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4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,493 ratings  ·  274 reviews
"I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can't take them."

Ten-year old Kaylee W
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by B Books (first published 2011)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,493 ratings  ·  274 reviews

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Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
Wow! What a wonderful book.
I wasn't sure I would like this book because of the subject matter of child abuse, but the author did a wonderful job of telling the story without sensationalizing. The truth is horrible enough!
The story of 2 people who needed what each other had and the Providence of God is beautifully told.
This book will stay with me forever.
Paula Vince
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What I loved about this book is the underlying proof that a person's significance and 'success' does not hinge upon making a difference to many people. Being there for just one person is enough to change everything.
The story moves from the point of view of one of the main female protagonists to the other. Strangers at the start, they come to mean everything to each other. Sierra is a woman in her early 30s who lives with intense guilt over some lifestyle choices she made in her past which she's
Keiki Hendrix
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It isn't often you find such a tender book dealing with such an evil topic. It was these two extremes that first griped me and then kept me reading. First there is Kaylee, a twelve year old girl abandoned by her mother and left in the car of a boyfriend that sexually abuses her. Then there is Sierra, struggling to get past the pain of loosing her nine day old daughter several years before.

When these two meet and share a sweet friendship, they begin to identify their enormous loss, pain and hurt
Words by Ginny L. Yttrup
Genre: Contemporary Christian fiction
Format: Kindle
Timeframe: Present day
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Main Characters:
Kaylee Wren: Abused 10 year old
Sierra Dawn : Artist who takes Kaylee in
Peter Langstron: Child Welfare Services worker
Ruby: Sierra’s faithful friend
Jackson Tully: Child rapist
Kathryn Wren: Drug addict who left her daughter with an abuser

Wow. I’m so stunned I'm not sure what to type.

First off, I wasn’t aware it was based on the author’s life. The author experi
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
At times heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting, this is a story that will linger in readers' minds long after the last page is turned. ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs
Story Description:

I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind…I’d like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I’d open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can’t take them.

Ten-year-old Kaylee Wren doesn’t speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-challenge
My first 5-stars of the year. Excellent story about redemption, pain, and most importantly, Truth.
Well, this book left me a little speechless. Funny since it's about words, right? I loved the quirky way the main character, Kaylee, was obsessed with words as a way of coping with stress, yet the lack of words (speech) due to her trauma was a large obstacle in her life. Some parts of the story reminded me a little of the movie Nell, starring Jodie Foster. But this novel had a unique angle to it that I haven't seen in many books -- especially not Christian books.

At first I was a bit overwhelmed
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Words took me for an emotional, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking journey. While this book touched on delicate subjects – sexual abuse and drug addictions – it breathed truth and honesty. Ginny wrote with such passion that I connect with Kaylee and Sierra almost instantly. They were so real. The emotional turmoil that Kaylee experienced was so well described it grabbed my heart. Having six sisters that are ten or younger, I can’t imagine one of them enduring what Kaylee endured.

You can’t help
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Novel
Ginny L. Yttrup
B & H Books

Reviewed by Cindy Loven

WOW! This book is not casual reading material. It does need to be said that this book deals with mature subject material. However the sad thing is mature subject material incidents, do not always apply to adults only. A story of redemption, a story of the grace of God and a story of the horrors of drugs, child pornography and child molestation. You may ask yourself, how does a story of this ramifications have a
Lori Henrich
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is. What a concept!! Love is more that just the definition of word. Sierra and Kaylee are going to find out what God's love can do. Kaylee is 10 years old and is living in the most worst situation imaginable. Someone is hurting her and there is no one she can turn to for help. Sierra is a woman who has been living in the grips of a tragedy for 12 years. One day would bring them together. That one day's chance meeting would change both ...more
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Words is a difficult read because it's dealing with some serious subject matter, but it's worth the effort. It's Ginny Yttrup's debut novel, and won her two Christy award nominations (and one win), an honour that is entirely deserved.

"... an innocent child paid the price for others' poor choices--just like Christ, who was also completely innocent, paid the price for my choices".

The innocent child is 10year-old Kaylee, who lives in a remote cabin with her mother's ex-boyfriend, her mother having
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
A little bit heavy in Christian beliefs for me but overall a good book.
Becca-Rae Weidel
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Leave it to a book called Words to leave me speechless. I happened to snag a copy of this from a friend's bookshelf and was sucked so deeply into Kaylee and Sierra's world that I occasionally had to force myself to come up for air. I don't feel that I have the nearly the right words to do this novel justice.

I wouldn't call this a read for the faint at heart. Kaylee's childhood was nothing short of a nightmare. Although it was difficult to read, I believe the author did an amazing job of revealin
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to put into words my thoughts about this book. It was a beautifully written book. I have always been fascinated with words and their meanings, especially when comparing words from different languages. This part of the book tugs at my reader's heart strings. It actually had me opening up the dictionary to see the definition of some words. I am touching on this first because the actual topics covered in the book hit a little closer to home than I expected them too. I was never sexually a ...more
Erin Laramore
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow - what a heart-rending beautiful read about the love of Christ and second chances. This book has 2 main perspectives - one from Kaylee, who is a 10 year old undergoing a great deal of abuse and other trauma. The other is from Sierra, who is struggling to heal from the 12 year old wound of losing her child. When the 2 find each other, the story is simply healing - and beautiful. With well developed characters, a very strong faith thread and a heart-rending message we all need to hear, I would ...more
Nora St Laurent
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“I can’t talk. I can’t breathe. Tears choke me.”

