Pridgen
American Baptist College



Kim Karshner is an English Professor at Lorain County Community College, in Elyria, Ohio. She holds two Master’s Degrees from Bowling Green State University: the first in Literature, and the second in Scientific and Technical Writing. Professor Karshner has been teaching Children’s Literature, Middle Childhood Literature, and Adolescent literature for 22 years; currently, she teaches courses in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, British Literature, Composition, and Technical Writing.
Professor Karshner’s research interests include how writing and storytelling can be used as part of the healing process when dealing with traumatic events and abuse. In the classroom, Professor Karshner facilitates student storytelling in essay writing, creative projects, and creative writing workshops. Some of these stories can be read in the online literary journal that Professor Karshner edits, 'The North Coast Review'. She also writes her own poetry, most recently published in the poetry collection 'Quiet Diamonds'.

Young adult literature, sexual identity, sexual trauma, LGBTQ identity, YA graphic novels, MeToo Movement, Young adult voices MeToo

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Voices From the Wreckage: Young Adult Voices in the #MeToo Movement





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


5 B&W

Publication date

April 2023