Parents' Guide to

Fighting Words

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Powerful, moving story of 10-year-old recovering from abuse.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 10+

Necessary and brave in a perfect way

I read this book at 9 years old, and while I understood this book and greatly needed it at the time, I think that unless there are special circumstances for the kid, 10 is a good age. This is my favorite book for uncountable reasons, but some of them are that this book is written in a way that is enjoyable, entertaining, and yet disturbing in the most necessary way possible, and a beautiful story of recovery and getting better. SPOILER ALERT! As for the difficult topics, no sexual abuse is described in detail, and the topics of suicide though described through first person, are not too hard to cope with. All swear words are thoughtfully replaced with the word "snow" or "snowing" in an attempt to get younger audiences to enjoy this book.
age 9+

Really good!

So, I'm on my mom's phone and desperate to write this review. This book is so good, like, I'm 9 and I've re-read this bok 3 times! I saw a lot of reviews saying they were 'traumatized' by the suicide part, but for some reason I wasn't at all even though it was described in full detail. The bra snapping thing, while it's realistic, was a little big uncomfortable, yet relatable. I think that Kimberly Brubraker Bradley is somehow able to write about the abuse chapter without making it gross. I really enjoy this author's books - but 'Fighting Words' was my favorite. I didn't see anyone talk about the meth cooking part. I have nothing to say about that, but Suki and Della's mother is a drug addict who was cooking meth and blew up a hotel room. Anyway, 10/10. BYE

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (16 ):

With elegant simplicity that's raw and completely believable, author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a harrowing story of abuse and the healing power of words. There's no melodrama and no sugar coating, just Della's rock-solid voice guiding the reader to empathy and understanding as she herself tries to understand her past, her present, and to have hope for her future. By tackling difficult subjects like abuse, addiction, and suicide simply, directly, and honestly, Della's story will help lots of kids understand that they're not the only ones, that it wasn't their fault, and that they can heal.

The ways that Della's experience at school parallels some of the issues created by sexual abuse will help young readers understand big concepts like consent and speaking up instead of lashing out. They'll also learn a lot about how to help someone who's hurting inside, how to be a good friend, and how important it is to have someone who loves you, who you love back.

Book Details

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