A Terrible Thing Happened: A story for children who have witnessed violence or trauma

Margaret M. Holmes, United States, 2000

This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children (4-8 year olds) who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic behaviour, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. It uses friendly animal characters to tell the story, which centres around Sherman, who has had something terrible happen to him. The story explores the ways this made him feel and what helped him to feel better.

An afterword by Sasha J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatised children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events.

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