CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 8 . . . .December 8, 2006
Mia's Secret is the story of a very young girl who is being abused by a male friend of her mother's. Peter Ledwon tells her story with sensitivity, using simple language that evokes the various emotions that Mia experiences.
The predator gains Mia's trust by pretending to be her friend. He listens to what Mia says, he makes her laugh, he plays her favourite games with her and he brings her presents. After gaining her confidence, he introduces his "special game" which is to be kept a secret. He makes Mia promise not to tell about the game, or he won't show it to her. When Mia says that she must tell Tikki, her teddy bear, he grudgingly allows that but makes her promise not to tell anyone else. The game hurts Mia, and she doesn't like it, but she wants to be his friend even though playing the game seems wrong. The abuse continues. On one occasion, Mia is crying. The man and Mia hear her mother coming. He tells Mia's mother that Mia has hurt her knee. Her mother can't find anything wrong with the knee, and, because it is late, she puts Mia to bed. Another time, Mia tries to tell her mother about the secret game without breaking her promise to the man, but she can't make her mother understand. Her mother thinks she is feeling ill. She puts Mia to bed and lovingly looks after her. In the end, Mia solves the problem. She uses Tikki to tell because Tikki hasn't promised to keep the game secret. There is no indication as to what the mother's reaction and actions are in response to hearing about the abuse. However, just before Tikki "talks," Mom has given Mia and Tikki a big hug and told Mia that she has been worrying about her and asks her if she is okay. She also leans in closer to hear what Tikki is saying. From these actions, it can be assumed that she will get Mia whatever help is needed and will protect her.
Jeannette Timmerman is a former teacher, consultant and administrator in the Winnipeg (MB) School Division.
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other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.