Will is a typical six-year-old boy: he loves to tell "knock-knock jokes", collect bugs, and play with other kids. On most school days, Will goes to Nana Winnie's until his mom returns from work.
Will enjoys having his Nana as a babysitter. Recently, Nana's cousin Perry has come to visit and suddenly Will no longer wants to go there. He starts having nightmares, acting out in school and wetting his bed. Will's parents are worried. What is wrong with Will?
Experts Acclaim for Will the Courageous
"As a parent, what should you do if your daughter or son told you that she or he had been sexually abused by someone? The subject of this book is certainly not a pleasant thing to read or talk about, but it is defi nitely one that needs to be discussed.
Author Amy Barth, who has an extensive background in social work, deals with her material in a delicate and age-appropriate way. Amy Barth's books would be an excellent resource to encourage any child 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."
--Wayne S. Walker, Home School Book Review
"Will the Courageous supports important issues regarding sexual abuse that may arise in a young person'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. Will the Courageous should be read with a parent present to encourage dialog about this significant subject."
--Irene Watson, author of The Sitting Swing
"Will the Courageous 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
For more info see www.AmyJBarth.com
From the Growing with Love Series at Loving Healing Press www.LovingHealing.com
JUV039210 Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues - Sexual Abuse
|Publisher:||Loving Healing Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.08(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 8 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Will was all boy. He was 6 years old and had the best smile, even with his two front teeth missing. He loved frogs, toads, spiders and creepy-crawlers. He also loved to tell knock-knock jokes. He was in the first grade.
Will lived with his mommy, daddy, his big brother Jack, and his baby sister Ella. Jack was in 8th grade and Ella was a baby, just 10 months old. Mommy was a nurse and worked part-time at the hospital and daddy worked in the city, he took the train every morning. Will looked forward to weekends when everyone was home. Weekends meant extra stories, time to snuggle, and lots of fun adventures!
"Mommy," Will would say, "I love our weekends, we have the bestest time!" And Mommy would answer, "We all love our weekends because we get to spend time with each other." Will smiled and went to find his daddy.
Sunday night, Mommy told Will it was time to get ready for bed. Will didn't mind because he also loved school. He told Mommy a knock-knock joke, and she tucked him in and turned off the light. "Night-night, Will."
"Night, Mommy, Daddy, Jack, and Ella" yelled Will.
In the morning, Mommy reminded Will that he had to take the school bus to the babysitter after school because she was working. Only Will went to this babysitter. Ella went to the daycare center at the hospital where Mommy worked, and Jack stayed late at school for sports and stuff. Will went to the babysitter three days a week. Sometimes, Will wished that he could go to the afterschool program with his buddies. Mommy worked until 7 p.m. and the afterschool program closed at 6 p.m., so Will had to go to the babysitter.
Will didn't mind going to Nana Winnie's, that's what all the kids called her. Nana watched three other kids after school, and Will had been going there since kindergarten. Nana Winnie was 60. She was a good babysitter. She baked with them, read stories, played games, and watched when they went outside. She had a swingset and jungle gym in her backyard. Will was the oldest kid there, the others were all in kindergarten. Sometimes, he was Nana Winnie's special helper.
Will went to Nana's on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Thursday, when Will got off the bus at Nana's, she had a visitor. Nana told Will and the other kids that Perry was her nephew and he would be visiting for a few weeks. "Will," Nana said, "you can tell Perry some of your knock- knock jokes." Will laughed and started telling a joke.
"Knock-knock," said Will.
"Who's there," said Perry.
"Orange" said Will.
"Orange who" said Perry.
"Knock-knock," said Will.
"Who's there," said Perry.
"Orange" said Will.
"Orange who" said Perry.
"Orange you glad, I didn't say knock-knock again?" said Will.
Perry laughed and Will laughed too. Will was happy to have somebody new to tell jokes to.
The next Monday when Will went to Nana Winnie's, Perry was there too. Nana Winnie told the kids that Perry was going to watch them while she ran to the store. After Nana left, Perry called all the kids over and said they were going to play a game.
"I'm going to lie on the floor and all of you can tickle me – we can see who laughs the loudest! Will though that was a silly game but he agreed to play. Perry told them to call him "Uncle Perry."
Nana Winnie came home and Perry went out. Will didn't see him again that day, and Perry wasn't there the rest of the week either. When it was Thursday, Will was glad because the next day was Friday, and Mommy could pick him up at school.
Will was so glad to see Mommy and Ella after school on Friday. He had so many things to tell her. Of course, he had to start off with a knock-knock joke.
Will asked, "Mommy, what are we doing this weekend?"
