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Cover for The Burning

The Burning

Laura Bates


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/20/2019)
Paperback (3/1/2021)


"A smart, explosive examination of gender discrimination and its ramifications." -- Publishers Weekly

From Laura Bates, internationally renowned feminist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, comes a realistic novel for the #metoo era. The Burning will prompt all readers to consider the implications of sexism and the role we can each play in ending it

What happens when you can't run or hide from a mistake that goes viral?

New school. Check.
New town. Check.
New last name. Check.
Social media profiles? Deleted.

Anna and her mother have moved hundreds of miles to put the past behind them. Anna hopes to make a fresh start and escape the harassment she's been subjected to. But then rumors and whispers start, and Anna tries to ignore what is happening by immersing herself in learning about Maggie, a local woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century. A woman who was shamed. Silenced. And whose story has unsettling parallels to Anna's own.

The Burning is a powerful call to action, perfect for readers looking for:

  • feminist novels for teens
  • young adult realistic fiction books
  • contemporary novels with historical fiction elements
  • books that deal with current events and issues

Praise for The Burning:

"A haunting rallying cry against sexism and bullying." --Kirkus Reviews

"Emotionally charged...powerful." --Booklist

"A painfully realistic, spellbinding novel." --Shelf Awareness

"Bates's twist on a cautionary tale will take readers on an emotional roller coaster". --School Library Journal

Sourcebooks Fire, 9781728206738, 352pp.

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Conversation Starters from

1. Maggie’s story, though four hundred years old, has been handed down for centuries through local accounts and area folklore. Anna’s story is based on the real-life experiences of thousands of teenage girls. What are the main similarities and differences between their stories?

2. Have things changed dramatically for young women in those four hundred years?

3. How do you feel about the conversation between Anna and Emily Winters? How do you think both girls feel afterward?

4. How well do you think Ms. Forsyth and Miss Evans handle the information they learn about Anna online? Is there anything they could have done differently to better support her?

5. When Robin tries to stand up for Anna, he experiences homophobic bullying from some of the other boys. What pressures do the young men in the novel face, from one another and from outside?

6. What do you think Anna’s mother is thinking and feeling when they arrive in St. Monans?

7. How would you describe Anna’s relationship with her mother? Does it change over the course of the novel?

8. Why do you think Headmaster Greaves reacts the way he does to Anna’s situation?

9. How would you describe Alisha’s character? What do you think about the way she defines true love in her conversation with Anna on the pier?

10. Alisha and Cat are very different but are extremely close friends. What do you think makes their relationship so strong?

11. How do you think Anna’s old friends back in Birmingham feel now that she is gone? Do you think the way they feel about Anna will change as they grow older?

12. Both Anna and Cat experience backlash for making decisions about their own bodies. In what ways are girls’ bodies policed in the novel and in real life?