Don't Hurt Laurie

Don't Hurt Laurie - Willo Davis Roberts, Ruth Sanderson I feel strange putting up a review of this for my review month considering that none of my friends have read this, and probably aren't likely to considering that this is a children's book. I really don't care though. I read this when I was in the fourth grade and some of the scenes have never left me. I was such a strange child, enjoying books about child abuse and mental illness while my classmates read their Goosebumps and Boxcar Childrens.

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This is a book that I've always had a very hard time believing ever got published. What publisher in the eighties would dare publish a book with a cutesy pink cover, where a little girl is terribly abused?
That publisher (who I am not going to look up because I'm lazy), had gonads of fucking steel.

I mean just look at the girly cover of the copy I read.

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Kinda makes me wonder why I was drawn to it in the first place...

Here is the Goodreads description of this book:

Laurie's been keeping a secret for as long as she can remember, a secret that she's afraid to tell anyone else. The only other person who knows is Annabelle, her mother - because Annabelle is the one who beats her.

Then, one day, Annabelle goes too far - and Laurie is finally desperate enough to do something to save herself.


I'l tell you the very few things that I remember about this book years after reading it.

1. The child abuse isn't really described till around halfway through the book. Laurie hints about different occurences of it for the first half or so.

2. When the violence is finally described for us, or fourth grade me, it is fucking terrifying. I'm going to spoil you here and tell you that the mother, whose name I had forgotten till I read that description, takes Laurie's head and beats it against the side of a bath tub. And dear lord, I remember it taking the time to make sure we know it is one of those hard cast iron tubs with the porcelain interior, and the clawed feet. And this girl has her head beat against the rim of it.

*shudders*

I can't even.

3. I remember Laurie, who became a very sympathetic character, had a dictionary that she loved and would learn words every night before she went to bed. Fourth grade me loved this side of Laurie.

4. I vaguely remember the books resolution.

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For fourth grade Layton, this book had a powerful effect. Hell, it may not even be as bad as I remember it.

But like I said, this book is powerful, and it taught me to speak up when you see something bad happening, not to just ignore it.

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4 stars for this great little out-of-print book.

My friends, don't seek this book out, but if you come across a copy grab it and read it just for the hell of it.