Jump to Body Text

Story Books for Helping Children with Family Violence

Margaret Kearney, LCSW, CISW

Published: 1998

Table of Contents

Author's Note
Story Books

Author's Note

* denotes a highly recommended title. Titles can be ordered through your local bookstore or through the publisher.

Story Books

*A Family That Fights Sharon Bernstein Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co. (847) 581-0033 An 8 year old boy & his two younger siblings live in a home where the father abuses the mother. Picture book with illustrations in pencil, 4 - 12 years.

A Safe Place Maxine Trottier Childwork/Childsplay - 1-800-962-1141 A mother escapes to a domestic violence shelter with her young daughter, where she builds up her strength and gains the courage to begin a new life. As they leave, the little girl gives hope to a frightened boy just entering the shelter. Picture book with illustrations in colored pencil, 5-9 years.

All Season Front Row Seat to the Fights (Whether you want to be there or not!) Linda Parise Larson Wausau, WI: LPL Reflections Not a story book, per se, but a booklet that is a collaboration between a counselor & the children she has worked with. Black & white illustration by children, with explanations by the author; 7 - 13 years. (Available through Paperbacks for Educators.)

*Clover's Secret Christine Winn & David Walsh, PhD Minneapolis, MN: Fairview Press (800) 544-8207/ FAX (612) 672-4980 http://fairviewpress.org/In an imaginary land where people can fly, two girls form a friendship that helps one of them deal with the problems she faces at home. Picture book with colored pencil illustrations, 4 - 10 years.

*Daddy, Daddy, Be There Candy Dawson Boyd & Floyd Cooper New York City: Philomel Books Division of Putnam & Grosset Children's moving pleas for a father's love & support. This easy-to-read story touches on all that children want from their father - emotionally - as they go through the life span together. This book only touches on domestic violence, but its use as a tool for assessment & for exploration of wish-fulfillment cannot be denied. Picture book with multicultural illustrations in pastels, ages 3 - 10.

*The Dragon & the Mouse Steven Timm Available exclusively from: Touchstone Enterprise 2108 South University Drive Fargo, ND 58103 (701) 237-4742 A mouse lives with a dragon who is abuse to him emotionally, physically, mentally and socially. In he end, the mouse leaves the living arrangement, but continues to be friends with the dragon. Picture book with vivid illustrations, 4 - 11 years.

Hear My Roar: Lungin's Broken Family Dr. Ty Hochban Buffalo, NY: Annick Press Ltd. A bear family struggles with the father bear's drinking and abuse. When the mother bear discovers how it is affecting the baby bear, she seeks help from the family doctor. Eventually they leave, seeking shelter from the violence. It is written in 5 short chapters, so young children will need to take breaks between chapters. Includes information for mothers and paraprofessionals on the effects of domestic violence on children and how to share this book with a child. Also validates the mother's reactions to the abuse. Be careful, when using this book, not to allow the child to infer that the drinking causes the abuse, or to assume that the abuse will end if the drinking does. Storybook with woodcut illustrations, 6 - 11 years, 31 pages.

*I Wish the Hitting Would Stop The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead Fargo, ND: Red Flag Green Flag Resources (800) 627-3675 / FAX (888) 237-5332 https://www.raccfm.com/education/elementary/ Actually a workbook that can be used as a story book, it is written from the perspectives of young persons living in violent homes. Their feelings & thoughts about parental violence are explored. Safety-planning & coping skills are addressed as well. A 68-page facilitator's guide is also available, which includes discussion questions, related activities and a resource section listing books, films and games for children and adults, as well as "Cycle of Violence" and "Myths and Realities of Domestic Violence." Large softcover book with simple black & white drawings suitable for coloring, 6 - 14 years.

Mommy & Daddy are Fighting Susan Paris & Gail Labinski Seattle, WA: Seal Press (206) 283-7844 / FAX (206) 285-9410 Three young sisters build a fort of blankets & huddle together to cope with their father's abuse against their mother. Picture book with washed illustrations, 4 - 8 years.

*Something Is Wrong At My House / Algo Anda Mal En Mi Casa Diane Davis Seattle, WA: Parenting Press (800) 992-6657 / FAX (206) 362-0702 http://www.parentingpress.com/A boy tells about the violence in his home & how it affects him. For younger children, you can read just a text below the illustrations. Includes advice for children on coping. Small book with pencil sketch illustrations, 3 - 10 years.

Also in their Books to Help Protect Children series (Spanish versions of these are also available.):

  • Loving Touches (a book about positive, nurturing touches)

  • The Trouble with Secrets (helps young children decide whether to keep or share a secret)

  • Something Happened & I'm Scared to Tell (for sexual abuse victims)

  • It's My Body (sexual abuse prevention).

*When Mommy Got Hurt - A Story for Young Children About Domestic Violence Ilene Lee & Kathy Sylvester Charlotte, NC: KIDSRIGHTS (800) 892-5437 / FAX (704) 541-0113 A young (androgynous) child tells this story about the parents' fight, how the mother & child leave to live somewhere safe, and the conversations the mother has with this child afterward. The story focuses on four points: Violence is wrong, it is not the child's fault, it happens in many families and it's OK to talk about it. Large softcover book with simple black & white drawings suitable for coloring, 3 - 9 years.

The Words Hurt Chris Loftis Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press (908) 604-6311 Greg's dad never physically hurt anybody, but he yelled things that often made the people around him feel awful. One afternoon, though, Greg finally expressed his sad & hurt feelings to his father. This book is long, and may not hold the attention of some children. Storybook with graphic art illustrations, 8 - 12 years, 44 pages.

Margaret Kearney has also compiled the following lists of resources: