By Lauri C. Coates (MASCOUTAH, IL United States) – See all my reviews
This is a great book for any survivor of sex abuse, of nearly any age. Written in a very easy to understand format, it is simple and straightforward. The main point is made over and over again…..IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! This little gem of a book reminds survivors over and over, and that’s a needed reminder, as most abuse survivors do tend to blame themselves.
The book doesn’t cover any new ground in the fight against sexual abuse; but it’s purpose is really to assist survivors, not give professionals more knowledge. I have worked with sexual abuse survivors in the past; and all these topics will prove helpful and help with the healing process. Reminding people that there are good days and bad days is essential. It’s not like having an illness or disease; it never totally goes away. But working through it can make recovery possible.
If you have a loved one or friend that is dealing with abuse, they will find this book helpful. Read it yourself, and you will gain insight into helping those you love deal with what can be a devasting incident.
Difficult Topic, Nice Book, June 26, 2009
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.
Because of the sensitive nature of sexual abuse, many parents and guardians choose to forgo discussing it with their children. This choice could be one they end up regretting. At the very least, providing children with a copy of this book will give them a good idea of the issue and how to protect themselves. However, using this book to help start or guide this important discussion would be even better!
“101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders” is only a twenty-two page book. Yet within those pages is a great deal of tips that also include inspirational thoughts to help someone with an eating disorder on their road to recovery. In the first part of the book, the author tells the story about how she dealt with the pain of having an eating disorder. I think that most, if not all, readers will find themselves totally relating with her in this section and they will know that they are not alone.
In addition to other common experiences, the author and I both shared having a female role model
that supported our disease. While they might not realize it themselves, it was pretty apparent to both the author and me that this was the case. I could definitely pick this up in her writings. For me,
when I went through a hideous divorce, the role model in my life commented, “Well, it was too bad
that it happened, but at least she lost the weight.”
If others out there are reading this, and remembering similar experiences, please note that they will
find themselves relating even more to the 101 tips covered in these pages. Before you even get into the tips, read the section about the ten lessons that the author learned along the way. They are so true. As you read through the 101 tips, there are spaces that you can journal your thoughts about the tips that apply to you. I highly suggest that you do this so that you can really reflect on the tips and think about applying them to your life. The colorful illustrations that are on each page will help keep you in a positive frame of mind.
I highly recommend “101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders” by Amy Barth for people
who are contemplating recovery, in recovery, or think that that they have recovered from eating
disorders. You will discover healthy ways to cope with your eating disorder as you learn to heal.
If you’re recovering from an Eating Disorder (E.D.) it’s important to take one day at a time. Let 101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders be your companion in healing and you’ll be reminded of the strength and wisdom that’s already inside you. This book will help you celebrate the good days and develop solid coping strategies for the bad times. Most importantly, this book will remind that you’re not alone and recovery is possible.
Acclaim for 101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders: A Pocket Book of Wisdom
“If you struggle with food or body image, 101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders needs to be on your coffee table or nightstand. Amy Barth’s bite-sized nuggets of wisdom and inspiration will help to pick you up on rough days, give you much-needed hope everyday, and keep you moving along the journey to freedom.”
–Jenni Schaefer, author of Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder
“101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders is a heartfelt and helpful tool for anybody who is trying to recover from an eating disorder. It is one of those books you can take with you as your companion knowing that when times are tough, you can draw strength from reading its tips.”
–Irene Celcer, MA, LCSW
“Amy Barth graciously shares her own heart-filled knowledge and insider secrets to creating a rich and satisfying life. Barth’s words, culled from years of experience, make this book not only indispensible, but also a roadmap to success. ”
–Dr. Annette Colby, author of Body Redesign: Goal Setting Secrets for a Thinner, Happier You
About the author
Amy Barth is a thriver possessing a passion for girls and women who need to be set free in their mind and their hearts. Her background is in social work and she founded Safe Girls Strong Girls in 2005–an organization committed to breaking the silence of childhood sexual abuse and giving girls their voices back. Camp CADI is the only camp of its kind where girls can heal and just be girls again. She is the author of several books including Annabelle’s Secret and 101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Pocket Book of Wisdom .
For more information, visit www.AmyJBarth.com
From Loving Healing Press, www.LovingHealing.com
Self-Help : Eating Disorders – General
Recently I was offered an opportunity through Parent Reviewers to read a book by Amy Barth called Annabelle’s Secret. This is a book I wish was around to read when I was a child. As a child of sexual abuse there were no books that confirmed what I needed to know; that the abuse was not my fault!!
The book narrated by 14 year old Annabelle discusses the abuse she suffered when she was 7 years old, the age I was when my abuse started. When a neighborhood boy Joel approaches Annabelle about a secret club, she is very interested until she realizes that this club makes her feel bad about herself and the things she is expected to do. When she turns 11 those bad feelings resurface. Annabelle finds the courage to finally tell her mother who supports her and tells her that the abuse was not her fault.
Amy Barth, takes a very sensitive subject, and in the voice of a child, lets children reclaim their power.
