Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

Healing Days9781433812934_p0_v1_s260x420Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

Susan Farber Straus, Ph.D., Author

Maria Bogade, Illustrator

Magination Press., Fiction, May 18, 2013

Suitable for Ages: 5 -11

Themes: Children facing trauma and tragedy, PTSD, Anxiety, Fear, Anger, Healing

Opening“Something bad happened to me.  I did not want anyone to know.  I was scared.  I was sad.  I was angry.  I was embarrassed.  I was hurt and confused.  I tried to forget.  I tried to sleep and not wake up.” 

Synopsis:  A child has had something scary happen.  We follow the child through feelings of hurt, confusion, anger and fear that the bad thing might happen again.  The child has bad dreams and is afraid of the dark.  At school there are run-ins with the teachers.  Friends notice the child isn’t fun to play with.  The child is lonely.  Finally an aunt notices differences and takes the child to talk with a therapist who helps the child share the secret.  Only then can intervention and healing begin for the child.

Why I like this book:  I am thrilled to find Susan Farber Straus’ very sensitive and comforting book due to its relevance in our world today.   Although the story is told from the viewpoint of one child, each page features pictures of a diverse group of children of all ages acting out the narrative.  This book is a fabulous tool for parents, guidance counselors and therapists to read with a child when they may suspect a trauma.  And that trauma could range from abuse, an accident, school and home violence, bullying, the sudden death of a parent or sibling to natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods that are prevalent today in the world.  The book also helps children know they aren’t alone and that they can find ways to heal.  Maria Bogade’s illustrations are warm, and comforting, and beautifully show the emotion of the children.

Resources:  The book alone is a resource as the author is a clinical psychologist.  The American Psychological Association also has a list of helpful resources available online.  Also be sure to read the Note to Readers at the beginning of the book and check out the jacket flaps on the front and back pages.

Note:  I will be attending the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference this weekend, so I won’t be able to respond to your comments or posts until I return.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

42 thoughts on “Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma

  1. Enjoy the conference. How many pages is this, Pat? Is it a typical picture book format? Is it the sort of story one would use one-to-one with a child or is it suitable for a whole class?


    • Joanna, this is a 32-page picture book and follows the PB format. It is narrated by a child, but featurs four children throughout in the illustrations. They all have a part to play. It is very well done. Magination Press publishes for the American Psychological Association. For example, the child says “My therapist listened carefully about the thing that happened to me.” But it is still the child telling what he/she’s learned. It’s gentle and not preachy. Lots of showing in the illustrations. I would use it one-on-one with a child depending upon the circumstance. But, if it involves something that impacts a lot of children (i.e. disaster, tragedy)it could be used in a classroom with a teacher/counselor.


  2. Have a fabulous time at the conference!

    There was a sad story in our area about a child who died after a hit and run accident on his bicycle. His school was making a grief counselor available to his classmates. I wondered how many would take the time out of a busy school day to talk with the counselor? This book would be a good tool to help bridge the gap for kids who might hesitate to ask for help without a 1:1 facilitator.


  3. This book sounds so important for kids to read! and know about. ESPECIALLY the teachers and guidance counselors. I WANT to read this book! Thanks so much for making this choice for PPBF.

    Have Great Fun! 🙂


  4. This looks like an excellent resource to use for kids who have experienced a trauma. Might it also be used with groups of kids, to show them what to do if they do experience something like this, or might it just upset them?


    • No, I don’t think this book would upset children — it’s very warm and friendly. The child is talking (really four with different issues). It would be good to use with a child to let them know that they can come to you if something upsets them and that you will be there to listen.


  5. That’s wonderful, Pat. It seems to be like a lot of these problems could be avoided with a bit more pro-active behavior and vigilance. Everyone seems so good at reacting but it’s not enough.


    • Probably so, but when you’re dealing with a tornardo that destroys a school and children lose lives, nature is a culprit. There are so many issues that children face today, that we didn’t. I’m glad that book like this is available to parents and counselors.


    • Thought you might like this one Barbara. This just was released. There is another book coming out for the kids of Sandy Hook, but they are giving some time and space before the release. Can’t remember the author or publisher. You might keep a look out for it.


  6. Another important book for parents and educators to share with children. They need books that are not so clinical but that the children can relate to. Thanks, I will be keeping this book in mind.


    • Thank you for stopping by. This is a very moving and soothing book for children. I imagine it might help older kids to talk. And, there are parents out there with secrets too. It is an excellent book!


  7. Pingback: Healing books | atelierstorytime

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