6 books for kids and teens about alcohol and drug abuse
From Be Brave Little Turtle to An Elephant in the Living Room, here are six answers to the question, “What are some kid-appropriate books that share stories about loved ones struggling with substance use and abuse?”
- Be Brave Little Turtle by Darcy Pattison
- The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
- A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes
- Emmys Question by Jeanine Auth
- The Laundry List by ACA WSO Inc.
- An Elephant in the Living Room by Jill M. Hastings
Be Brave Little Turtle by Darcy Pattison
Be Brave, Little Turtle is an influential book that addresses substance use and abuse in a sensitive and age-appropriate way. It follows a young turtle named Timmy who is struggling with his mother’s substance abuse and the challenges it brings to their family. Through the support of his loved ones and community, Timmy learns how to cope with his feelings and seek help when needed.
The book can help children understand that it’s okay to have hard feelings and that it’s important to seek help when they need it. The book also promotes the idea that family and community support can be crucial in helping someone who is struggling with substance abuse. Additionally, the book’s illustrations and story are engaging and age-appropriate, making it a good choice for young children who may be struggling with similar issues in their own lives.
The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater
Many children might not know how to process their feelings when they discover a loved one is struggling with substance use and abuse. To help provide a better understanding, there are kid-friendly books available that share stories about individuals facing this common problem. One such book is The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater.
This book presents a story from the perspective of a young boy whose house is painted in an outrageous manner. Another great book for kids to read is “It’s Not Your Fault Koko Bear” by Vicki Lansky.
A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes
Youngers are fragile in their minds; delving into the world of drugs and substance abuse is not easy, but through children’s books, it’s easy and convenient. A terrible thing happened in a book that does not discuss substance abuse directly; it, however, illustrates how devastating drugs can be.
The book uses a character named Sherman to depict horrific experiences and traumas witnessed as a result of substance abuse. It, however, shows how seeking help through counseling and seeking assistance can deter one from suffering from substance abuse-related effects.
Emmys Question by Jeanine Auth
Emmy’s Question is a book by Jeanine Auth that tells the story of a young girl named Emmy whose mother is struggling with substance abuse. The book is written for children aged 4-8 and helps kids understand and cope with the challenges they may face when a loved one struggles with substance abuse. The book’s core is Emmy’s getting the answer to why her mother prefers alcohol over her.
In the process, Emmy learns about the effects of substance abuse and the importance of seeking help. She also discovers the power of love and support in helping a loved one overcome their addiction. The book is a heartwarming and sensitive portrayal of the challenges that families struggling with substance abuse face and provides a message of hope and support.
It can be a helpful resource for children dealing with similar issues in their own lives and can help promote understanding and empathy. Emmy’s Question is a must-read for children and adults of alcoholic and drug-addicted parents.
The Laundry List by ACA WSO Inc.
The adult child of an alcoholic and addict finds understanding and purpose in The Laundry List. This sheds light on a child’s difficulties while growing up in a dysfunctional family. The authors of the book do a superb job of explaining to the reader how the affected person’s experiences have had a significant impact on their interpersonal relationships.
A child cannot develop trust and wholesome relationships and attachments later in life if they do not experience love, attention, and affection as a child. Many people who have experienced this emotional abuse feel as though their own family doesn’t care about them or love them. Later in life, the impacted individual starts dating people who have escape routes; in other words, they allow no one to get close to them out of concern for potential rejection.
An Elephant in the Living Room by Jill M. Hastings
An Elephant in the Living Room is a workbook that describes the fear children often feel when they have to confront the alcoholic “elephant” in their family, depicting the tragic reality that is being deliberately ignored. The book reflects the childhoods of children with alcoholic relatives and helps them understand and face that reality. This is a safe and healthy approach to teaching children about stimulants.
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