HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: I Won’t Let Them Hurt You
Author: Linda Barr
Publisher: iUniverse, republished 2000
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 14 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Barr, Linda. I Won’t Let Them Hurt You (Published in 1988 by Willowisp Press Inc., 401 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Worthington, OH 43085). Fourteen year old Katie Weber, a ninth grader at Northview High School, lives with her mother, who works for an insurance company. Her parents had divorced when Katie was barely two years old. Her best friend at school is Liz Humphrey. Katie has been asked to go to the Spring Dance by Scott Dennis, so to make the money to buy a new dress she has been babysitting two year old Justin Stuart. Justin’s father is the new vice-president of the biggest bank in town, and his mother Anne seems very sweet.
Scott’s parents have a new foster child, three and a half year old Laura, who had been terribly abused with permanent brain damage from shaking. Katie starts to find bruises on Justin, and she can’t help but notice some changes in him that are similar to Laura’s behavior. Is he being abused? If so, by whom? Should she say anything? Who would believe what she suspects? What if she’s wrong? Child abuse is a very serious situation that needs to be dealt with forthrightly, and this book certainly raises awareness regarding the problem.
I have but one caveat. Before charging someone with abusing a child, make absolutely sure that there is not some other cause. I have known of families who were put through hellish nightmares when it turned out that their child’s bruises and injuries were actually the result of some rare medical condition, but over-zealous social workers refused to consider that possibility. I Won’t Let Them Hurt You is a spell-bounding, page-turning book that is very realistic. Linda Barr has also written Secret of the Seaside and Emily’s Secret.