That’s exactly how I felt when I read the last page of this book. I’m thrilled to have received a review copy of such an astounding, debut novel. I haven’t read anything this profound, inspiring and life changing since Redeeming Love and June Bug. The author is a master wordsmith and trusts the readers’ imagination to fill in the blanks about the abuse Kaylee endures and talks about it without being graphic. Ginny L. Yttrup has overcome sexual abu
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
About the Book: Kaylee has been left with Jack, an abusive boyfriend of her mothers. She is only 10 years old and believes Jack when he tells her she can't leave as her mother will be back to get her sometime. She is repeatedly molested by him and has stopped speaking because of the trauma. Instead, she collects words in her head - words that she finds in a dictionary that she and her mother used to look at together.

Jack leaves Kaylee alone for long portions of the day, and she is pretty good at
How the heck I read this without crying, I'm not sure. This book touched me in so many different ways. I hate abuse in any form, but when it happens to innocent children, it's just... cruel. And I wonder why it has to happen.

The opening paragraph is beautiful but haunting: "I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I'd like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I'd open the box and pick up the papers, readi
Lori Twichell
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I saw what this book was about, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read it. It sat on my stack of books mocking me. Being a writer and an avid reader, I love words, so the title and the cover drew me, but each time I picked it up, I wondered if it would be too heavy for me to enjoy. Though I’ve been a reader all my life, I’m a mom first. When a child is injured or deliberately hurt, it’s difficult for me to read. But I heard such great and beautiful things (and I got a couple of copies in the m ...more
Jan Holmes
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a book I just grabbed from the library new book shelf (along with two others) for a cold and rainy weekend. I just read the first few sentences on the back cover and thought it sounded like a great book,that night as I put the book down to go to sleep I thought again it was a great book. The next morning I read the rest of the back cover to see what was coming and saw that it mentioned that the characters discover the healing mercy of the Word- Jesus Christ. I am not a religous person in ...more
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A very hard subject- sexual abuse, parental abandonment, drug addiction and their effect on one little girl but yet there is healing in the pages too and you are left with hope. It will not be an easy read but one, in my opinion, well worth your time and possibly life changing- heart changing
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was simply wonderful. The author achieved success in so many ways with this book. It is touching, and says so much about healing, and the transforming power of love....and words. I wish I could buy you all a copy! READ IT.
Wende Sheets
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! What a wonderful powerful book!!! I picked this up last night n didn't start it till this evening.......I finished it 5 hours later! I just could not put it down! This is one that will be n my heart for along time!!! ...more
Charlie Bunch
Words was an amazing book that really shows you how things can turn around again in your life. It had a heart warming story about a young girl who had an awful life. An older woman with a past of her own, finds her. She finds her faith through this young girl. This is a must read!
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, difficult, gut retching story.
Karla Pennington
Finding the Truth Within

This book touched my soul. Childhood abuse is real and touches so many lives, both male and female. Just like the person who becomes severely overweight as a way to protect themselves from the abuse, (i.e. If I get big enough no one will want me or hurt me again) Kylee silenced her voice to not be heard. In other words as long as she is quiet enough she will not be noticed. Her mother was so addicted to the drugs she did whatever was necessary, even if it meant not only h
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have found a new author to add to my list of favorites. Ginny Yttrup's writing style is light and conversational. I knew from the first page that this book was going to be something special, but I didn't know how special.

Words switches points of view alternating between Sierra, an artist who is a recovering addict still grieving the loss of her child and Kaylee, a young girl who is living a literal nightmare and can no longer speak due to the horrors she has experienced. These two characters a
Julie Barrett
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Words by Ginny L. Yttrup
Story I feel is about two in one. One is following Kaylee who is a child and being raised by a man. There is a lot of abuse and I love how this story meets the other story: Sierra.
She's a woman who has lost a child and bonds with the girl and fears for her life when she finds she is not where she should be. They converse with each other but not by words.
Love how her actions are able to save Kaylee and they bond further and are so relaxed with one another.
Love how her mot
Lora Offer
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-novel
Sierra -
Sierra’s heart is still healing twelve years after tragedy strikes from her life choices as a young adult.

Kaylee -
Abandoned by her mother, Kaylee has been left to live with her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Her circumstances leave her without the ability to speak, and instead she finds that words and their meanings help her to focus on something the than the torment she must endure at home.

When circumstances bring them together, God will use Sierra and Kaylee to impart His healing into
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Ginny L. Yttrup is the Christy Award winning author of Words, and six other titles, the award-winning Mendocino Village Novels, Invisible and Illusion. She writes women's fiction and suspense. Ginny is also a sought after writing coach, developmental editor, and speaker. When not writing she loves to spend time with her adult children, and the circle of dear friends who enrich her life. She lives ...more

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“Sometimes keeping a secret seems like the right thing to do because telling the truth might hurt someone and makes it seem like you don't love them. But really, telling the truth is the right thing to do. It's the most loving thing to do.
“Look beyond a person's actions and see their heart. Look for what's causing them to act the way they act, then you'll understand them better.” 5 likes
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