This book should be in every therapists office and given to all children of abuse. Also, a great way for parents to be able to discuss with their children, the dangers of predators and let them know in a very safe, sensitive way about inappropriateness. Someone asking them to take off their clothes or touching them is wrong. They should know to say “no!”
Read the full blog posting at Maria’s Space
Loving Healing Press (2009)
Madeline: “Annabelle’s Secrets” is a difficult story about a young girl named Annabelle. This is a book for children who have been sexually abused. This is a book for children to help them realize that the abuse was not their fault and that they don’t need to be scared.
This book taught me about inappropriate behavior. This has never happened to me before but I learned a lot about what to do if this did happen to me. I learned that if anyone told me to keep a secret about inappropriate things I should tell my Mom or Dad immediately.
This book made me feel weird because of the icky things the boy made Annabelle do. I was surprised that Joel had to go to court, he was only 13. I was happy that he went to court because he did lots of bad stuff and he wasn’t allowed to go near Annabelle or any other kids in the neighborhood.
Sophia: I learned it’s not ok for others to touch you in your private spaces. If someone touches you inappropriately you should tell your parents, or if you cannot tell your parents you should find someone else to tell. You should never, ever keep a secret from your Mom or Dad. Older people should not ask kids to do inappropriate stuff.
Parent: I was not properly prepared for the mature nature of this book when my girls started reading it without me. I had asked them to wait for me while I cleaned-up the dinner dishes; they didn’t. I decided to read the book myself first and then have a pre-reading debriefing, so that all the details wouldn’t be too overwhelming. My youngest took it in stride and really understood the inappropriate touching concept. But, my eldest daughter really was shocked by most of the material.
When asked, neither of them knew that someone touching you or asking you to take your clothes off was wrong! I was shocked, I don’t know why, it’s not like we had ever talked about it before. In fact my husband was very disturbed that we were about to read the book, until I explained how this was a really good way to bring up the material before, rather than after, something bad occurred.
“101 Tips for Survivors of Sexual Abuse” is a twenty-three page book that does not waste one word. Small enough to be carried around in a purse or briefcase, this book touches on the subject of sexual abuse. Each tip addresses a different issue that a victim might be dealing with or have dealt with.
By reading the tips, I felt that survivors of sexual abuse will be easily be able to relate to most of them and in doing so, they will also know that they are not alone with whatever feelings they are experiencing. This would especially apply to the painful areas of feeling guilt and shame.
Each tip has a paragraph space underneath it which will also allow the reader to make personal notes for themselves. This will be helpful because as they go through their recovery, they will probably be experiencing a myriad of emotions at different times. By taking notes, they will be able to address
the feeling that they are experiencing at that moment in time, and they will also be able to look back and reflect on how far they have come with their recovery.
At the end of the book is a list of suggestions and exercises for people to do when they are having bad moments. There is a suggested reading list. I think that all of these will make excellent tools for people who need some guidance when they are dealing with their painful thoughts and negative emotions. It will give them something practical to do to help with their healing.
I think that “101 Tips for Survivors of Sexual Abuse” by Amy Barth will be perfect for both individuals, family members and for people in group therapy. The information within is highly personal, however, it would make great discussion material for both family members in recovery and for group counseling sessions.
Annabelle has a secret. When she was seven years old, she was approached by a
neighborhood boy and invited into a “secret club”. Unfortunately, this club was just a
ruse for thirteen-year-old Joel to groom Annabelle for abuse. A few years later, when Annabelle turns eleven, she finds some bad feelings have returned for her.
Experts Acclaim for Annabelle’s Secret
“Amy Barth’s Annabelle could be just the ‘friend’ a sexually abused child needs, and
it models just what parents should to do if their child shares about sexual abuse. A great little resource for children, parents, schools, therapists, treatment agencies, and prevention programs.”
–Karen R. Nash, LCSW
“Annabelle’s Secret is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book for children that tells the difficult tale of Annabelle, what happened to her, and what she did to stop the sexual abuse that she was experiencing. The book is written in a straightforward yet compelling manner that exposes the excruciating situation that far too many children experience. This book is a welcome and needed addition to the tools that we have for children and families and service providers for dealing openly about child sexual abuse.”
–Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder and CEO Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc
“Annabelle’s Secret supports important issues regarding sexual abuse that may arise in a young girl’s life. Written like a comforting letter from a survivor, the young reader will become aware of the importance and safety to report any encounters. The book is simply written and in understandable terms for any 6 to 9-year old. The information is concise, yet heartening and loving. Annabelle’s Secret should be read with a parent present to encourage dialog about this significant subject.”
–Irene Watson, author of The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference
“Annabelle relates a story that reconfirms what I have observed over many years.
Abused children, male or female, universally believe that it is their fault. Their self-image is mangled; they need to tell the truth; and they must get help from someone who knows how to treat such an injury to the soul.”
–Fr. Heyward B. Ewart, III, PhD, Author of Am I Bad? Recovering From Abuse
From Loving Healing press www.LovingHealing.com
Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues – Sexual Abuse