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Children's LiteratureRyan has a secret. He cannot tell his friends about it. He is not excited about it as most thirteen-year-old boys may be about a secret. His is a secret that no one must know. His secret is one of shame—one of how his family really lives. Ryan comes from a home with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father. Daily he struggles with his mom's drunkenness, abuse, a filthy apartment, and the lies he must tell others to cover up what really is going on. He dreams about living a "normal" life like his friends. But he knows that it is a nearly impossible dream for him. However, one day Ryan discovers that his mother has passed out and he cannot wake her up. He has to call for help. Through the doctors, counselors, and Child Protective Services (CPS) Ryan discovers a whole new world he didn't know existed. This informative book tells how Child Protective Services helps abused children like Ryan. They also try to help families get back together if that is what is best. While reading this book, teachers, parents, and children will learn how to look for signs of abuse, how to report abuse confidentially, and how CPS works to help families. It is part of the "Youth with Special Needs" series. 2004, Mason Crest Publishers Inc, Ages 12 up.
—Cathi I. White