Alan Twigg’s tribute to Rudolf Vrba

Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz and co-authored a report saving 200,000 lives, remains unrecognized in Vancouver despite his significant historical impact. Alan Twigg (l.) seeks to change this.” FULL STORY


Abuse trauma in verse

November 06th, 2022

In a slim novel told in verse for young readers 12+, Sara Cassidy’s Union (Orca $14.95) is the story of a teenage boy dealing with sexual abuse trauma. Tuck’s abuser is his mother’s ex-boyfriend. When someone calls the boyfriend Tuck’s ‘father’ he blows up: “Not my dad, I snarl // Right/your mom’s fling/that stayed/do you miss him?” Tuck self-harms as a way to deal with his inner pain: “I pour hot tea/on my wrist // to feel // relief // that will leave/a scar.” Tuck’s courage is evident when he organizes employees to join a union to improve working conditions at the fast-food outlet where he works. He also starts a romance with a childhood friend although conflicted by the shame he secretly carries: “if she loves me/she has to know me/but if she knows me/how can she love me.” Without using direct language, Cassidy depicts the damage done by abusive adults but also the healing offered by others – from compassionate friends and work colleagues to professional caregivers. 9781459834477

Photo by Katrina Rain.

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