Friday, August 26, 2011

Picture Books About Abuse and Complex Living Situations


The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be Sad by Rob Goldblatt, 2004. A boy who doesn’t want to be sad anymore decides that the best way to protect himself is to get rid of anything that could make him sad – but discovers that he is closing off his heart to many of life’s joys as well.

Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World by John Burningham, 2007. When a perfectly normal boy experiences verbal abuse from his caregivers, his behavior goes downhill – until the adults in his life remember to look for and recognize his positive qualities.

A Family That Fights by Sharon Chesler Bernstein, 1991. Henry's parents fight often and his father sometimes hits his mother, causing Henry to feel frightened and ashamed. This book includes a list of things children can do in situations of family violence.

Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi, 2002. Children who have been abused or witnessed abuse can mimic what they have seen. This book offers alternative solutions for dealing with anger and frustration.

Hope Is An Open Heart by Lauren Thompson, 2010. A gentle reminder that, although hope can sometimes feel far away, it is always there, and that there are people that a child can go to when he/she needs help. 

Is A Worry Worrying You? by Ferida Wolff, 2005. This book acknowledges and addresses the worries of children and helps the child deal with them through problem-solving and/or telling a trusted adult.

The Magic Beads by Nancy Neilsen-Fernlund, 2007. When Lily thinks about what to bring in for Show and Tell at school, the butterflies in her stomach turn to grasshoppers, bunny rabbits, donkeys and buffaloes. She and her mother are currently staying in a homeless shelter, and she doesn't know what to share.

One of the Problems of Everett Anderson by Lucille Clifton, 2001. Everett suspects that his friend at school might be abused, and doesn’t know what to do, so he asks a trusted adult for advice.

Please Tell! A Child's Story About Sexual Abuse by Jessie Ottenweller, 1991. Nine-year-old Jennie's words and illustrations help other sexually abused children know that they're not alone, that it's okay to talk about their feelings, and that the abuse wasn't their fault.

Sometimes Bad Things Happen by Ellen Jackson, 2002. Mentions some of the bad things that happen in the world and presents some positive ways to respond to them.  

Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry by Bebe Moore Campbell, 2003. Annie reaches out to her grandmother for help when her mother acts out due to mental illness.

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes, 2000. After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and angry, but talking through those emotions with an adult proves to be helpful.

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