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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Jewel is both excited and very nervous. It's her first day in a new school in a new town. It's not the first time she's had to start a new school. In fact, it happens more often than she would like. Her father is in the military and the family gets moved around from one post to another. The excitement is in the anticipation of making new friends and having a fresh new start. But nerves generate from the tension at home. Her father, whom she loves very much, has just returned from combat missions overseas. He's alive and not physically injured, but he suffers from violent nightmares, both day and night. Jewel's father has PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Jewel's first day goes better than expected. She makes a new friend, Brittany, who promises to drop by after school. When the doorbell rings at Jewel's house, her father answers. Before Brittany even gets inside, Jewel's father is yelling at her to get off his property. Brittany runs off in fear. Jewel's second day at school, consequently, is a real life nightmare.
PTSD is, sadly, a misunderstood and certainly a very under-diagnosed condition that affects not only military personnel, but anyone working in the capacity of a protector of the peace - a police officer and even a paramedic can suffer from PTSD. Angela Kohout, Madeline Murillo, and Elizabeth Sagi have written a beautiful story that really touches the heart and helps its readers understand the far-reaching effects of PTSD. Their book, Daddy's Heart - My Heart - The Purple Heart, although written for young readers, is a powerful story that helps us all understand the traumatic effects of living with a loved one suffering from PTSD, and points out that the most important ingredients in treating this disease are compassion, understanding, and patience. Very well done! Beautifully presented.