Punch Like a Girl

Nobody understands why Tori has suddenly become so moody and violent. When she attacks a stranger in a store, she ends up doing community service at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She bonds with a little girl named Casey, but when Casey is abducted while in Tori’s care, Tori is racked with guilt, certain that she should have been able to prevent the abduction. During the search for Casey, Tori comes face to face with an ex-boyfriend who sexually assaulted her at a party. Only when she speaks out about the assault is she able to begin to heal.

  • Type: Fiction, Kids
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Number of Pages: 240
  • Original Publication Date: Apr 2015
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

What people are saying:

While Krossing…acknowledges the importance of self-defense, the story makes clear that sharing one’s pain is equally important. Tori’s anger is palpable throughout, and her emotional evolution is empowering.

  • — Publishers Weekly

Tori’s emergence from trauma is lightly sketched, a shorthand recovery that relies on narrative conventions rather than character development―making for an easy read about a hard topic, which is no bad thing. Unusually, her coming of age requires not that she stop being violent but that she learn to apply violence appropriately. A fast-paced book about healing through helping others, speaking up and physical self-defense.

  • — Kirkus Reviews

This cast of memorable characters leaves readers with a story that is a powerful testament to loving relationships—with family, friends, and most importantly, ourselves.

  • — School Library Connection

The first-person present-tense narration gives a sense of immediacy and pulls readers along with the protagonist as she seeks ways to stop feeling helpless in the aftermath of the assault…While comparisons to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak (Farrar, 1999) are inevitable, Tori’s journey is her own and will provide another option for encouraging necessary discussions on sexual assault.

  • — School Library Journal

I love this book. Love isn’t even the right word for it; it seems too shallow. I just have to say that this book is incredible because it raises awareness of a problem in the world that is truly horrible. It teaches girls to fight back, speak out, and be strong.

  • — School Library Journal, Grace (age 12)

An explosive and addictive story that will grip the reader with suspense from the jabbing first sentences until the end! A compelling, moving and powerfully emotional story! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  • — Recently Read


  • CCBC Best Book for Teens (2015)

Written By:

Karen Krossing

Author of engrossing stories beautifully told. She lives with her family in Toronto, Ontario.

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