Reena's Bollywood Dream: A Story about Sexual Abuse
One day, Uncle Jessi plans a secret surprise. He invites her to take part in a pretend acting game. Reena jumps at the chance. At first, she enjoys swinging her hips to Bollywood beats. She smiles brightly at his camera. However, halfway through her performance matters take an unexpected turn. The end results surprise both Reena and Uncle Jessi.
Important lessons come through an action-driven story and beautiful illustrations:
Children will learn that sexual abuse is NEVER their fault.
Parents and children will be given a launching pad to discuss the warning signs of "grooming."
Children will come away knowing they have the power to say: "NO."
Children will discover that sexual abuse can occur in any cultural group.
Children can be assured that they will be believed when reporting inappropriate behavior.
Therapists and parents can exhibit that sexual abuse isn't an off-limits topic.
Child abuse survivors will come away knowing they are not alone.
The story has a great lesson about the innocence of a child’s dream and her bad experience with a relative who tries to take advantage of her by appearing as a source that could lead to the realization of her dream. Reena’s character shows courage, honesty, and intelligence.
Also lovable are the illustrations by Richa Kinra.
This book is a must-read for all kids, especially for young girls so many of whom grow up with fantasies of becoming a showbiz girl and this fantasyland prays on their healthy inhibitions. It is also for parents and teachers of all cultures who need to protect their children from sexual abuse.