Blog Tour You Won’t Know Her Name by Shanti Hershenson
This is my post during the blog tour for You Won’t Know Her Name by Shanti Hershenson. You Won’t Know Her Name is written by a fourteen year old author and is based on a true story.
This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 21 February till 6 March. You can see the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/blog-tour-you-wont-know-her-name-by-shanti-hershenson
You Won’t Know Her Name
By Shanti Hershenson
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: July 27, 2021
“I thought they were my best friend…”
There lives a little girl whom you will never know the name of, and for her, a terrible storm is coming. She is going to a new, public middle school knowing no one but her sister, and the horrors are absolutely endless.
But she doesn’t expect what is to come.
In her first few months of school, terrible and unspeakable things begin to happen, that go beyond what is considered “normal”. Finding the courage to get away from the wrong people is a difficult thing, but when a horrific incident occurs, she finds herself running from who she once thought to be friends.
Now lost and alone, The Girl turns to one thing to help her get through her darkest moments. Writing poetry is the one way she can express her anger, and when her school announces that they will be hosting an open-mic night, she knows she has to enter. But entering means that she will have to face her demons, and it could be her worst nightmare…
From a teenaged author, You Won’t Know Her Name shines a light on a heartbreaking reality that often goes unspoken about – the issue that is bullying in middle school. From hateful comments to real, shocking violence, this book shares what cannot be ignored.
As a keen poet myself I was curious to read this poetry book by a teenage author. It’s remarkable that the author, Shanti Hershenson, was only thirteen when she wrote this! There is a simplicity in Shanti’s stream of consciousness poetry which works well, highlighting the complexity of painful topics such as bullying, panic attacks, sexual assault, verbal abuse, physical assault and thoughts about suicide. There are trigger warnings throughout, each poem is highlighted with content warnings where needed.
It’s not for the faint-hearted and made me feel so sad in places. So please be aware, it is not for everyone.
Ages 14 and up. Some topics may not be suitable for younger readers
I particularly appreciate accessible poetry which is understandable without trying to be pretentious and this is simple, and yet oh so poignant. On a personal level, it’s relatable too – as I moved to a new school – a new country and culture in the last but one year of primary. And yes, I suffered, because I stood out like a sore thumb. And my daughters experienced bullying problems too in their school years.
It’s interesting how Shanti calls the bullied protagonist The Girl. I suppose the point being this reads like a personal account but it could be anyone. Anyone can be bullied. And perhaps anyone, of either gender given certain circumstances can be a bully? The bully, (whom the Girl thought was a friend,) she calls the person – not naming their gender, dehumanising them.
Bullies need to be taught that their behaviour is unacceptable. It’s all about education, tolerance, cultural and other awareness and instilling kindness. It’s about speaking out and ensuring that those in a position of authority, such as teachers, employers, and the like listen to and take appropriate action, adopting a no tolerance attitude to bullies.
These excerpts brought back personal memories…
‘They told her mother that it was
“Just middle school.”
And that, “It happens all the time.”
That night she swears not to stay silent.
Not to listen to her principal
Who thinks she’s burning bridges
Because really, staying silent never did anything.
Whether bullying happens all the time, or not, it is not acceptable. And can do such terrible harm.
Shanti’s poetry is also about not feeling alone in your troubles. Being brave and speaking out.
There is a section at the back of the book with helpful resources.
Wonderful collection from one so young. Impressive. And brave, I wish her every success.
My rating 5 stars.
STAIRS AND STARES
The Girl hurries up the stairs
And makes it to a large door
Where she can hear voices inside
Preparing to start the day
And with her backpack slung over her shoulder
She steps inside, and is met with the stares
Lots and lots of stares
TOO MANY CLASSMATES
Up until this point, The Girl had attended private school
But now she’s struggling to fit in
In a new city
With too many classmates
That she does not know
She’ll come to learn their names, in time
But for now, they are strangers, and she is alone
About the Author:
Shanti Hershenson’s first two novellas were published when she was in the sixth grade, although her writing journey started long before then. Ever since she could hold a pencil, marker, or crayon, she was creating stories. They started from pictures, mere scribbles, and eventually, turned into captivating tales.
– Website: https://www.shantihershenson.com/
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShantiHersh
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shantihershenson/
– Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@shantiwhowrites
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of You Won’t Know Her Name. 5 winners will win a paperback copy of You Won’t Know Her name by Shanti Hershenson (US Only).
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to the author and the blog tour company for the opportunity to read and review.