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Believe Like a Child

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  1,165 ratings  ·  296 reviews
Home isn't safe for young Alessa because her uncle lives there...unfortunately neither are the streets.

Alessa's uncle is a child predator, and she's one of his victims.

At sixteen, after the death of her only friend, Alessa finds herself isolated at home with her uncle. Unable to live there, she runs away.

Alone on the streets of North Philadelphia, she encounters more peopl
Paperback, 444 pages
Published June 22nd 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,165 ratings  ·  296 reviews

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Misty Baker
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had this friend growing up who used to talk in sayings:

“All I know is that I know nothing.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

“A word to the wise ain’t necessary — it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”

At the time I thought it was ridiculous. His way of showing off or making himself seem much more worldly than he actually was.

It wasn’t until today that I realized sometime cliched sayings are the most appropriate form of communication.

Lauren Butler
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book was of a very intense subject matter and really deserved some better dialogue and overall better writing! I thought, particularly toward the end of the book that the characters said some of the silliest things and I really didn't need the author to be walking me through the obvious explanations or thought processes the characters were having. I also thought this was a little unbelievable - I found it getting overly predictable that something new and terrible would be happen to the main ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Believe Like a Child is the story of Alessa, a young girl who has been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her whole life. The story starts out right in the first paragraph when Alessa was 7 years old and is being raped by her uncle. We get to watch her over the next few years as she grows up so we understand her background and where she's coming from so that later in the story we can maybe empathize and understand some of the decisions she makes throughout her life.

I'm not quite sure
Mar 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads, 2017
**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.**

Though I applaud the effort, no part of me enjoyed this read. I fought hard not to DNF it and the only reason I didn’t was because it was a giveaway and I figured the least I could do was finish and review it. My track record with giveaway books so far is one DNF and it is something I swore to myself I wouldn’t do again.

This book is about a sexually abused child that as she grows up, struggles to find a safe passage through life. Th
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I agreed to review Believe Like a Chile by Paige Dearth, I knew I was in for a bit of a tough story. Just the synopsis of the book, which is in some ways like Ms. Dearth's own background, as she explained in her email, was bracing and eye-opening. The subject of child abuse and pedophilia are very tough subjects, but it was Dearth's candor in talking about these subjects in her email that definitely caught my attention. I decided then and there that this story needed a wider audience, as it ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
~This is a completely unsolicited review, independent of any obligation real or imagined by anyone.~
Let me say first that I am an editor, and as such I read a lot. Now I will set aside my day job, and talk about this story. It drew me in from the beginning with a story so honest, so terrible that you knew the author had been there, done that. The story is an impressive tale that covers a topic most people shy from. Most people would never, even in fiction, be as honest in what really happens in
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free e-copy of Believe Like a Child by Paige Dearth from Goodreads for my honest review.

First off I should warn you that this book will not be for everyone. This book is sad and very hard to read much less stomach. I did read the entire book, as I felt like I was so far in I needed to know how thing turned out. There is so much emotion written in this book. The pain deep in your heart and soul you will feel for Alessa and Lucy will have you so choked up at time you will need to put
Sahina Bibi
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one book I know I won't forget. If that sounds like a negative premise, then let me just tell you this - this is the kind of story that'll stick with you and change how you might look at things from then on.

Paige got in touch with me, and offered me to review her book and after her touching e-mail, there was no way I could say no to a story that needed to be told. Some people write for fun, for money, for joy; and then there's books like Paige's which are written to inspire and are stori
Jessicka Cameron
Jan 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
As compelling and important as the topic of this book was, I had to force myself to finish it. What I disliked intensely about this book was the almost childish way of writing. In my opinion, had this book been written better, it would have been an extremely strong work.

The topic is something that needs to be spoken about, and kudos to the author for being brave enough to tackle it, particularly because she herself suffered sexual abuse. However, I found the style of writing extremely basic and
Lauren (Northern Plunder)
This review was first posted on Northern Plunder, if you want to see more reviews please click here.

I honestly do not think I've felt such a range of emotions throughout a book before, it has left me somewhat speechless As I was finishing up reading it I burst into tears, not just because what had happened on the page in front of me but because I'd held back such strong emotions throughout the every page, it certainly becomes a weight and really touches your heart. Sounds silly I know. This stor
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't even know if I can write a review to express how powerful this book is. I can never judge people again.

Just from the first sentence of this novel, my heart stopped. The novel's main character, Alessa, has the most heart breaking story and I was drawn right into it. The world tends to throw things like rape and abuse into the shadows, but this book sure doesn't.

I honestly have to say that this book takes on a whole new point of view, and that is it's best quality. Before I read t
Sharon L
Jan 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
From the writing style to the storyline to the characterization. I had a problem with all of it.

This was a dark tale. And while I thought at first it was good because it raises awareness to some problems in life I felt as if Alessa was cut out to be a victim from the start (I never think it is the victim's fault, but a message in the undercurrent was you are born a victim and you don't really ever get out. This is something I can't agree with) and she kept on being victimized from every angle.
Mary Bearden
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This story sent shudders thru me! I am a very lucky woman as I have never been in any situations like this and I thank God all the time for that small miracle. What really upsets me the most is that this girl's mother knew what was going on and she did nothing because her brother paid her $750 a month to live there. Her excuse was that she needed the money to keep her family up, but at the expense of her daughter? Really? This is no mother in my opinion! She needs to be charged with accessory to ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the third book I have read by Paige Dearth, I read them out of order, but that did not effect the story at all. I will start by saying this is a novel with language, violence and child abuse, so be forewarned instead of leaving a bad review based on those issues. This also contains love and hope. This grabbed my attention from the first page and kept me hooked to the shocking end. It was not always easy to read but it is worth it. We follow Alessa, an abused child. She is unloved and abu ...more
Dec 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
At the start of this book quite a few chapters in, I was finding this really hard going. I knew there was abuse in this, its quite graphic and not easy to read. I even said to a couple of my book buddies at times it was a struggle. I considered putting it down.

