Parent Reviewers reviews “Will the Courageous”

Thanks to Loving Healing Press, our panel of reviewers had the opportunity to review two of the following books. Check out  their thoughts on each book below:

1. Will The Courageous: A Story About Sexual Abuse by Amy Barth

Will the Courageous: A Story About Sexual Abuse


  • ISBN-10: 1615990003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615990009

Will is a typical six-year-old boy: he loves to tell “knock-knock jokes”, collect bugs, and play with other kids. On most school days, Will goes to Nana Winnie’s until his mom returns from work. Will enjoys having his Nana as a babysitter. Recently, Nana’s cousin Perry has come to visit and suddenly Will no longer wants to go there. He starts having nightmares, acting out in school and wetting his bed. Will’s parents are worried. What is wrong with Will?

Chanel’s Journal : After reading this book, I as parent must make sure we equip ourselves in educating our kids. Also, we need to take time to be close with our kids to ensure them that we are there for them so that they are feeling secure and not in fear. Be our kids’ good friend whom they can rely and trust on.

It is a great book for me to read with JL on our journey of learning and understanding…

2 Thumbs & A Dummy -We think that it was definitely well written and once again, simple and easy to understand for school going children. In my opinion, some bits of the story were somewhat graphic but I think this is totally unavoidable due to the message that Ms. Barth wants to bring forth. I think even when Arianna is old enough to understand, it is going to be uncomfortable for me to read it to her but it will be done because we need to educate our children about these sadly, common encounters.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

Mom 2 BB Reviews – The number of sexual abuse cases among children are on the rise but yet, this is a subject that many parents find difficult to broach. With books like Will The Courageous, it helps ease the communication of such issue between parents and young children. It enables us to teach our young children and make them aware of the difference between the touch of someone who is showing them affection and the touch or approaches of someone who is trying to take sexual advantage of them.

Rambling Moo – This book is very helpful for those who works with children such as counselors, doctors and staff working with children as well as parents of young children. The author has written this book in a very easy to understand manner which is suitable for any children between the age of 6-9. Children in this age group will understand about what  “inappropriate touching” is about and how they can relate their experience to their parents or caregivers should they are a victim of sexual abuse.

Jamerican Spice – This book is easy to read and understand without sharing too many explicit details so it’s perfect for a child. The illustrations are expressive and interesting and the book is written very well. I would definitely recommend this book!

Tsue ~ That’s What She Said -As uncomfortable as this topic is, the statistics indicate that all children need to be educated about appropriate touching, in an age appropriate manner, and to trust their internal alarms.  Will the Courageous ~ A Story About Sexual Abuse is an excellent resource for accomplishing this difficult task

Rebby reviews Annabelle’s Secret

Difficult Topic, Nice Book, June 26, 2009

By  Rebby (Illinois) – See all my reviews

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!

Reader Views reviews 101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders

101 Tips for Recovering from Eating Disorders: A Pocket Book of Wisdom
Amy Barth
Loving Healing Press (2009)
ISBN 9781615990016
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (9/09)

“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.

Maria’s Space reviews Annabelle’s Secret

as_400Recently 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!”

Highly recommended!

Read the full blog posting at Maria’s Space

Reader Views Kids reviews Annabelle’s Secret

as_400Annabelle’s Secret
Amy Barth
Loving Healing Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690958
Reviewed by Sophia ( age 6.5 ) and Madeline ( age 8 ) McElroy for Reader Views (6/09)

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.

Even after reading “Annabelle’s Secret” by Amy Barth and discussing that you should tell someone, my eldest daughter questioned, “What if it’s someone I know?” That really showed me how valuable this type of dialogue is for our children. It allows them to ask the questions and have the answers, should they ever need them in the future.


Reader Views Reviews: 101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse

101t1_250101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Pocket Book of Wisdom
Amy Barth

Loving Healing Press (2009)
ISBN 9781932690941
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (5/09)

“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.