Loving Healing Press (2011)
ISBN 9781615990009
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (6/11)

Anybody who works with children, or any parents of young children, will find this book to be very helpful, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. "Will the Courageous" is easy to read and understand therefore making it accessible to young children.

Will is an energetic six-year-old who has to go to a caretaker’s home after school since his mother started working. Nana Winnie is fun to be around and really listens to the children she watches. One day Nana Winnie’s nephew Perry came to visit for a few weeks. At first Perry was fun to be around and listened to Will’s knock-knock jokes. Perry then wanted to play the tickle game which Will wasn’t very fond of. Perry started to make Will feel uncomfortable when he touched him between the legs.

After that incident Will started going straight to his room, acted like he was sick and didn’t want to go to school. Will’s mom and dad took him to the doctor’s to have him checked out. Finally Will mumbled to his doctor what happened. He was then referred to a child advocacy center. Will learned it was not his fault what happened and was taught ways to handle situations like that in the future.

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Ms. Barth did an excellent job in writing this book so any six to nine-year olds will be able to understand about inappropriate touching and “secrets.” It is the responsibility of all parents to teach their child about this. Avoiding the topic will not help and children will eventually stuff their feelings.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, and interesting to look at; any child would be able to relate to Will.

I would recommend “Will the Courageous: A Story About Sexual Abuse”to all counselors, doctors and staff that work with children as well as parents of young children.  The book certainly makes it easier to discuss sexual abuse with them.