Author Ashley M. Paul Releases A Tender Story That Helps to Bring Awareness and Healing to A Young Girl Witnessing Constant Domestic Quarreling
MACON, Ga.: Domestic abuse is not always physical. It can display itself through arguments, silence, or intentional ignoring. But nonetheless, it has lasting hurtful ramifications for the children who experience it in their home. The new picture book, What They Don't See: A Little Girl's Moment of Honesty, shares a touching story of a girl with two loving parents who can't seem to show their love for each other. Author Ashley M. Paul masterfully and gently tackles an important topic relaying the emotional toll family disputes take on the most vulnerable people with voices too small to often be heard—children.
Cold Silence. Awkward stares. Arguing. Children at home see, hear and feel more than we know. In What They Don't See: A Little Girl's Moment of Honesty, young readers will find that it's possible for parents to be great caregivers or community members, yet also exhibit that "the things that are wonderful about you both haven't made you so wonderful for each other for quite some time…" The story's little girl becomes very sad after witnessing her parents' negative behavior toward each other, and she realizes that she is happier when her parents are apart.
"I see how hard you've tried. But Mom. Dad. Sometimes I just wish you could see that this hasn't been healthy for me. This is my moment of honesty."
The book's child protagonist feels unseen and unheard as she is caught in the middle of arguments, trying to keep the peace, and crying herself to sleep. She loves her parents and her parents love her, but it is evident to her that the two are happier when they are not together.
What They Don't See: A Little Girl's Moment of Honesty is a beautiful depiction of the effects of constant domestic quarreling through the eyes of a child. Through vibrant illustrations and a moving and emotional text, Paul expertly weaves a story that is relatable, enlightening, and impactful. Discussion questions at the back of the book geared to parents, children, and counselors and teachers, invite dialogue and reflection about the story's important topic.
Author Ashley M. Paul has worked in education for eight years and found her calling as a school counselor advocating for the smaller voices that often go unheard. She discovered early on her passion for writing, but it wasn't until transitioning into her career field of counseling and being reminded of some of the hardest years of her own life as a child while listening to her students face some of the same difficulties, that she understood how she could truly help: through writing children's books.
What They Don't See: A Little Girl's Moment of Honesty is available now wherever books are sold. Her next release, available in May 2021, is The Impossible Choice, a story that recounts the uncomfortable position children are often put in when parents decide to separate and place pressure on the children to choose who they want to live with.