SELF-MUTILATION
Still a Growing Teenage Disorder


Shelley Stoehr has authored four award-winning novels for young adults. Shelley has been called “one of the new young breed of truth-telling young adult writers” (Horn Book). “Stoehr’s narrative flow is a strength, as is her ability to capture the rhythms, attitudes, and feelings of teens facing a violent, drug-filled world of big dreams with little chance of making it” (SLJ).

Shelley has done a great deal of speaking about YA literature in general (see events page for upcoming or recent speaking engagements,) and especially about self-injuring, or “cutting”, the subject of her most popular book, CROSSES. Shelley is available for readings, interviews and signings. Contact her at shelleystoehr@​gmail.com or through this site.

My Works


Saving Bone
MG fiction: Izzy and bff Seven (whose name was supposed to have been “Steven”, but the “t” was left off his birth certificate) set out to rescue a dog, Bone, from its abusive owner. Although they fail repeatedly, they cannot stop trying – though Izzy wonders why not. What's so important that they have to risk "life and limb" to save this dog?

But then Izzy learns a truth about Seven, a reality that is so horrible, she realizes it isn’t only Bone who needs saving – it is Seven.



Weresisters
A dangerous secret…

Sixteen-year-old Kyra is odd. She can “mind-speak” with her adoptive father. She has no recollection of anything about her life before age ten. One leg is so badly damaged she has to walk with a brace. And all she wants in her junior year of high school is to be cool.

Instead, she becomes a werewolf…

Suddenly, a madman is hunting Kyra with plans to use her as his lab rat. A big grey werewolf is killing humans in her town. And worse, her adoptive father might be dating her biological mother.

Torn among allegiances to her father, her newly discovered family, and the werewolf pack, Kyra must learn to control the beast within and find a way to stop the madman who threatens to destroy them all.

A horrifying act…

Selene is a beautiful, tough punk-rocker leader of the meanest gang in school—and a werewolf through and through. She is on the top of the world and plans to stay there.

Then Selene kills a human and unleashes a murderous rage that threatens to turn her into a mindless, violent beast. Terrified of what she might become, Selene runs away.

Now, far from home in the company of killer werewolves, Selene must run again. She must find a way to regain her humanity.

And she must do it quickly, because someone is following her…


Crosses
From The Critics:

Publisher's Weekly
Stoehr draws a hard-hitting, graphically realistic portrait of troubled adolescents who indulge in alcohol, drugs, sex, shoplifting and ``cutting'' themselves, deliberately, an activity that somehow assuages inner turmoil.... Yet this morbidly compelling chronicle of promising lives gone astray commands attention throughout. Ages 14-up. (Nov.)

School Library Journal
Gr 9-12-- Self-abuser Nancy deals with alcoholic, abusive parents by hurting herself and drinking. At school she meets Katie and they become best friends; both are freshmen, both are punkers, and both are scarred from cutting. Cutting--with fingernails, glass, or any sharp instrument--is their escape from the sordid reality and lack of control of their lives. When you hurt physically, you can't feel emotional pain. Strong street language, sex, and violence mark this portrayal of a troubled young teen. Written as a first-person narrative, the compelling story draws readers into Nancy's mind: they will feel the intensity of her pain, both physical and emotional. Characterizations of parents, caring but misguided school personnel, punk rockers, and other teens are strong, realistic, and consistent. Stereotypes have been avoided, and the language, conversations, and relationships are contemporary and genuine. Consequences for actions are logical; didacticism is avoided, yet the unstated message of the horrors of drugs and alcohol is there. Reminiscent of Go Ask Alice (S. & S., 1971), the powerful portrayal of Nancy and Katie will be read again and again by today's teens. --Gail Richmond, Point Loma High School, San Diego

Weird on the Outside
From the Critics:

Voice of Youth Advocates
An emotionally powerful novel that describes with great intensity a trap of adolescent behavior and beliefs.


Tomorrow Wendy
A Reader Reports:

Jessica (Vixen_0297@yahoo.com), a 17 year old student from MA., July 28, 2000,
True Realism and Grit in an Outstanding book
This book was outstanding. I could really connect with the main character. There were many striking similarities between my mind and hers. We ask each other the same questions and this book helped to answer them. This was the first book I read that truly reflected teenagers with the right attitude and reality. It was not a person trying too hard to sound like a teenager and trying to hard to have the attitude of a teenager but it was like reading something I myself had written. Truly one of the best books I've read.

Selected Works

Fiction
MG fiction: Izzy and bff Seven (whose name was supposed to have been “Steven”, but the “t” was left off his birth certificate) set out to rescue a dog, Bone, from its abusive owner. Although they fail repeatedly, they cannot stop trying – though Izzy wonders why not. What's so important that they have to risk "life and limb" to save this dog? But then Izzy learns a truth about Seven, a reality that is so horrible, she realizes it isn’t only Bone who needs saving – it is Seven.
Young Adult Fiction
A dangerous secret… Sixteen-year-old Kyra is odd. She can “mind-speak” with her adoptive father. She has no recollection of anything about her life before age ten. One leg is so badly damaged she has to walk with a brace. And all she wants in her junior year of high school is to be cool. Instead, she becomes a werewolf… Suddenly, a madman is hunting Kyra with plans to use her as his lab rat. A big grey werewolf is killing humans in her town. And worse, her adoptive father might be dating her biological mother. Torn among allegiances to her father, her newly discovered family, and the werewolf pack, Kyra must learn to control the beast within and find a way to stop the madman who threatens to destroy them all. A horrifying act… Selene is a beautiful, tough punk-rocker leader of the meanest gang in school—and a werewolf through and through. She is on the top of the world and plans to stay there. Then Selene kills a human and unleashes a murderous rage that threatens to turn her into a mindless, violent beast. Terrified of what she might become, Selene runs away. Now, far from home in the company of killer werewolves, Selene must run again. She must find a way to regain her humanity. And she must do it quickly, because someone is following her…
Nancy and Katie are best friends with one big thing in common -- they both cut themselves, “Not by accident, we do it purposely -- and regularly -- because physical pain is comforting, and because now it has become a habit.”
When sixteen-year-old Tracey runs away she finds that making ends meet in New York City for a young girl with few real skills is nearly impossible.
“I’ve discovered that if you wear a big enough hat, no one worries much about what’s going on inside your head,” says Cary. And no one, not even her boyfriend, Danny, knows about the things inside Cary’s head. Especially the feelings she has for Wendy, a girl with bright green hair and hard-candy sadness in her eyes.

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