Books to Help Teens Understand the Importance of Consent

"No means no" has become a rallying cry on high school and college campuses, as students and administrators strive to combat and eliminate incidents of sexual assault. Raising consciousness about the importance of consent ("Yes means yes") in sexual encounters is a significant issue -- highlighted by actors, athletes, legislators, office workers, and others coming forward to recount their experiences of sexual harassment and assault by people in positions of power, including movie producers, coaches, and clergy. Many thought-provoking young adult novels address this issue through compelling characters and captivating stories that show what teens go through in the aftermath of an assault and how it affects their relationships with their families and peer groups. They may stay silent and feel shame, speak up and have their stories doubted or ridiculed, or even be blamed for the assault. Check out our list, which is a blend of enduring older titles as well as powerful recent releases. For more strong teen reads, see our lists Coming-of-Age Books and Books for Teens.

Browse Books to Help Teens Understand the Importance of Consent

Just Listen Book Poster Image
Teen girl struggles following trauma in riveting novel.
By Sarah Dessen
(2006)
(2006)
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Moxie Book Poster Image
Empowering story of girls standing up to sexual harassment.
By Jennifer Mathieu
(2017)
(2017)
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Saints and Misfits Book Poster Image
Empowering tale of Muslim girl standing up to assaulter.
By S.K. Ali
(2017)
(2017)
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A Step Toward Falling Book Poster Image
Thoughtful coming-of-ager about looking beneath the surface.
By Cammie McGovern
(2015)
(2015)
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All the Rage Book Poster Image
Powerful story about an isolated rape victim's struggles.
By Courtney Summers
(2015)
(2015)
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Asking for It Book Poster Image
Haunting, harrowing story of rape, consent, blame, shame.
By Louise O'Neill
(2016)
(2016)
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Blood Water Paint Book Poster Image
Teen artist fights rapist in riveting tale of 1610 Rome.
By Joy McCullough
(2018)
(2018)
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Desert Angel Book Poster Image
Teen flees mom's killer in gripping thriller.
By Charlie Price
(2011)
(2011)
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More Than We Can Tell Book Poster Image
Emotional coming-of-age story tackles abuse, cyberbullying.
By Brigid Kemmerer
(2018)
(2018)
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Panic Book Poster Image
Tense tale of teens facing fears to win risky competition.
By Lauren Oliver
(2014)
(2014)
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Rani Patel in Full Effect Book Poster Image
Powerful coming-of-age tale deals with abuse, addiction.
By Sonia Patel
(2016)
(2016)
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Speak Book Poster Image
Controversial book about rape is powerful and painful.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
(2003)
(1999)
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Speak: The Graphic Novel Book Poster Image
Hard-hitting tale of sexual assault and its aftermath.
By Laurie Halse Anderson
(2018)
(2018)
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Thirteen Reasons Why Book Poster Image
Disturbing suicide novel examines bullying, indifference.
By Jay Asher
(2008)
(2007)
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This Is Where the World Ends Book Poster Image
Dark, compelling tale of obsessive friendship, rape, death.
By Amy Zhang
(2016)
(2016)
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Tradition Book Poster Image
Powerful look at feminism, rape culture at an elite school.
By Brendan Kiely
(2018)
(2018)
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The Way I Used to Be Book Poster Image
Teen's life unravels after rape in insightful, sad tale.
By Amber Smith
(2016)
(2016)
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What We Saw Book Poster Image
Thought-provoking story about consent and truth.
By Aaron Hartzler
(2015)
(2015)
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The Bluest Eye Book Poster Image
Deeply poetic novel explores racial and sexual feelings.
By Toni Morrison
(2011)
(1970)
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The Color Purple Book Poster Image
Edgy tale of poor, abused woman's journey to independence.
By Alice Walker
(2011)
(1982)
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The Gospel of Winter Book Poster Image
Powerful book about victims of priest sexual abuse.
By Brendan Kiely
(2014)
(2014)
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Finnikin of the Rock Book Poster Image
Riveting epic, but too complex, violent for younger teens.
By Melina Marchetta
(2010)
(2010)
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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Poster Image
Misfit plans murder and suicide in painful, powerful book.
By Matthew Quick
(2013)
(2013)
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The Mockingbirds Book Poster Image
Fast-paced, riveting story of date rape and its aftermath.
By Daisy Whitney
(2015)
(2012)
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Tilt Book Poster Image
Teens grow up too fast in intense stories told in poetry.
By Ellen Hopkins
(2012)
(2012)
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Poster Image
Controversial coming-of-age classic with sex, drugs, abuse.
By Stephen Chbosky
(2011)
(1999)
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The Round House Book Poster Image
Complex adult book explores rape survival, reservation life.
By Louise Erdrich
(2013)
(2012)
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What Happens Next Book Poster Image
Intense novel explores feelings of date-rape survivor.
By Colleen Clayton
(2012)
(2012)
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