By Rachel Sarah,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Raw thriller about a brutal crime and teen seeking justice.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teens will learn a great deal about growing up in poverty with a parent who's an addict. Readers can talk about Sadie's stutter. She struggles to talk to people, but she's very determined and more than capable of getting her point across.
This is a story of survival. Messages about the power of sisterhood, digging for answers, standing up for those you love. "... love is complicated, it's messy. It can inspire selflessness, selfishness, our greatest accomplishments and our hardest mistakes."
Positive Role Models
Sadie is a model of unconditional love for her little sister and a strong-willed young woman in pursuit of justice.
Violence & Scariness
The murder of Sadie's sister is described, along with scenes of attempted rape. References to flashbacks of sexual assault, childhood sex abuse, pedophilia.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mentions of prostitution.
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Strong language includes "f--k" and variations, "s--t," "bitch," "c--ksucker."
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Products & Purchases
Brands mentioned include: Macmillan Publishers, Mountain Dew, Coke, Mercedes, Chevy, Ken doll.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking, drugs, addiction are major part of story. Mentions of smoking, underage drinking. Claire, Sadie's mother, is an addict. "She started drinking when she was twelve. At fifteen, she was into pot, cocaine. By eighteen, heroin."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sadie, by Courtney Summers, is a harrowing, intense, and sometimes difficult read about a teen girl seeking revenge for her sister's murder. It includes mature themes of rape, pedophilia, drug abuse, and sexual assault. There's frequent strong language (including "f--k" and its variations). Parents should be prepared to discuss child sexual abuse and drug addiction.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
a haunting but necessary tale
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What's the Story?
This story follows SADIE, the 19-year-old daughter of a single mom and addict, whose 13-year-old sister, Mattie, has been found dead. Sadie practically raised her sister in the tiny town of Cold Creek, Colorado (population 800), and now she's determined to get revenge by finding the killer. The story alternates between Sadie's point of view and that of West McCray, a radio journalist who's working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America. He overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, and in his true-crime podcast series, he tracks his efforts to learn what happened to Sadie, even if she doesn't want to be found.
Is It Any Good?
This is not an easy read, but a very compelling one. In the era of the #MeToo movement, Sadie seems important, and reading it might open the door talk about sexual assault and abuse.
The format of the book takes some time to get used to, as it switches back and forth between Sadie's first-person narration and the podcast script, a journalistic account of the search for Sadie. But in the end, Sadie is a raw, gritty page-turner that tackles violence, abandonment, and addiction.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how sexual abuse is portrayed and dealt with in Sadie. Why is it important to read stories about sexual abuse, even if it's difficult at times?
What do you think about Sadie's devotion to her sister? How can revenge grow out of love?
How does this book compare to other books you've read and movies you've seen that deal with addiction? Does it seem realistic?
- Author: Courtney Summers
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Wednesday Books
- Publication date: September 4, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: September 5, 2018
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
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