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Annabelle's Secret

Annabelle's Secret

4.5 4
by Amy Barth
Annabelle has a secret. When she was seven years old, she was approached by a neighborhood boy and invited into a "secret club". Unfortunately, this club was just a ruse for thirteen-year-old Joel to groom Annabelle for abuse. A few years later, when Annabelle turns eleven, she finds some bad feelings have returned for her.

Experts Acclaim for Annabelle


Annabelle has a secret. When she was seven years old, she was approached by a neighborhood boy and invited into a "secret club". Unfortunately, this club was just a ruse for thirteen-year-old Joel to groom Annabelle for abuse. A few years later, when Annabelle turns eleven, she finds some bad feelings have returned for her.

Experts Acclaim for Annabelle's Secret

"Amy Barth's Annabelle could be just the 'friend' a sexually abused child needs, and it models just what parents should to do if their child shares about sexual abuse. A great little resource for children, parents, schools, therapists, treatment agencies, and prevention


--Karen R. Nash, LCSW

"Annabelle's Secret is a well-written and beautifully illustrated book for children that tells the difficult tale of Annabelle, what happened to her, and what she did to stop the sexual abuse that she was experiencing. The book is written in a straightforward yet compelling manner that exposes the excruciating situation that far too many children experience.

This book is a welcome and needed addition to the tools that we have for children and families and service providers for dealing openly about child sexual abuse."

--Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder and CEO

Stop the Silence: Stop Child Sexual Abuse, Inc

"Annabelle's Secret supports important issues regarding sexual abuse that may arise in a young girl's life. Written like a comforting letter from a survivor, the young reader will become aware of the importance and safety to report any encounters. The book is simply written and in understandable terms for any 6 to 9-year old. The information is concise, yet heartening and loving. Annabelle's Secret should be read with a parent present

to encourage dialog about this significant subject."
--Irene Watson, author of

The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference

"Annabelle relates a story that reconfirms what I have observed over many years.

Abused children, male or female, universally believe that it is their fault. Their self-image is mangled; they need to tell the truth; and they must get help from someone who knows how to treat such an injury to the soul."

--Fr. Heyward B. Ewart, III, PhD, Author of Am I Bad? Recovering From Abuse

To learn more, please visit www.AmyJBarth.com

From Loving Healing press www.LovingHealing.com

Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues - Sexual Abuse

Product Details

Loving Healing Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.05(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Annabelle's Secret 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
KaelebsMomma More than 1 year ago
I decided to read Annabelle's Secret to my children (aged 8 and 10) this week. I thought it was an important topic that we should cover again. I also liked the fact that instead of me telling my children about inappropriate touches and behaviors, I was able to read them a story that had characters that they could relate to. The plot in Annabelle's Secret follows Annabelle from the age of 7 through 14. Annabelle was touched inappropriately by a neighborhood boy. The story tells her point of view and the issues that she experienced. It also encourages children to tell someone they trust. I think Amy Barth did a wonderful job at telling a story that many shy away from. I think that Amy's writing is appropriate for younger children, as far as comprehension. However, the book was quite lengthy and I'm not sure younger children would be able to follow along by themselves. I actually think this is a good thing, because I feel like this is a topic best approached with adults because there will certainly be questions that follow. That being said, older or mature children would have no problems reading this book. I personally feel that Annabelle's Secret is great for younger children, through teens. When children are abused, age doesn't play a factor and it's our responsibility to give children the knowledge they need. If we continue to make the topic taboo, children of any age will be too afraid to come forward if something like this should happen to them. I appreciate the honesty that this story deals with. I think that Amy covered quite a few of the issues that one might experience and the prolonged affects of sexual abuse. I would definitely recommend this book to others who are looking to educate children. One of my favorite quotes in this book is the last one which reads, "I'm just wonderfully me!" Annabelle has learned that she can cope with what happened to her with the support from others. Bravo Amy. Many kudos to you for stepping up and approaching this head on with such a positive story.
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
As a parent, what should you do if your daughter or son told you that she or he had been sexually abused by someone. Annabelle is now fourteen and just starting high school. However, when she was seven, a neighborhood boy named Joel, who was thirteen, asked her to join his "secret club" that was only for "big girls." She was the only girl, and after a while he wanted to play a game where he took his pants off and wanted Annabelle to touch him while he touched her. She didn't like the game and it gave her a yucky feeling, but she wanted to be a "big girl." Confused and scared, Annabelle yearned to tell her mom, yet Joel had told her not to tell their secret to anyone. Soon, Annabelle began not to want to go outside and play, but one day when she was jumping rope, Joel and a friend came by and asked her to play with them. This time, she ran inside to her mom, started crying, and finally told her mom about the "games." Her mom took her to a therapist named Laurie who was able to help her. Things were all right for a few years, but when she was eleven, Annabelle began having some behavioral problems and nightmares. Her mom thought that they might have something to do with what had happened to her earlier, so she contacted Laurie again, and Annabelle was invited to attend some group sessions for girls who had been sexually abused. Annabelle didn't want to go at first. Will she change her mind? And will she get the help that she needs? The subject of this book is certainly not a pleasant thing to read or talk about, but it is definitely one that needs to be discussed. There are news reports all the time about young children who are abused by neighbors, teachers, and even relatives, and what we hear is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Author Amy Barth, who has an extensive background in social work, deals with her material in a delicate and age-appropriate way. She has also written another book on the same theme but for teenagers and up, entitled 101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Pocket Book of Wisdom. Annabelle's Secret would be an excellent resource to encourage a girl, or even a boy, who has experienced sexual abuse. It could also be used in controlled situations to introduce the topic in an effort to instruct children how to avoid becoming a sexual abuse victim.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rebby More than 1 year ago
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!