The Joy Thief
The Joy Thief! is a story that helps children and adults to discover more about a subject that is often difficult to understand. Demonstrating the subjectivity of trauma, The Joy Thief! highlights how a seemingly ordinary occurrence can have a significant impact upon the wellbeing of a child, particularly if left unaddressed. Challenging the idea that trauma only occurs during more "serious" incidents, The Joy Thief! leads us to conclude that such occurrences, or rather our responses to them, may be more significant for children's mental health than we would perhaps like to admit. The story of The Joy Thief! encourages help-seeking, while challenging adults to consider the way they handle such situations. The story is written in a person-centered fashion, seeking to normalize a range of outcomes that children may experience following a traumatic experience - including the little-acknowledged phenomena of imaginary "friends." Whilst highlighting positive themes of intersectional diversity, The Joy Thief! also challenges us to consider issues of parental absence, inattention, and invalidation within the context of the needs of children.
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