"On Saturday, you're going to a birthday party and on Sunday, we are all going to the zoo!"
"Wow," said Will, "I love weekends."
Will and his family had a great weekend. On Sunday night, both Mommy and Daddy read him a story and tucked him in. Will knew after school on Monday, he would be going to Nana Winnie's. As he fell asleep, he wondered if Perry would be there.
On Monday, Will went to Nana Winnie's as usual. As soon as he got off the bus, he saw Perry. "Hey Will," said Perry, "have you got anymore knock-knock jokes to tell me?" Will said no, he didn't feel like telling any jokes.
Will went inside, put his backpack down and had a snack. He told Nana Winnie he was going outside to look for bugs. "Ok Will, but only for a few minutes, it looks like rain," she said. Will was happy to go outside, he didn't like being around Perry. Perry gave him the creeps! None of the other kids seemed to mind Perry, Will thought to himself.
A few minutes later, Nana Winnie called Will inside since it had started to drizzle. Will came in and Perry and the other kids were in the playroom. They were playing the tickle game again. This time though, the kids were being tickled.
The children all called, "Come on, Will!" Will didn't want to play, but they kept calling him over. He finally came over, telling them he didn't want to be tickled. "Oh come on Will, it's fun," they shouted.
At first, only the kids tickled Will, but then he felt Perry start to tickle him. First Perry tickled him under his arms, then his stomach, but then Perry started to tickle him between his legs. Will sat up and said he didn't want to play this game anymore!
"What's the matter," asked Perry? "I don't like the tickle game" said Will. "Ok" said Perry, "do you want to tell me a knock-knock joke?" Will didn't want to hear a joke; he wanted to be left alone. He had a funny feeling in his tummy and he wished Mommy would hurry up and get there.
That night when Mommy picked Will up, she noticed he was quieter than usual and didn't want to tell any jokes. "Will, sweetheart, is something wrong?" Will wasn't sure if something was wrong, so he told Mommy no and said he was tired.
Will went straight to bed. He wondered why Perry gave him the creeps but the other kids seemed to like him. In the other room, his parents wondered if he was getting sick.
The next morning, Will seemed better. He remembered it was Tuesday and Mommy picked him up after school. He was glad he didn't have to go to Nana Winnie's. He did not want to see her nephew Perry. Tuesday was a good day!
Wednesday morning, Will seemed quieter than usual, again his mom wondered if he was getting sick. "Will, sweetie, are you OK?" Will said he was, though he really didn't want to go to Nana Winnie's that afternoon. He hoped Perry wouldn't be there and wondered how much longer he would be visiting.
Will was having a good day at school until he remembered that he had to go to Nana Winnie's. Will thought to himself, "I wish I didn't have to go." His tummy started to hurt. As soon as he got off the bus, he saw Perry waiting for him. Perry explained that Nana had to run an errand and had taken the other kids with her. "Nana asked me to wait here for your bus," said Perry. "Let's go inside and get a snack." Will was very nervous, he remembered when they had played the tickle game and Perry had tickled him between his legs. "When will Nana be back?" asked Will. "In about an hour," Perry said.
Will had to go to the bathroom as soon as they got inside. Will turned around and noticed Perry following him. "I don't need any help," said Will. Will didn't know what to do, he was very scared but he had to go. If he didn't go, he would end up wetting his pants. He hadn't done that since he was a little kid. Will started to unbutton his pants but he was so nervous, he couldn't get it undone. Perry went to help him and as he undid the button, his hand slipped down and touched Will between his legs. Will wanted to cry, he didn't like what Perry was doing and Perry wouldn't stop.
"Please don't do that, I don't like it," said Will.
"It's just a game," Perry said, "it will make you feel good. I'll tell you what, I'll stop touching you, if you'll touch me now.
That's gross, Will thought, he didn't want to do that either. In the end, Perry made him and then told him to keep the game a secret. Remember Will, don't tell anybody, EVER! "It's our secret."
After that, Perry left Will alone since Nana Winnie had come home. "Nana," Will said, "my tummy hurts, can you call my Mommy?" Nana said, "Mommy will be here soon, why don't you go rest." A little while later, Will heard his Mommy at the door. Will was so happy, he was going home. As soon as they got home, Will said his tummy hurt and he wanted to go to bed.
That night, Will had terrible nightmares and wet his bed. He called out for his Mommy. She got him dry sheets and new pajamas and stayed with him until he fell asleep.
