Beck Valley Books reviews “The Joy Thief” by Sean McCallum

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-centred 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.

Above all, The Joy Thief! is a story of hope.

Book review

This is an excellent book for both parents and children as it demonstrates perfectly how a certain situation or occurrence in the young person’s life can affect their behavior, attitude and thought process.

The vibrant and vivid pictures support the written text in showing how and why the child is behaving and thinking the way they are. It also demonstrates how a child can be bothered by a certain issue and how afraid they are to openly speak about it.

Any parent instinctively knows when something is wrong and upsetting their child and this book demonstrates how to deal with the issue, and get the child to be open and trust their parents to help them overcome the problem.

The story is important as it has taught the child to deal with trauma, and how to explain things when they have grown up and become a parent themselves to their own children. The Joy Thief is a very well-written and illustrated story, perfect of any parent or child to read to help them be open, honest and most of all share their fears so they can be resolved and make them feel like a child should.

Homeless Narratives & Pretreatment Pathways: From Words to Housing

SKU 978-1-61599-026-9
$18.95
In stock
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Product Details

On any given night, there are over 643,000 homeless people residing in shelters and on the streets across America. What can we do to help?

"Levy crafts stories of characters who sear the memory: Old Man Ray, the World War II veteran who resents the VA system and regards himself as the de facto night watchman at Port Authority; Ben who claims to be a prophet disowned in his own country, crucified by the government and enslaved by poverty finds a bridge to the mainstream services and a path to housing through the common language of religious metaphors, including redemption and forgiveness; and Andrew who has been 'mentally murdered' is helped to understand his own situation and gain disability benefits through the language of trauma; among others.

These stories are deftly interwoven with theory and practice as Levy constructs his developmental model of the engagement and pretreatment process. The outreach worker strives to understand the language and the culture of each homeless individual, builds a bridge to the mainstream services, and helps those providers to understand the special circumstances of these vulnerable people. Levy bears witness to the courage of these pilgrims who wander the streets of our cities, and his poignant book is a testament to the healing power of trusting and enduring relationships."
--Jim O'Connell, MD - President and Street Physician for Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program


The reader will...

  • Experience moving real life stories that demystify homeless outreach and its central objectives and challenges.
  • Learn about effective strategies of outreach & engagement with under-served populations.
  • Understand and be able to utilize the stages of common language construction in your own practice.
  • Learn about pretreatment principles and their applications with persons experiencing untreated major mental illness, addiction, and medical issues.
  • Discover new interventions via outreach counseling, advocacy and case management with people experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.
  • Understand how to better integrate policy, programs (e.g. Housing First), and supervision with homeless outreach initiatives.

About the Author

Jay S. Levy, LICSW has spent the last 20 years working with individuals who experience homelessness. He has developed new programs and provided clinical staff supervision. Jay is one of the architects to the Regional Engagement and Assessment for Chronically Homeless Housing program (REACH). This was adopted by the Western Massachusetts Regional Network as an innovative approach toward reducing chronic homelessness.

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