AT THE END OF HOLYROOD LANE is a picture book that dares to address this fear and provide acknowledgement and hope for suffers in abusive situations.
With its soft, supportive illustrations that encapsulate and extend the sensitive, subtle text superbly, and endorsed by a number of agencies concerned about the children caught in the middle of domestic violence such as Act for Kids, RizeUp, Paradise Kids, and Think Equal, this is a conversation starter that may bring a lot of comfort, help and hope to the children in our care. Barabara Braxton, ReadPlus & The Bottom Shelf
I try to explain some of the unforgettable connections I've made through sharing Holyrood Lane with others in the post - Profound Encounters along Holyrood Lane.
Complete strangers feel compelled to share their stories with me, as though confessing their true thoughts and fears with someone who has tried to echo these through the non-judgmental, fictional Flick somehow lessens them. In a way, I guess it does. Sharing a problem, reaching out, acknowledging the hurt, amassing the courage to move forward - all are powerful ways to help achieve the ultimate goal of creating caring, informed, pro-active communities where women and children can live in safety
It's not a book about having all the answers. No way. The problem is too large for one story. It is a book that speaks loudly, in sublimely subtle ways*, about facing your fears and daring to ask for help. And, I hope, will invite others to include this issue more often in mainstream children's literature. Maybe then we can find the answers faster and more absolutely.
Because love should always feel safe.
Follow the campaigns and programs of help through organisations like White Ribbon Australia.
Images courtesy of Nicky Johnston - Illustrator
*Flick's story is told in metaphors using gentle yet arresting imagery and text rich with poetic vocabulary (Kirkus Reviews). Flick's fear of raging thunderstorms reflects the same anxieties a child of abuse might harbour yet the parallels are subtle enough for children to relate to and understand even if they are not in domestic violence situations.