Story Synopsis and Acclaim

Reena wants to be a star…

Reena's Bollywood Dream: A Story about Sexual Abuse

Reena's Bollywood Dream: A Story about Sexual Abuse

…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.

Therapists’ Acclaim for Reena’s Bollywood Dream

Reena’s Bollywood Dream is exceptionally well-written. It works as an educational piece to foster awareness to children and their families regarding the realities of sexual abuse within the South Asian community. This informative book can help alter a child’s life for the better.”
–Sadia Khaliq, B.A., B.S.W., M.S.W., Community Treatment Coordinator, Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

“With a captivating story and beautiful illustration, and with a message that is cross-cultural and educational, Reena’s Bollywood Dream can help children understand the sad reality that there are those who can hurt them but there is also means of staying safe–with others’ help. I recommend this book highly to all families; it can be instrumental to starting a conversation about a difficult topic.”
–Pamela Pine, PhD, MPH, Founder and CEO, Stop the Silence

Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues – Sexual Abuse
Family & Relationships : Abuse – Child Abuse
Social Science : Ethnic Studies – Asian American Studies

From the Growing With Love Series at Loving Healing Press

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