Then I thought.......the author is doing her job well because I am 'feeling' things, so I carried on. I am glad I stayed with this book because here is a very little girl Alessa being abused by her uncle. Her Mother took him in because he
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Believe Like a Child is a roller coaster ride of emotions, hurt, pain, anger, hope, love, and trust all wrapped up into a neat little bundle that will open your eyes to something that actually happens every single day all around the world. Alessa is dealt a crappy hand from the moment she entered the world. Born into a family that is dirt poor, with only her Grandmother ever showing her any real love, her mother takes in Alessa's uncle to live with them to help pay the bills. At age seven, she b ...more
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
I just finished this book and honestly, felt let down. Then, I start reading all the raving reviews and it makes me cringe.
I'm not saying this isn't a powerful story. It is. It is a subject that should be brought to light because there are so many children out there like Alessa, who suffer in silence.
The beginning is very powerful. Alessa's story draws you in. How could someone suffer through such a horrific childhood? How will she come out of this? Will she come out of this? Those are all the
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
And this should be in the hall of fame!

OMG! I cried from the first chapter until the last page! This story is an awesome read, a tear jerker, dramatic and should be told over and over again. This will give you nightmares, dreams, and goals. How can I say nightmares and dreams in the same sentence?

Alessa is the character that will stick with you until your dying days. It brings tears to my eyes even to write this review. You will not be able to put this book done.

I commend Alessa, she is strong,
Patricia Moren
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
That was the most harrowing book I have ever read. I had a terrible foreboding the whole way through that it wasn't going to end well. Very brave of Paige Dearth to write a book like this and I hope the people that read it realise that it isn't wholly fiction. Anything to bring this kind of thing to the attention of the public is commendable.
Kelly Long
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Trigger warning: this book has a lot of rape, child abuse, drug use, prostitution, etc. I think this is the 3rd book by this author that I have read and I'd say this was my favorite so far. Hard to read because of the subject matter but a lot of important topics covered.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Believe like a Child is a haunting part Fiction part true story of Alessa, a seven year old girl who is sexually abused by her uncle as a child, abused for ten years of her youthful life this not only defines Alessa, but also makes her grow in more ways than one.

Upon receiving Paige’s quest to review her debut novel I was very hesitate and slightly deterred. The nature of the story I was very unsure about, normally I would not read something along this line. But upon reading the first few lines
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Believe Like A Child is the haunting story of Alessa, a young woman who endured physical, sexual and emotional abuse since early childhood. Alessa's home life was extremely dysfunctional, and the family thrived on turmoil. As the youngest of four children, she was a quiet and timid child, and she felt like she didn't fit in or belonged. The only person in the family that she felt loved and safe with was her maternal grandmother. When her beloved Grammy passed away when she was seven years old, s ...more
Denise MacDonald
Mar 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I thought this book was a bit better written than her other book, even though this one was the first one. I found that much of the book was restating the same things over again and that there was a lot of over explanation of actions and thoughts. It was a very amateurishly written book.
There was a lot of graphic rape scenes so those who can't read that type of thing, this book probably isn't for you.
Even though I had these issues with it, I found the book to be raw and real. This is what it is
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Wow.... well I never write a review immediately after finishing a book so that I can take it in and really come to terms with it, but this book took me on an emotional rollercoaster. This book had me literally laughing out loud, cursing, crying, and now after finishing it my soul is shaking and trying to recover. Something’s you never want to imagine and even if you go through life changing things this girls story was life shattering and she gained it all to lose it all. Wow!!!! This is an absol ...more
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can say this is definitely a 5 star book.
However, it is going to take me some time to come to terms with what I just read. I am emotionally drained and need some time to put my thoughts together on this book. Wow....

I will review soon.

I won this in a first reads giveaway on goodreads.
Erin Wolak
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: paperback, library
2.5 stars


I've had this book on my to-be-read shelf on Goodreads for a long time now. I've entered to win it through Goodreads giveaways every chance it becomes available and was even starting to consider purchasing it through Amazon, boy am I glad I was finally able to get it through my library!

While I understand the intention of this book was to shine light on some
Meghan Jones
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prepare to be emotionally wrecked

This book was truely heartbreaking...uplifting...gave hope then crushed it in the next sentence. It was an emotional rollercoaster but the authors writing was so fluid an eloquent it was hard to put down. The story was very real and gritty giving a peek of what a life not many people (thank god) know anything about. This author has some amazing talent
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}
Could have been good if someone had edited it down and taken out some of the unnecessary parts. Full review later.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
omg what a nail biter story! Then ending was so heartbreaking :(
I def makes me have a different outlook on the homeless .
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
1.5/5 - I received a copy of this book in a giveaway in exchange for an honest review, which I write with much disappointment and a heavy heart. I have absolutely nothing against Paige Dearth; in fact, I respect her quite highly, and I still wish to read her other works. This one, however, didn't do much for me.

The subject matter of this book is very important and will always demand to be addressed, there's no doubting that. However, I do not feel as if this book did that very well. Rather than
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Paige Dearth was a victim of child abuse. She writes real-life horror and refers to her work as: Fiction with Mean-ing. Stories teach lessons and Paige hopes that awareness through fiction creates prevention.

Paige will continue to write stories about young children who need to overcome adversity and then take yo
“The important thing in life is not where you came from,but where you are going.” 13 likes
“Maybe God had needed her to suffer so she could understand the suffering of others and help them heal.” 9 likes
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