A Terrible Thing Happened: A Book for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma

Sherman Smith, in A Terrible Thing Happened, learns how to cope with real-life trauma.

Books can help children cope with tough experiences, their hard feelings, and help with your connection to them. A Terrible Thing Happened provides an easy to relate to character who lives through trauma. This book will be a welcome tool for families to help their children heal.

Sherman is an adorable, easy-to-relate to raccoon-child who sees and expereinces something terrible. The books makes the “something” vague so it can apply to so many different scenarios

How trauma appears in children

Sherman never feels “anxious” or “depressed” or “oppositional” but he feels all these big mental health terms in ways kids can connect with. Sometimes he has trouble sleeping. Other times he is plain afraid. Sometimes he can’t eat. Other times Sherman feels just mad. Sherman is confused by all these overwhelming feelings after he witnessed something very TERRIBLE.

It only takes ONE trusting adult to help

Because Sherman was feeling angry at times, he started getting into trouble at school. That is how he met Ms. Maple, his school guidance counselor. She is a warm and very friendly looking bear.

The remainder of the book explains how Sherman eventually talked about what had happened to him. Ms. Maple was able to help Sherman to feel safe and seen. He eventually confided in her through his drawings.

One of the most special things about this book is that Ms. Maple lets Sherman know that what happened was not his fault. Guilt and self-blame are ever too common in children who experience trauma. In the back of the book, there are 15 well concise and detailed tips for adults to talk to children who have seen terrible things, like Sherman.

If you are interested in checking this book out, please come into JFS today and borrow it. Your child will thank you.

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