Today is National Love Our Children Day; a day dedicated to raising awareness against the steadily rising epidemic of violence against kids. As times change, society has become more concious of the effects of trauma and how to combat those effects.
The month of April is full of national holidays, one of them being recognized is National Love Our Children Day. Originally established by non-profit organization Love Our Children U.S.A. in 1999, the national day is meant to “prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against [and abuse of] children.”
Nowadays, communication between parents and children has become more open. This has allowed for more honest and accessible material to use in order to teach them how to prevent any abuse from happening.
Children’s Books About Abuse
“My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes” by pro familia, illustrated by Dagmar Giesler is book one of a sixteen part book series that teaches parents how to explain consent to children. The series “helps instill confidence in children when it comes to their bodies.” This whole picture book series is available for purchase on Amazon. The books have become a valuable resource for parents to encourage their children how to use their voice during situations they aren’t comfortable in.
“At the End of Holyrood Lane” by Dimity Powell, illustrated by Nicky Johnston, features Flick, a daring young girl who is terrified of thunderstorms. The book portrays one way domestic violence affects young minds, equating the fear of the abuser with a fear of thunderstorms. This small connection is meant to be understood by younger readers who might be struggling to seek help.
“The Big Bad Wolf in My House” by Valérie Fotaine, illustrated by Nathalie Dion and translated by Shelley Tanaka, tells the story of a little girl who lives with her single mother. One of her mom’s new friend hangs out at their house a lot. At first, he’s nice, but little mistakes anger the friend, making the little girl think of him as a wolf. This is yet another book about the way children view domestic violence within their homes. This book offers another passage for children to step up if they feel unsafe at their own homes.
Middle Grade Books About Abuse
“The Invisible Boy” by Alyssa Hollingsworth deals with the intense topic of human trafficking in a way that is digestable for twelve year olds. The protagonist, Nadia, is a journalist always on the lookout for superheros and villains within her community. During a storm, a stranger helps save her dog. After befriending Invisible Boy, as she so affectionately named him, Nadia notices some peculiar things about the boy. This book is laced with superhero style comics at the start of each chapter. It also features responsible adults to help Nadia figure out the mystery of the Invisible Boy.
“Fighting Words” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley deals with sexual abuse and is about sisters Suki and Della. The girls mother is currently in jail, so they’re staying with their mom’s boyfriend. Suki, the older of the two, suffers from night terrors, and Della (our protagonist) can’t figure out why. Bradley pulled from her own personal experience in life to create the book, and she holds nothing back in her effort to help children find the right words to talk about the most difficult things in their lives.
“Every Missing Piece” by Melanie Conklin is a graphic novel that combines the grief of domestic violence and the anxiety of a changing life. Maddy Gaines is never settled, danger is around every corner in her mind. One day, she meets a boy setting booby traps in the woods and she’s convinced that he’s a missing child from a few months earlier. The deeper she digs, the more chaos seems to consume her.
Books for Older Readers About Abuse
“Spilled Milk” by K. L. Randis is based on a true story. In the book, we follow Brooke Nolan, who was sexually abused by her father all the way into her teens. Her siblings also face physical abuse at his hands, as well as their mother. Later on, she’s eating dinner with her boyfriend’s family and his little brother spills a glass of milk, with no reprucussions. It’s then that she speaks out against her father. The book follows Brooke’s journey through the court trial against her father.
“The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity” by Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. is about her research concerning adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Harris says that our bodies are imprinted by them, they change out biological systems. In the books, she offers her reasons as to why she believes this and ways to prevent it from happening to future generations.
“Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Karyl McBride, Ph.D concerns itself with the trauma faced by daughters of self-involved mothers. The book provides assistance for readers to reclaim their lives to better their futures. McBride has over two decades of experience as a therapist, helping patients work through their trauma, formulating the proper program they should follow to heal the damage of toxic mothers.
National Love Our Children Day is an effort to prevent child abuse from ever happening again, eliminating the problem before it can spread. The best way to do this is by educating ourselves and future generations of healthy boundaries and coping mechanisms.
For more information about the Love Our Children U.S.A. non-profit organization, you can visit their website here.
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