Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 7 to 10
- Grade: 1 to 4
- Reading age: 7 to 10
Julia is a young girl who has to leave her family home with her mother to move to a shelter and then to a new apartment because of physical abuse of her mother by her father. Healing the Bruises focuses on Julia's experiences and feelings as she grieves her loss but grows comfortable with her new home, school, and friends. The support she gets from living in housing for families who have experienced abuse and from her counsellors is presented in terms that every young reader can appreciate and understand.
In an engaging graphic novel form, this book makes the experience of searching for and restoring peace in a troubled family both understandable and positive.
About the authors
Lori Morgan is a Child and Youth Counsellor at Alice Housing, a not-for-profit organization in Halifax, NS. The organization provides housing, support and counselling for women who are leaving abusive domestic situations.
KATHY KAULBACH is a professional illustrator and designer living in Halifax. She has illustrated over 80 books, including Lilly to the Rescue.
- Commended, One of the Year's Best for 2013 - Resource Links
"I recommend Healing the Bruises because it deals with the complex topic of domestic violence about which young readers need to be educated. This topic is quite difficult to understand for children who are the indirect victims of abuse. Yet, the topic is presented in such a way that it is understandable for young readers. Colourful and realistic images of this novel show the feelings of the characters, especially Julia . . . [It appropriately introduce the complex issue of domestic violence to young readers, as well as available resources. The graphic novel presents Julias story as an example where those experiencing domestic abuse can reach a peaceful and positive resolution."
"The theme of recovery from abuse lends itself well to this [graphic novel format... The story is both realistic and encouraging; it shows the alternatives and solutions to abuse that are available." Rated E: excellent, enduring, everyone should read it!
Kudos on a book that emphasizes that help is available for such broken families and gives a voice to those who suffer in silence.
Waterloo Region Record
"There can be no easy solution to domestic violence, but this book will help children to recognise that help can be provided." Recommended
CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Lori Morgan's touching and insightful book dealing with domestic abuse is an anthem of sorts, giving voice to those who find themselves without one. Beautiful illustrations along with the straightforward text allow the child and the parent to relate to the entire story, like an ode to wellness and renewal. This little book will lift and enlighten."