Some schools have honor codes.
Others have handbooks.
Themis Academy has the Mockingbirds.
Themis Academy is a quiet boarding school with an exceptional student body that the administration trusts to always behave the honorable way--the Themis Way. So when Alex is date raped during her junior year, she has two options: stay silent and hope someone helps her, or enlist the Mockingbirds--a secret society of students dedicated to righting the wrongs of their fellow peers.
In this honest, page-turning account of a teen girl's struggle to stand up for herself, debut author Daisy Whitney reminds readers that if you love something or someone--especially yourself--you fight for it.
Descriptions from Goodreads.
What inspired you to write about such an important and sensitive issue?
Like Alex, I was date raped as a teen. It’s twenty years later and I am very much healed, but the experience is still a profound one. I successfully pressed charges in my university’s disciplinary system and that experience of standing up and speaking out contributed greatly to my own ability to move forward. But speaking out is very challenging and that’s why I wanted to show that speaking up for yourself can occur in many different ways.
How do you deal with controversy regarding the topic?
I do my best to listen and hear people out.
Is there a special significance to the secret society’s moniker, “The Mockingbirds”?
The name of the secret society comes from To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s the canonical story of justice and doing the right thing.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this novel?
Waiting for it to come out!
Why do you think the YA genre has become so popular in recent years?
Because it is so expansive, authentic and unafraid. Many YA writers dig into meaty topics, fun topics, inventive topics. Readers are responding to that.
Daisy Whitney is a new media producer, reporter, and internationally-known Web show creator, and The Mockingbirds is her debut novel. When Daisy’s not inventing fictional high school worlds, she produces conferences for iMedia and provides strategy consulting to businesses on the online video marketplace. As a reporter, Daisy covers new media for NBC’s KNTV, ABCNews.com, The Hollywood Reporter, MediaPost and others. She is one of the first journalists to launch her own online newscast that covers the business of Internet video – the New Media Minute. Her work is regularly read and watched by executives across the television, cable, advertising and Internet businesses. She also hosts the top-ranked iTunes audio podcast “This Week in Media,” which you should totally subscribe to. A graduate of Brown University, Daisy believes in shoes, chocolate chip cookies, and karma.
Daisy lives in San Francisco, California with her fabulous husband, fantastic kids, and adorable dog, and you can follow her new media adventures at DaisyWhitney.com.
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Thank you so much to Daisy Whitney for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Teen Book Scene for organizing this tour!