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Strangers Among Us

Stranger Danger
A Safety Guide for Children
Quiri and Powell
1985

This is another one of those books that gives me the creeps. I keep wondering if this is the best method for talking to kids about personal safety.  This particular book is a bit different since it doesn’t pretend to be a story.  Situations are presented for discussion.  My first instinct is to weed it because of its age but I rather prefer the format of discussions rather than a story.  Take a look at these illustrations and you be the judge. Heck even the back cover scared me.

Also be sure and visit some other posts on strangers and personal safety we have done before:

Stranger Danger (Again!)

To Catch a Preditor

Uncle Willy

You Can Say No

And of course everyone’s personal favorite Satan for Kids Part 1 and Satan for kids part 2 .  (By the way, we closed the comments on the Satan books because we were going to blow up the server or I got tired of monitoring for crazy people- pick your favorite answer.)

Mary

 

23 Responses to Strangers Among Us

  • Oh no, the Adjustment Bureau is after them!

  • As a person who works in the field of sexual assault response, I can tell you that across the country we are moving away from “prevention” efforts that ultimately make the potential victim responsible for recognizing, stopping, and reporting the creepy/criminal actions of others. This is especially true for children. Additionally, the vast majority of children who are kidnapped/abused are victimized by people they know and/or are related to. Teaching children that strangers are a danger but not people we already know can help the creeps we already know victimize children. Thank you for weeding this book.

  • “every year thousands of children are kidnapped…by people they have never seen before”… Uhhh name your source.

  • I find the discussion format a good idea, as it enables the parent to discuss their values and have enough control over the story time if the kid were to get scared. But it would be nice to see this one updated with online safety and cell phone use and other recent tech stuff that affects how we interact with and report strangers.

  • I definitely found this book at a library when I was little. I remember it really disturbing me. I think adults need to look at things like this from a child’s perspective. This book is nightmarish, like everyone you see is really a “bad guy” that you have to be scared of.

  • @Margaret–Why? That seems like a TERRIBLE idea. The way I see it:

    child 1, who was taught about inappropriate touching, gets molested, remembers what they were taught, and tells an adult

    child 2, who was not, gets molested, believes the threats the adult tells them, and keeps it a secret

    I prefer scenario one, myself. I’m sorry, but the victims of ALL crimes are responsible for reporting it. That doesn’t mean it’s their fault it happened, it just means that’s the only way anything can be done. It’s not like the criminals are going to turn themselves in or go “well, no one’s telling them to turn me in now, so I’ll just stop doing it.”

  • “No one should ask to see or touch these parts, except your doctor.”

    Or a TSA agent…

  • Wow, I’d forgotten about this book. We actually had it in the school library when I was a kid. So, yeah. That alone probably means its outdated (no mention of cell phones, or Internet safety, certainly!) and should be weeded.

  • @Leigha, I didn’t think Margaret meant teaching children not to report abuse that may occur. I thought she meant that the focus has switched away from teaching children to mainly be concerned about the inappropriate actions of “strangers,” when so much abuse is done by someone known to the child.

  • I agree with Leigha . . . of course the book is creepy, it’s a horrible and upsetting thing to have happen, but seems like it would be much better to give a child the tools for coping and to let them know their situation isn’t unique. It’s like reading a first aid manual, it’s unpleasant to read about broken limbs and heart attacks and so on, but it’s good to know what to do when the situation occurs.

  • I love that the back cover says the book is sensitive and won’t scare readers, after just stating that EVERY YEAR THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN ARE MOLESTED, KIDNAPPED AND MURDERED. Yes, very sensitive.

  • “it would be much better to give a child the tools for coping and to let them know their situation isn’t unique”–the problem is, if you give a child who has been molested or abused by someone who they love and trust a book about STRANGER DANGER, that doesn’t make their situation any less unique. The scary bogeyman who you’ve “never seen before” is easy to accept as the Bad Guy; it’s a lot tougher when it’s Grandma or Daddy.

  • ThaliaM–I considered that, but that’s not the way it was word at all. She said they’re shifting away from “prevention” efforts which make the victim responsible for reporting it. Then she said additionally, most of the time it’s someone you know. The second part is true, but I can’t agree with the basis of the first part. I, for one, am glad that children are taught that it’s not okay (of course, now they ARE taught that it’s normally someone you trust, though admittedly they tend to make it an uncle or coach and shy away from the idea of it being a parent, or at least they did in the 90s).

  • I think the two on the front cover are running because the Evil Stranger is trying to run them down with his car door.

  • I think the boy on the cover thinks he’s the Flash. And I like how Amy looks annoyed by the people in the car.

  • Ever notice how child molesters in these sorts of books are almost always wearing fedoras?

    “Look out, Amy – it’s a Hipster!”

  • Other issues aside, I’m glad this book has a scenario of same-gender abuse (since most of the focus is usually on men abusing girls).

  • katz–Is it? When I was in elementary school, it was always men abusing boys.

  • They are running from the fashion police!

  • Leigha: True, I’ve seen that too now that you mention it. But portraying a female abuser is pretty rare.

  • I think what Margaret was saying was that this idea of “prevention” is just not useful. When it comes right down to it a child cannot prevent an adult from hurting them if that is their intent.

    These books can make a child feel like they should or could have done something to prevent the abuse and therefore it is their fault. This thinking leads children to hide abuse.

    You are far better teaching a child to talk to a grownup that they trust when they are in a situation that does not “feel” right. This leaves the door open for all manner of situations to be addressed not just waiting unitl after the “touching” begins.

  • I’m pretty sure my extremely paranoid father had me read this when I was little. I was born in ’81 and it looks pretty familiar to me. Like Maeghan I found it very frightening.

  • “Everyone has private parts of his or her body”
    I’m pretty everyone knows that from birth! LOL