Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Sophomore Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is leaving for college at the end of the summer, and Ashleigh is afraid that he will forget all about her once he’s there. During a big summer party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest that she text Kaleb a nude picture of herself to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it and armed with liquid courage, Ashleigh snaps a picture and texts it to Kaleb.

The next morning Ashleigh wakes up with a hangover and second thoughts about what she did, but Kaleb’s enthusiasm convinces her that she made the right choice. Then Kaleb leaves for school and Ashleigh realizes that long-distance relationships are very challenging. They go through a bad break-up when Kaleb comes back home for a visit. Ashleigh’s friends decide to get back at Kaleb for breaking her heart, and in retaliation, Kaleb shares the text with the baseball team. The photo goes viral.

Soon the photo has gotten the attention of the entire school, the school board, the media, and the police, and Ashleigh finds herself in big trouble. Ashleigh is humiliated and betrayed as she finds herself and her family in the center of a major scandal. In a world where almost everyone has a smartphone and access to the internet, a book like “Thousand Words” is so important to read and discuss.

Review by Maddie, CLP-Squirrel Hill


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