Will was quiet the next morning, but he didn't appear to be sick. Mommy and Daddy decided it was OK to send him to school. Will had a yucky feeling in his tummy – it was Thursday and he had to go to Nana Winnie's. He didn't know what to do, Perry had told him NEVER to tell anybody. Will was a smart boy but still he was only 6 years old!
Ms. Green, his teacher noticed he wasn't acting like himself. At recess, Will pushed Nate away and told him "Leave me alone." Nate was Will's best buddy. "Will is something wrong," asked Ms. Green. Will just looked at her but did not answer.
It was almost time for dismissal, Will's tummy started hurting and he started to cry. He was sobbing so hard, that Ms. Green could not calm him down long enough to find out if he was hurt. Ms. Green took him to the nurse's office.
Will wouldn't stop crying so they called his Mommy to come pick him up. Will was glad him Mommy was coming, now he would not have to go to
Mommy arrived and Will would still not stop crying. "Will honey, what's wrong? Are you hurt, do you feel sick?" Will wouldn't answer. He kept thinking to himself that Perry told him it was a secret and not to EVER tell. Will was afraid if he told, that Perry would do something bad to him. Will's Mommy was very concerned especially after Ms. Green told her about his behavior at school. She said that Will had not been acting like himself for the last few days. Will's Mommy called his pediatrician before they left the school and made an emergency appointment.
In the car, Will wouldn't stop crying, and Mommy was very worried. Will liked Dr. Anne, she had been his doctor for his whole life. Dr. Anne examined Will and could not find anything wrong with him. Will was sobbing, between sobs, Dr. Anne could hear him mumble "Perry tickled me between my legs and I didn't like it," and "It's a secret," and then Will sobbed harder. Dr. Anne tried gently to question Will about Perry and the secret, but Will just sobbed and sobbed.
Dr. Anne asked, "Who is Perry?"
Will's mom said she did not know anybody named Perry, but she would call Nana Winnie and ask if she knew who Perry was. Nana Winnie told Will's mommy that Perry was her nephew who had been visiting, and that he just left that morning. Will's mom told Dr. Anne what Nana had said.. Dr. Anne went back into the examining room once again to try to talk to Will. She asked about Perry, but Will kept sobbing that he couldn't tell the secret.
Dr. Anne and Will's Mom asked him if something had upset him at Nana Winnie's. Will still wouldn't answer. Then they asked him about Nana's nephew and he started crying harder.
Dr. Anne took Will's Mom out into the hall and said she felt that Perry might have done something to Will and had told Will not to tell. She felt that Will might have been sexually abused. Dr. Anne wanted Will to be seen at the child advocacy center and interviewed by a forensic interviewer. They had the skills to help Will if he had been sexually abused! Mommy called Will's Daddy and he said he would meet them there.
Mommy gave Will a big hug and told him they were going take care of him and keep him safe. She understood he was scared and that it was OK to cry. At the Child Advocacy Center, Will's Mom and Dad met with an interviewer first and talked about the behavior they had seen in the last week. Everyone agreed that it seemed possible that Perry might have sexually abused Will.
Next, Will went with the interviewer, her name was Heather. Mommy and Daddy waited right outside the playroom. Heather let Will pick out a stuffed animal to be his special buddy. Will chose a monkey. "Will," Heather explained "my job is to help boys and girls tell their story when somebody has hurt them. If you can tell me if Perry hurt you, then I can tell the police and we can protect you. I know this is very scary! I have an idea, why don't you tell your monkey what happened. Does your monkey have a name?"
Will thought for a moment and then he said the monkey's name was Casey. Will sat there for a few minutes, still crying softly, but then he started telling "Casey" how Perry had tickled him between his legs and put his hand down in his underwear and touched his private parts. He told Casey that he told Perry to stop, but Perry wouldn't listen. Will then started crying harder and saying he was afraid of Perry. He told the monkey, "Casey, Perry told me to keep it a secret," and he hugged the monkey tighter. Heather said "Will you were so brave to tell Casey what happened, let's go find your Mom and Dad."
Heather spoke to Will's parents and told them that Perry had sexually abused Will. She explained that Will might "act out" at times because of the abuse and suggested that Will keep coming to the Advocacy Center for some special help. Why don't you take Will home now and keep reassuring him that Perry can't hurt him any more.
"Come on champ," said Daddy "let's go home."
"Will," Mom asked, "does your monkey have a name?" "It's Casey" said Will.
"That's a great name," said Daddy. "Casey means courageous and Mommy and I think you were very brave and courageous today. Champ, we are sorry this happened. We love you and will do a better job of keeping you safe!"
Excerpted from "Will the Courageous"
Copyright © 2011 Amy Barth.
Excerpted by permission of Loving Healing Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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. 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.