You can read 'The Color of Secrets' online here.
Using color as an indication of how the main character, Caroline, feels before and after being abused, The Color of Secrets, a 26-page, fully illustrated work, gently but firmly encourages the victim to tell someone about 'the secret'.
Caroline is born into a world of color and laughter but, after being abused, her world becomes lonely and gray. Initially, fear keeps Caroline bound to the secrets, even after a "nice lady" visits her and her classmates and tells them about good touch and bad touch. But, through a series of interventions by the teacher, nurse and a social service worker, she decides to tell the nurse about the abuse she is experiencing, and is able to get the help she needs. Afterward, the color begins to return and a happier Caroline is evident.
It is a simple message but, combined with the illustrations, The Color of Secrets is a powerful and engaging resource for anyone in the helping professions, as well as any adult who desires a clear, non-threatenng way to communicate these potential dangers to children.
What people are saying about "The Color of Secrets"
"The Color of Secrets is written with attention
to detail, and sensitivity to the complex feelings of the abused child. Reading
it, a young victim can feel less alone, more able to talk about toxic secrets,
and reassured that help is available. This book will be helpful to child
welfare workers, therapists, teachers, parents… any adult working with abused
children. The beautiful illustrations capture the emotional nuances perfectly."
- Jessica Hinterman - MSW, LCSW, Family Therapist
"The Color of Secrets is an amazing resource for use with victims of abuse. Parents, foster parents and all helping professionals will find this book easy to use to explain the importance of disclosure without fear of retribution. There is no other book like The Color of Secrets in print."
- Ruby E. Powell - M.S. Ed., Child Protection Manager
"Stroke of genius using a nurturing male (nurse) to balance the "bad" males in the story. I liked the fact that Caroline tried telling her dad and got only trouble for her efforts, and that she tried telling someone else later and finally got results. (Keep trying kids, even if you don't get anywhere at first.) I like the mention that Caroline hated the presents uncle bought for her. (Trust your instincts, kid, even when everyone else around you is trying to make nicey nice.) I like the angel in the doghouse as a metaphor for inner strength, and then the later link to people who helped. I like the range of emotions Caroline describes when she finally makes her decision to share her secrets. And I LOVE the idea that "telling" is a birthday present she gives to herself. so POSITIVE."
-Jenifer M. - Park Forest,Il.
"I just read your book. It was great. You are an excellent writer. If you ever make another children's book please give it to my mom so I can read it. That story was unbelievable. I cannot believe that happened to you. But thank God that you are alright."
-Kylie Z. (age 10)
The Color of Secrets
As a grandmother I shared this book with my two year old grandchild and was surprised at how well she understood the message. The use of color to describe good and bad feelings is a brilliant approach to instructing children of all ages.This book belongs wherever children live and learn.
- Shelby Gengo
A Children's Book For All Ages...
Reviewer:teresa (chicago, il usa)
The first thing that you'll notice about The Color Of Secrets are the vibrant and striking illustrations by Donovan Foote, and then you'll realize the importance of what is written inside. Kim Steward has written a book that has the power to encourage children to talk about the terrible things that they may suffer through, as well as encourage adults to address these issues with the children in their lives. It is a topic that has been ignored for far too long in our schools and our homes, and the best way to help children with this problem is to teach them how to recognize abuse, how to learn that they do not ever deserve abuse, and how to feel okay about finding help dealing with it-- not embarrassed or further alienated from society. Buy this book and share it with the people in your life, both young and old.