2 out of 4 stars
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At some point, most parents teach their children about pedophiles, child abusers, and predators. What's the best way to go about doing this? My brothers and I got this information from watching Unsolved Mysteries with my mom. I'd strongly advise against this unless you want your children to grow up into adults who have panic attacks when a white van is parked next to them in a parking garage.
Thankfully, Helena Battle offers a different method in her children's book: Kids It's Ok To Scream Out Loud To Get Away From A Pedophile Person. The primary objective of this book is to educate and empower children. She starts by defining several terms; such as "pedophile," "private parts," and "secret." She builds on these definitions in paragraphs about who pedophiles, child abusers, and predators may be - from a stranger to someone you love and trust. She drives many of her points home through repetition; the repetitiveness is intended to help children remember it better. Throughout the book, she repeats a set of "instructions." The instructions include things such as: "It's ok to fight back"; "Tell your parents"; and "Don't keep painful and agonizing secrets." Finally, she gives several examples of the kind of tricks these types of people play. For instance, she warns children not to help strangers who approach them about a missing pet.
She stresses her instructions throughout the book with text and images. The images are stick figures or boxes of text (like the ones you'd create in Microsoft Word). I imagine they were done this way because detailed images about this subject matter could be unsettling for children. I still feel like they could have a bit more of a professional feel to them. Not only are they bulky, but the bright colors look odd against the pear-colored background. Aesthetically, this book wasn't all that great.
I'm not sure what age group should read this book. Most of the scenarios involve a child being old enough to be out by themselves; others could involve younger children. The advice given could be useful for children of any age. The heavy-handed repetitiveness would rule out older children because I think they'd zone out. I think it would be most beneficial for elementary school students.
The author constantly tells the reader that she is trying to empower them. She tells them how special they are and that these people are trying to take advantage of their goodness. She wants them to know that they should never be ashamed; none of this is their fault. The best way forward after an encounter that felt uncomfortable or wrong is honest communication with your parents, grandparents, principal, etc. These kinds of positive messages were my favorite part of the book.
While I wish I could rate it higher because it really does have some great information, I'm giving it 2 out of 4 stars. This book needs some editing; there were far over ten errors; these included missing words, spaces in the middle of words, and incorrect punctuation. I also think the aesthetics could be significantly improved. I read the PDF version, so it might look different in its other forms. Additionally, I think the book could be greatly improved if the author narrowed down their target audience to a specific age range. The maturity required for comprehension doesn't seem to match the maturity of the presentation. I think it would be better if it was shorter to help young readers maintain interest.
As it stands, I recommend this book to parents who want to talk to their children about pedophiles, predators, and child abusers. Even if they don't read it to their children, they can pick up some helpful lessons from it.
Kids It's Ok To Scream Out Loud To Get Away From A Pedophile Person
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