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Annabelle's Secret: A Story about Sexual Abuse Paperback – May 15, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 07
  • Paperback: 20 pages
  • Publisher: Loving Healing Press (May 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932690956
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932690958
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,403,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KaelebsMomma on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I decided to read Annabelle's Secret to my children (aged 8 and 10) this week. I thought it was an important topic that we should cover again. I also liked the fact that instead of me telling my children about inappropriate touches and behaviors, I was able to read them a story that had characters that they could relate to.

The plot in Annabelle's Secret follows Annabelle from the age of 7 through 14. Annabelle was touched inappropriately by a neighborhood boy. The story tells her point of view and the issues that she experienced. It also encourages children to tell someone they trust. I think Amy Barth did a wonderful job at telling a story that many shy away from. I think that Amy's writing is appropriate for younger children, as far as comprehension. However, the book was quite lengthy and I'm not sure younger children would be able to follow along by themselves. I actually think this is a good thing, because I feel like this is a topic best approached with adults because there will certainly be questions that follow. That being said, older or mature children would have no problems reading this book. I personally feel that Annabelle's Secret is great for younger children, through teens. When children are abused, age doesn't play a factor and it's our responsibility to give children the knowledge they need. If we continue to make the topic taboo, children of any age will be too afraid to come forward if something like this should happen to them.

I appreciate the honesty that this story deals with. I think that Amy covered quite a few of the issues that one might experience and the prolonged affects of sexual abuse. I would definitely recommend this book to others who are looking to educate children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wayne S. Walker on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a parent, what should you do if your daughter or son told you that she or he had been sexually abused by someone. Annabelle is now fourteen and just starting high school. However, when she was seven, a neighborhood boy named Joel, who was thirteen, asked her to join his "secret club" that was only for "big girls." She was the only girl, and after a while he wanted to play a game where he took his pants off and wanted Annabelle to touch him while he touched her. She didn't like the game and it gave her a yucky feeling, but she wanted to be a "big girl." Confused and scared, Annabelle yearned to tell her mom, yet Joel had told her not to tell their secret to anyone.
Soon, Annabelle began not to want to go outside and play, but one day when she was jumping rope, Joel and a friend came by and asked her to play with them. This time, she ran inside to her mom, started crying, and finally told her mom about the "games." Her mom took her to a therapist named Laurie who was able to help her. Things were all right for a few years, but when she was eleven, Annabelle began having some behavioral problems and nightmares. Her mom thought that they might have something to do with what had happened to her earlier, so she contacted Laurie again, and Annabelle was invited to attend some group sessions for girls who had been sexually abused. Annabelle didn't want to go at first. Will she change her mind? And will she get the help that she needs?
The subject of this book is certainly not a pleasant thing to read or talk about, but it is definitely one that needs to be discussed. There are news reports all the time about young children who are abused by neighbors, teachers, and even relatives, and what we hear is probably only the tip of the iceberg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebby on June 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Amy Barth has created a book that miraculously makes those awkward conversations with children a little bit easier. Annabelle's Secret is a great resource for those looking to educate their children about sexual abuse and how to handle it should it ever happen to them.

The story is narrated by Annabelle, a fourteen year-old girl who is a survivor of sexual abuse. An older boy from her neighborhood begins abusing her when she is only seven years old. During and after the abuse, Annabelle struggles with the same issues many abuse victims face. She worries about angering her abuser and parents by telling and she often feels guilt for letting the abuse occur. Annabelle copes with these feelings by mistreating herself and refusing to have a healthy, social life. Once she shares her secret with a parent, the healing process can begin. She is fortunate enough to receive support from her parents, counselor, and other survivors following the abuse.

The topic of sexual abuse can be very difficult to discuss with a child. Thankfully, Annabelle's Secret is written in a simple, comforting way that will appeal to children. The text is nicely complemented with bright illustrations. It could be read with children by parents or teachers to educate them about sexual abuse and what they can do about it. The book reassures children that it's okay to tell someone about it, which is a dilemma that often plagues abuse victims. This book would also be appropriate to use by therapists who treat victims of sexual abuse. It offers a variety of ways a child or young adult can cope with abuse, such as tracking feelings in a journal, taking a jog, talking with other victims, or sketching.
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