What Is Domestic Violence?

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

These books introduce the topic of domestic violence, produced in collaboration with the Douglas Center and MCC.

  • Goodbye, Sweet Girl: A Story of Domestic Violence and Survival

    2018 by Sundberg, Kelly

    Sundberg examines her experiences in an abusive marriage in this honest memoir. Kirkus describes it as "an unflinching exploration of both domestic violence and one woman's long, often painful evolution from codependence to self-respect." Adult. Suggested by Elise.

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  • Take Me with You When You Go

    2021 by Levithan, David

    Publishers Weekly describes this book as a "compassionate portrayal of the pain of childhood abuse and the difficulty of escaping it". Teen. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know about Domestic Violence Can Kill Us

    2019 by Snyder, Rachel Louise

    Kirkus describes this journalist's insights into family and relationship abuse as "a powerful exploration of the sinister, insidious nature of domestic violence in America." Adult. Suggested by Elise.

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  • The Big Bad Wolf in My House

    2021 by Fontaine, Valérie

    Unlike the Big Bad Wolf in the fairy tale, this wolf just walks right in the door, invited by the narrator's mother. Even though our young narrator and her mother have done nothing wrong, the wolf howls at them, breaks things, and leaves bruises on their arms. Building houses of straw, wood, and bricks don't stop this bad wolf. Beautiful and stark drawings enhance this powerful picture book about one child's experience with domestic abuse. Preschool-grade 4. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • Don't Know Tough

    2022 by Cranor, Eli

    Billy Lowe is a football star from a troubled home. His mother's live-in boyfriend abuses Billy and his mother. Cranor tackles a lot--grinding poverty, cycles of abuse, and football (and the central role it has in small southern towns)--but gives equal weight to these important topics. The author avoids the easy solutions and shows that life often has no happy endings nor redemptive arc. Adult. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • In the Dream House: A Memoir

    2019 by Machado, Carmen Maria

    This uniquely structured memoir unravels Machado's experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. Candid and dark, it reflects on the mental and physical affects of domestic violence, in addition to untangling the societal expectations that come with being a queer woman. Adult. Suggested by Elise.

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  • Bad Romance

    2017 by Demetrios, Heather

    Drawing from the author's own experience of a toxic relationship, Bad Romance is a dark, realistic look at dating violence and abusive relationships, a story that is best suited for older high school readers. Teen. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Every Missing Piece

    2020 by Conklin, Melanie

    In the time since her father died in an accident, Maddy has struggled with seeing bad things everywhere. When she becomes convinced that the new boy at school isn't new at all, but a boy who went missing several months ago, Maddy decides she must gather evidence before she brings another possible emergency to the attention of adults. As she befriends the boy, she learns more about the family violence circumstances that brought him to their school with a new identity. Grades 5-8. Suggested by Amy.

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  • The Oysterville Sewing Circle

    2019 by Wiggs, Susan

    Contemporary fiction master Wiggs has one of her best books to date in this skillfully written story of survival, trauma, and sisterhood. Domestic violence is never an easy subject to read or write about but Wiggs balances this subject, a gentle romance, and multiple three-dimensional characters with ease and grace. Adult. Suggested by Lynnanne.

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  • When I Hit You: Or, a Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife

    2020 by Kandasamy, Meena

    Based on the author's own experiences, this novel set in contemporary India explores the violence inflicted upon the unnamed narrator in her new marriage. Publishers Weekly describes it as "both terrifying and triumphant." Adult. Suggested by Elise.

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