When she's not working her amazing teacher magic with ninth grade English students, Beth is an advocate for children and survivors of sexual abuse, and is a member of RAINN Speakers' Bureau (if you're unfamiliar, that stands for Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) and has done a ton of talks and panel discussions on that very subject.
Beth is a survivor of abuse herself and a lot of her personal experiences have gone into all her books. Which is so great because they drive home the point that even though you've had awful experiences, YOU ARE STRONG AND YOU ARE AWESOME AND YOU WILL SURVIVE. Which is an important thing to remember.
See what I mean? SUPERHERO. MATERIAL.
If you're a tweeter, you can find Beth on Twitter and tweet ALL the things to her! Also, the book summary for Big Fat Disaster was taken from Beth's website. You should read more about her awesomeness there. :) And don't forget to say hi and admire her superpowers at YA Fest 2017!
All other book summaries taken from Goodreads.
Big Fat Disaster
Colby Denton’s family is a “package deal”. That’s what her dad, a candidate for the U.S. Senate running on a “Family Values” platform, calls his wife, a former Miss Texas, and three daughters: Rachel, Colby, and Drew. Rachel and Drew inherited their mother’s traditional beauty, but Colby takes after her father, a linebacker on his college football team.
Colby finds a photo of her father kissing another woman, and within hours, Colby’s father admits that he is in love with his mistress. But that’s not all he’s been up to; he’s also been stealing from his campaign, and his investment company has been defrauding investors so that he can support his secret lifestyle.
His wife and daughters are not only the objects of media speculation; they’re left homeless, too. The only person willing to provide them a place to live is Colby’s eccentric Aunt Leah, resident of Piney Creek, a tiny East Texas town, the black sheep of her image-conscious family, and mother to Ryan, the only player on his football team with the courage to report a girl’s sexual assault at a party. His teammates are out for revenge, and Ryan has a grudge against the world.
Piney Creek, Texas is tiny: Kindergarten through 12th grades are in the same building! But the social media network is huge, as Colby discovers. Her mother blames her binge eating and resulting weight problem for attracting negative attention, and Colby is driven to desperate measures. Tragedy ensues, and Colby keeps a secret out of fear that her mother will reject her once more if she finds out the truth.
At last, Colby must confront the truth about the tragedy, her role in the destruction of her family, and the eating disorder that will eventually kill her if she does not learn to cope in other ways.
Courage in Patience
After six years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her stepfather, 14-year-old Ashley finally finds the courage to reveal the painful details of her experiences with her mother, who refuses to acknowledge the problem and turns her back on her daughter. After confiding in her teacher—the only adult whom Ashley can trust—she is removed from her home and sent to live with her father and his second wife, Beverly, an English teacher. Nurtured by Beverly, an extraordinarily positive influence in her life, Ashley and a summer school class of troubled teens learn to face their fears and discover who they really are.
Hope in Patience
Fifteen-year-old Ashley Asher has spent half of her life living in fear. Her stepfather sexually abused her for years, but her mother didn't believe her. After Child Protective Services finally removes Ashley from their home, she goes to live with the father she barely remembers. Her new life in Patience, Texas, is much better. She's in therapy to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; she's getting used to living with her father, stepmother, and stepbrother; and she's made some friends at her new high school. But Ashley is so traumatized by her past that she sometimes scratches herself until she bleeds. When her stepfather is finally put on trial for hurting her, she learns that truth and justice don't always go together. Will Ashley adjust to a better life?
Truth in Patience
Truth in the past.
Truth in reality.
Truth for tomorrow.
Finally adjusting to life in small town Texas, Ashley Asher sees a glimmer of what happiness really is. Even her new relationship with the attentive Joshua Brandt shows promise of a first romance. But Ashley's fear of intimacy after years of unspeakable abuse may cause friction and distance in their relationship.
Determined to prove to her that she's healing, Dr. Matt, her beloved therapist, shows her that "life is messy." And he doesn't know how messy it is about to get. When her mother decides that Ashley belongs back in their hometown with her, Ashley is forced into another family feud that she isn't prepared for. Refusing to leave behind the new life she created in Texas, Ashley and her mother go head-to-head. But can Ashley finally find the courage and strength to battle her demons when her mother might be the biggest demon of all?