Reena's Bollywood Dream: A Story about Sexual Abuse

Reena's Bollywood Dream: A Story about Sexual Abuse
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
6+
Release Date
August 17, 2010
ISBN
978-1615990597
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Reena wants to be a star...a Bollywood star. Unfortunately, her family won't stand for it. It doesn't help that Reena is only eight-years-old. However, a beacon of hope arrives in the form of Uncle Jessi. He's just emigrated from India to America, and is a welcome addition to her family household. Uncle Jessi and Reena share a special bond. Not only are they old pen pals, but he recognizes her desperation to become a Bollywood actress.

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.

User reviews

1 review
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Great Lesson in Prevention of Sex Abuse
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5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
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5.0
Jewel Kats always writes special books addressing the most important needs of children, particularly of young girls. “Reena’s Bollywood Dreams” is unique in that it takes an Indian girl as its central character and shows how her dream of becoming an actress in Bollywood makes her the pick of a sex predator.

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.
Good Points
interesting, important, empowering
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