What Would You Do?

A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

Children - Non-Fiction
64 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2011
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Author Biography

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Melissa Harker Ridenour, formerly a teacher and librarian, is now a freelance writer and children’s book author. She has published essays, poetry, magazine articles, and web articles as well. She believes in the power of words. “Words define us,” she contends. “Our use of words, in both spoken and written communication, is often the first and most formidable impression that we make.”

As a former teacher, she has mentored students in every capacity of their educational development. As a mother and grandmother, she shares concerns with all parents for the safety of children.

Melissa’s love of children and her concern for their safety and welfare is the motivating factor behind the development of her award-winning book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.

Melissa offers workshops to schools and other educational institutions or organizations. The workshops reinforce for children, in a fun and creative way, some of the information and strategies presented in What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.

An alumnus of West Virginia University with a Master’s degree in English, Education, and Library Science, Melissa resides happily in Morgantown, WV with her husband and family.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rita Vetsch for Readers' Favorite

"What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers" is a specially written book by Melissa Harker Ridenour. This book is written specifically for parents to share with their children. It explains the delicate topics of what a stranger really is and what we can do as parents, grandparents and caretakers.

What would you do if you were home alone and someone came to the door? Suppose you are home alone and the telephone rings, will you answer it? You have a computer at home and you know how to use the Internet, what would you do if you found an intriguing website that asked you personal questions? What would you do if a stranger enters your yard or drives up in a car? These are just some examples of the questions you can ask your children and give them multiple choice answers. To recap on what the child has learned, there is a “What Have you Learned” Chapter which reiterates the lesson of CAT (Caution, Action, Tell). And at the end of the book, there is an activity chapter with puzzles to do.

All parents have concern, worries and fear over the safety of their children; whether it is of strangers in general, child abductors or even our own neighbors. Through a child’s eyes, the world is a gigantic place and children are very trusting because of their innocence. This wonderful book gives parents the tools on how to approach their children on the subject of stranger danger. I absolutely loved the question formats where you get to ask your child the stranger questions and see how they respond. I was shocked at some of my 8 year old daughter’s answers and even though I thought I had prepared her well on strangers, I knew this book would help me greatly in preparing her even better. Being proactive and teaching your child how to identify potentially dangerous situations is priceless and it could save their lives!

This book empowers children, gives us valuable resources, and impacts how our children seek safety and security. I loved that it was written interactively which provokes communication and discussion. The book is very easy for children to comprehend; it is interactive and is done in a tasteful and non-threatening manner. This book is a must have for ALL parents, grandparents, daycare providers, teachers and caretakers.

Ronnie Dauber

This is an excellent book and I hope parents will see it and get it for their children to help promote their children's safety in today's world. Congratulations on its publication, and I wish you the greatest of success with it.