Jenna’s just a teenager who wants to fit in. The popularity that she wanted though, quickly turns into infamy when two “well-meaning” friends spark a controversy that alters her life forever. What happens when the very group of teens you crave to belong to, end up being responsible for one of the most painful and humiliating events in your life?
Inspired by Amanda Todd’s tragic story of bullying, Jenna’s Truth is more than just teen short story it’s a lesson in empathy, self-awareness, and speaking out about what matters, especially bullying. Jenna’s Truth written by Nadia L King is a gripping story, which explores the themes of cyberbullying, teen drinking, sex, and suicide. Life isn’t black and white, and sometimes teens can be the most insensitive people.
Published by Aulexic, a publisher specialising in books for children with language and literacy difficulties, Jenna’s Truth is dyslexia-friendly and contains features that aid in comprehension and vocabulary. The story is kept short, at just 6,000 words and includes curriculum connections, discussion questions, and recommended activities, making it an ideal quick-read at home or during transit for 15-16 year olds.
If you’re against cyberbullying, want to help someone who might be a victim of bullying, or you’re experiencing bullying in your life right now, read Jenna’s Truth today.
Drawn in by the fantastic cover and enticing book description, Jenna’s Truth did not let me down. What an excellent story this is, cutting straight to the heart of an out of control contemporary teenage issue. Cyber bullying and the devastating ripple effect this has on a victim’s life.
Inspired by Amanda Todd, a teenage victim of Cyber bullying, Nadia states at the conclusion of this story:
“I wanted to write a story where the bullies don’t get to win. I wanted to rewrite history and bring Amanda Todd back. But no words can do that. Suicide is permanent. There is no ‘afterwards’ with suicide, there can only be hurt and pain.” Nadia L King – Author’s note.
Research cited in the back notes section of the novel indicates one in five Australian children aged 12 to 17 were the target of cyber bullying in 2015. As a parent of three children whose ages range from 11 to 15, as well as working in high schools for the last seven years, this statistic comes as no surprise to me. We work to educate against cyber bullying, yet the problem still persists. The maturity needed to manage the online presence our children now have is lacking. We have, as a society, enabled them to interact in a way they have no control over, nor do they have any real scope of the lasting damage. At least, not until something happens and they are either the victim, or the perpetrator feeling the effects of guilt and condemnation, neither scenario one that we want for our children.
Nadia took a fairly common situation for teens, the desire to be popular, and wrote an entirely plausible story that rings true on multiple levels. I liked the first person narrative utilised, it added to this truth immensely and was straightforward, without being overly dramatic. The complimentary teaching and learning resources in the back take this story an important step further, turning it into a well put together project aimed at taking an active stance at cyber bullying prevention. I admire Nadia’s efforts with Jenna’s Truth and highly recommend this as essential reading for teens, parents and educators. Every middle school and high school library in Australia should have a copy of Jenna’s Truth prominently displayed and those in positions of coordinating social skills and welfare classes should likewise be utilising Jenna’s Truth as an education reasource. I know I will be.
Jenna’s Truth is book 37 in my 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge.