Yasmin Shiraz, author of Retaliation. My parents took turns reading to me when I couldn’t read myself. One would sit on the edge of the bed and read Cinderella stories and bedtime tales. As soon as I could read, one of the first words that I remember is the word, “mine.”Â Books were mine. And I loved reading to myself.
When I was seven years old, my family moved from an apartment in the inner city to a home in the suburbs. I remember my parents asking me if I liked my new room and all I could think of is, “Where are my books?” My parents packed my favorite books in a crate and I didn’t care about what my room looked like until I knew where my crate was.
The first day in my new home, I sat in a corner and read my books. I guess my room was nice. I guess it had a nice view. But I can absolutely tell you that I enjoyed reading that day and everyday since. By reading to me, my parents opened me to a world of possibility, exploration and hope.
My latest book is entitled Retaliation. It was inspired by a 15 year old girl who attended one of my self esteem workshops. I was talking to a group of girls about feeling good about themselves. I asked them what were some of the things that they liked, loved and hated about life. One girl said, “I hate the girls who jumped me.” I was shocked by her admission and couldn’t get her voice out of my head for weeks.
I thought about what if there was a fictional character who had been jumped and felt that she didn’t want to retaliate, but everyone else in her family did. What would happen if a teen girl was jumped and she decided not to react violently?
That is the story of Retaliation. It puts the reader in a realistic position of deciding if violence is ever justifiable. Everyone who reads this book has to make a decision about who they are gonna be when violence stops on their doorstep.
For more information on Yasmin Shiraz’s Retaliation, visit: www.yasminshiraz.com
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