Book Recommendations

last updated October 12, 2021

Adult Books 

Domestic Abuse & Violence Awareness by Centre of Excellence       

Domestic violence is often overlooked because it is largely invisible – played out behind closed doors, a social taboo that is rarely talked about. This needs to stop. Awareness, education, and intervention at the earliest stages are the most effective way to tackle the problem. This audiobook will provide a clear understanding of what domestic violence and abuse are, who is most at risk, and how to help both adult and child victims. (audiobook available at Hoopla)

Hope for Healing from Domestic Abuse: Reaching for God’s Promise of Real Freedom by Karen DeArmond Gardner 

When someone leaves an abusive marriage, life isn’t instantly fixed. Women who have experienced domestic violence feel shattered. Because of the trauma they’ve been through,

a bond with their abuser has formed that keeps them tied together long after they have physically left. Karen DeArmond Gardner understands these difficulties all too well. She intimately knows what women in this situation need in order to gain freedom from the lies of abuse. Women who are abused need to be reborn as the people God longs for them to be. Hope for Healing from Domestic Abuse isn’t a how-to book with a few easy steps. Instead, it’s a biblically based map for a long journey to healing. By recounting her own history as well as the faithfulness of God when she was willing to follow His direction, Karen helps listeners discover that there is life beyond abuse, gain courage to release the trauma of their past, and regain life, hope, and wholeness in Jesus’s healing love. Gardner’s inside perspective, strong voice, and incredible vulnerable story of deliverance from the bonds of abuse allow listeners to find themselves in her words and feel heard at last. (audiobook available at Hoopla)

No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise

Domestic violence. Private violence. Intimate terrorism. Whatever we call it in America, this “global epidemic” accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, and yet it often remains in the dark due to shame and/or fear. Journalist Snyder takes readers beyond headlines and mind-numbing statistics, sharing specific cases brought to life through her thorough research, perceptive observations, and in-depth interviews. She dispels the common myths – that if things were bad enough, victims would just leave; that a violent person cannot become nonviolent; that shelter is an adequate response; and most insidiously that violence inside the home is a private matter. Snyder profiles victims, surviving families and friends, perpetrators caught up in cycles of abuse, detectives, prosecutors, and others who see the evidence of domestic abuse all too often. Balancing the gut-wrenching stories are hopeful explorations of resources that could prevent domestic homicides, including the Danger Assessment instrument used by medical professionals to assess an abuse partner’s risk; programs that try to rehabilitate offenders; and comprehensive approaches to victim protection. This sympathetic look at victims, perpetrators, and intervention efforts by law enforcement and social agencies makes for compelling reading. (e-book available at eLibraryNJ)

Broken to Brilliant: Breaking Free to Be You After Domestic Violence by Various Authors

“That would never happen to me. I’m too strong. I would walk out.” Those were the thoughts of a trainee nurse listening to a lecture on domestic violence. But when it happened to her, it took years to finally leave. She has now rebuilt her life from the ashes of a brutal marriage and, along the way, met other women who have survived the fog of fear and feelings of worthlessness. Their brilliance is emerging once again as they tell their unique stories to help readers understand the many different shapes domestic violence can take. Each woman shares the skills, techniques, and attitudes that helped her to shine once again. These courageous women are mothers, accountants, nurses, managers, models, executive managers, sales trainers, and account executives. Each at a different stage in re-establishment and recovery, they have banded together to share how they have rebuilt their lives. This book is for anyone who is living in an abusive relationship, knows someone who is, or has emerged and is looking for a roadmap out of darkness into the light of new beginnings. *Broken to Brilliant is an Australian Not for Profit Charity where Domestic Violence Survivors Mentor other Survivors to re-establish successful lives.* (audiobook available at Hoopla)

Young Adult Book

L#MeToo and You: Everything You Need to Know about Consent, Boundaries, and More by Halley Bondy and Timothy Corbett

This title is a guide for recognizing, reporting, and combating sexual abuse and sexual harassment for those who have experienced it and those who wish to offer support. After an introduction that provides the history of the #MeToo movement, the first chapter covers the basics of relationships, power, consent, and boundaries. It is a good starting point for readers who are unsure if they are ready for the explicit content contained in subsequent chapters. Each chapter with difficult material opens with a warning about potential triggers. Chapter 2 provides definitions and examples of sexual abuse and harassment. Chapter 3 explores myths about sexual abuse. Chapter 4 focuses on how to ask for help, noting that it is not easy nor is justice always served. In Chapter 5, allies learn how to help individuals while Chapter 6 offers ideas for advocacy. The book includes stories that bring the topics to life. Each story is clearly marked as being fiction, based on an actual story, or true. The tone of the book is serious, empowering, and reassuring with accessible, easy-to-read prose. The colorful design that includes non–gender specific illustrations featuring artists’ mannequins adds visual appeal to a somber subject. Bondy is gender-inclusive in her language and information. Real talk about sexual abuse and harassment that neither sugarcoats nor catastrophizes the discussed subjects is provided. (e-book available at eLibraryNJ and Hoopla)

Helping a Friend in an Abusive Relationship by Martin Gitlin

MA teen is trapped in an abusive relationship, and a friend wants to help. This comprehensive book shares how to spot the warning signs of an abusive relationship, how to be supportive of a friend who needs help, and what kind of resources are available to both the helper and the victim. It may be scary to deal with a friend in an abusive situation, but this informative guide will be a strong tool in letting readers know practical ways that they can navigate a difficult situation and give their much needed support. (e-book available at Hoopla)

Are You Being Abused? by Sherri Mabry Gordon

How do you know when you’re being abused? And what’s the best way to get out of an abusive situation? How do you help someone you suspect is being abused? With a compassionate approach, this book clarifies abuse and its circumstances, spells options for help, and suggests what communities can do to help end the violence. (e-book available at Hoopla)

Children’s Books

After the Fall by Dan Santat.  Recommended for Ages 4-8.

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Follow Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall—that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear?  (Available through eLibraryNJ)

Alex and the Scary Things by Melissa Moses.  Recommended for Ages 4-8.

Alex talks about the different coping strategies he uses to get back to being himself, such as breathing techniques, a counting game, painting, and finding a safe space he can go to, encouraging children to think about when they can do to help themselves handle difficult feelings.  (Available through eLibraryNJ)

Courage by Barbara Binns.  Recommended for Ages 9-11.

When T’Shawn’s older brother Lamont is released early from prison his already difficult life becomes more complicated. When crime increases in the neighborhood Lamont is suspected.  T’Shawn might have to choose between loyalty to his brother and protecting his mother and sister.  (Available through Axis360)

Fighting Words by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley.  Recommended for Ages 10+.

When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della’s own wolf–her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della’s world turns so far upside down, it feels like it’s shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she’s been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to be loud.  (Available through Axis 360)