© 2018 by Lesley McConnell.

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This is a story about Brian an 8-year-old boy, who loves both his mum and dad but struggles when his dad; who works in the mines comes home feeling, grumpy and angry, which reflects in his behaviour. Brian witnesses his dad being unkind to his mum, Brian often confiding in his adored dog Arthur. But as the emotional violence escalates at home, Brian becomes increasingly unhappy especially when he sees his mum crying ‘black tears’. His withdrawn behaviour becomes evident to his teacher, with whom Brian has a great relationship and he ‘unsecrets’ what has been happening at home. This is a story of life, based on reality to show that change is possible for those who wish to change and become the parent they truly want to be.

Reviews

It’s an amazing, insightful, constructive publication and you should be very proud of your efforts.  I can see how useful this resource would be for young people who may be confused, looking for guidance, searching for answers. 

Office of Hon. Mark Ryan MP
State Member for Morayfield
Minister for Police
Minister for Corrective Services

Finally, a book that gives children a voice in a language that is both compelling and empathetic. I applaud Lesley’s courage to share the story of this blight in our society, which is too often hidden in silence, guilt, and fear.

Domestic violence is terrifying for children, leaving them confused, and dealing with situations they have no control over.

The line “not now, not ever”, which is a thread running through the book, is clear, and reassuring, giving a child a sense of control.

 

Lesley also addresses the fear provoking circumstance of ‘keeping a secret’ and assures children that it is okay tell someone if you don’t feel safe.

The story of Brian and his family, is told in a non-confrontational way, but best of all, it has a happy ending, which is the one thing all children want.

 

As Lesley states in the introduction to the book, ‘our children are our greatest asset. I think this book has the potential to educate adults and children on the topic of domestic violence and help to eradicate this blight. Keeping our precious, greatest asset, safe, smiling, and able to grow and thrive as is their right.

Joanne Greene

Freelance journalist and Social Activist

‘Black Tears’ is a poignant yet inspiring story.  Lesley McConnell manages to discuss the tough subject of Domestic Violence in a very careful, sensitive way and yet still delivers what I believe is highly effective message.  This is a story that must be told, a message that must be heard by parents and children alike. And Lesley tells it in such a beautiful non-judgemental way.  It is a story of hope and love.  It is a story that will help to empower our children with knowledge and keep them aware and safe.  Well done Lesley.  Gorgeous.

Hetty Johnston

AM GAICD

'I had to hold back my tears because the content in the story hit home, and it was really relatable to the mother and the child.'

Jo-Anne H

Domestic Violence Survivor

This is exactly how my son would feel, it’s not OK and I never want my son to feel like that because my daughter has seen me do it and she thinks its ok. To help kids to understand that it’s ok to say something and helps parents understand about the mental abuse of hearing the parents fight. It’s not OK.

Amanda O

Perpetrator of domestic violence

I’ve just read Lesley McConnell’s book ‘Black Tears’ which presents a difficult subject in a way that children can relate too. It also presents ample opportunities for discussions between, parents, carers and their children. It would also be a valuable resource in the classroom. I highly recommend this book to everyone who has contact with children of all ages.

Jennie B.

Educator, Mother and Grandmother

Reading ‘Black Tears’ made me realise that violence is not ok at any time. When I realised that my behaviour wasn’t ok I knew I couldn’t do it on my own and that’s why I am getting help.

David B

Perpetrator of domestic violence

Exceptional children’s book touching on very real life experiences many children endure.  The story is easy to read and understand, portraying a clear picture of feelings and expectations felt by young children. Importantly, it clearly shows help is available outside the family unit.  A must for every school library.

Megan Browning BSSc (Hons 1st Class)

Megan Browning BSSc (Hons 1st Class)