Published by Dottir Press
Summary: 11-year-old Dawn has recently been sexually assaulted by her 22-year-old cousin. When the story opens, she has just told her mother and sibling Billie. Everyone has different reactions. Dawn sometimes feels like she has left her body and is looking down on herself; she also misses the close relationship she had with her cousin and is struggling to come to terms with what he has done to her. Billie is angry and says they want to kill their cousin. Dawn’s mother is sad, angry, and glad that Dawn has told her what happened; she also signs herself up for a self-defense class. When Mom tells her mother and the cousin’s parents what has happened, they don’t believe her and say that Dawn is just trying to get attention. Dawn is fortunate to have caring and understanding people in her life who are determined to end the legacy of abuse that has also affected them. By the end of the story, Dawn has started to find people and resources to help her heal. Includes several pages of resources and discussion questions at the beginning and end for kids who have experienced sexual abuse or know someone who has. 96 pages; grades 3-8.
Pros and cons: Although this was a difficult book to read and review, I recognize it is an important resource for kids who have experienced sexual abuse and the family members, counselors, and others who are trying to help them. The story is told in a format similar to a journal, with a font that looks like handwriting and art created from collage and Spirograph drawings (more on those in the back matter). The story itself shows a wide range of emotions and reactions to the abuse, and the resources and discussion questions add another empathetic layer.
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