“Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes” by Chris Crutcher

Recommended to me by: Tess Alfonsin

A hard-edged book for teens that takes on multiple tough issues:

Children’s cruelty to each other for being fat or disfigured What it’s like to grow up fat or disfigured Surviving parental abuse and abandonment Abortion Hypocrisy Religious intolerance by some Christians

While I applaud the author’s courage […]

“Mister God this is Anna” by Fynn

I bought this book about 20 years ago for the delightful drawing on the cover. At the time, I read it as a rescue story, set in the 1930’s in London’s East End. 5 year old Anna has run away from an intolerable home life, and is found and adopted by gruff, kind, 19 […]

“Legacy of the Heart – the spiritual advantages of a painful childhood” by Wayne Muller

Recommended to me by: Emma McCreary

With warmth and care, Muller describes some of the outcomes of an abusive childhood, or “family of sorrow,” and some spiritual tools that can bring healing.

Near the beginning of the book, he proposes an exercise that resonated deeply with me. (Emphasis added.)

[F]or a single day: […]

“Not Even My Name – From a Death March in Turkey to a New Home in America, a Young Girl’s True Story of Genocide and Survival” by Thea Halo

Recommended to me by: Joe Graziosi in a East European Folklife Center (EEFC) mailing list post Re: Books on Pontos/Pontian People?

Thea Halo and her mother Sano Themia Halo present a gorgeously detailed first-person account of the countryside, daily life, and people living in a tiny village in the Pontic mountains of Turkey south of […]

“Traumatic Stress – The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society” edited by Bessel van der Kolk, Alexander McFarlane, and Lars Weisaeth

This is a collection of research papers by van der Kolk, McFarlane, Weisaeth, and others, chronicling the effects and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The first section, Background Issues and History, covers some of the reasons for society’s repeated repudiation of PTSD as a valid diagnosis, and chronic lack of research into effective […]

“It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence” by Meg Kennedy Dugan & Roger R. Hock

A how-to manual on starting over after leaving an abusive relationship.

This is a well-organized, well-written book for the survivor of an abusive relationship. Common myths, such as, “Anyone who could love an abusive partner must have a serious psychological problem,” are addressed and corrected in each chapter

Topics covered in the book include:

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