Louise's Reviews > The Saddest Girl in the World

The Saddest Girl in the World by Cathy Glass
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's review
Jul 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in July, 2010

This is the true story of Donna, a ten-year-old girl who was terribly abused and neglected by her mother and abused by her two younger brothers’.

Upon Donna’s foster care placement at Cathy’s, Donna is sullen, sad and non-talkative. Over the next fourteen-months Cathy and her own children, Paula six and Adrian 10, try to make Donna feel welcome and help her to adjust to living in a ‘normal’ family household. However, it isn’t always easy when one evening Cathy finds Donna in the bathroom scrubbing her hands with a bristled hand brush to the point her hands are red and raw. Questioning Donna as to why she was doing this, Donna replied: “Mum says I have to wash all the dirt off, but it won’t come off. I keep trying’’. It takes Cathy a moment to realize just what Donna is talking about and then it hits her like a ton of bricks. Donna is of dual heritage and her skin is a bit dark. Her mother, Rita, is white and her father is black and she had been forcing Donna to scrub her skin so she could be white like her! Instead of celebrating and encouraging Donna’s heritage, Rita had taught Donna to be ashamed of who she was. Bad enough that she suffered beatings with straightened coat hangers and skipping ropes with wooden handles and other horrible atrocities.

Cathy however, is determined to help Donna and eventually brings her to the point that she can accept herself but it isn’t an easy road. How sad that so many children in our society have to suffer at the hands of parents such as Donna’s.

This is was an excellent book.

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message 1: by Zahara (new)

Zahara In my English class a few other students and I created a blog on two books that deal with child abuse, which is similar to this book. If you`re interested, please check it out! I would appreciate any feedback.

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