Strong at the Heart speaks directly to the experiences of teen and adult survivors of sexual abuse. The heroes who share their stories are making it safer for many others to break their silence and begin their journeys of recovery. My admiration and thanks to all of them. Carolyn Lehman has created a book that is understanding, respectful, and compassionate.

—Mike Lew, author of Victims No Longer and Leaping Upon the Mountains

This book helped me find a safer way to heal.

—Jessie, a survivor


This book is an absolute gift to the world. From the very first page I just feel like I’ve sat down and been given my own heart in my hands. Each person inside this book is whispering —”Listen, learn, love, forgive—see this new greatness in me.”

—Jacqueline Woodson, author of Lena and The House You Pass on the Way


Finally—with this book—you learn how people survive and heal. While I’ve never been in an abuse situation, I can relate to many of the emotions that these strong people felt. This is an extremely powerful and enlightening book.

—Laura, 15

Powerful and right on the money. Every student will want to read it, every teacher should. This is the kind of book that will help the culture understand itself.

—Chris Crutcher, family therapist and author of Chinese Handcuffs

In this timely, important book Carolyn Lehman shows readers the true faces of healing from sexual abuse. By sharing the individual stories of eleven survivors who have had the courage to speak out, she gives—to all who have been abused—faces, hope, and the healing knowledge that they are not alone. Strong at the Heart is essential—and inspiring—reading.

—Michael Cart, critic and author

When my friend was raped in 7th grade I didn’t want to talk about it. I wanted to read a book like this.




The most compelling thing about the book is its honesty — nothing is watered down or censored.

Pop Matters


Strong at the Heart is a wonderful and empowering collection of survival experiences of sexual abuse. It demonstrates the reality for survivors of abuse: It isn’t an easy path of healing but it is attainable.
—The Therapist  Read the full review here.


Lehman’s book is an excellent resource for increasing awareness of the pervasiveness and diversity of sexual abuse, as well as the universal potential for healing from it, at any age.
—Journal of Trauma and Dissociation


“…long overdue.”


The Denver Post

Lehman’s powerful collection…packs a strong emotional punch. The strength of this sensitive, evenhanded book comes from its increasing awareness about something teens may be silently suffering.



The stories here are compelling, each with its individual winding path to healing. The essays reflect the individuality of the survivor. This collection…will undoubtedly touch a nerve, offering insight and hope for many.



Without sensationalizing, the first-person narratives each convey the particulars of an individual experience that will encourage readers’ empathy.

The Horn Book


Excellently balanced. Over and over, the interviewees each say how much it helped to hear that someone else shared their experiences—that they were not alone. One hopes that this book will be that voice for readers.

Kirkus Reviews


Strong at the Heart is an important non-fiction book for … anyone who’s survived sexual abuse or knows someone who has.

Teen Books That Have Something to Say


This is a strong book in which other survivors of abuse will see themselves reflected, and in which the rest of us can find guidance as we seek to understand and support friends and family who are dealing with this kind of trauma.

Connect for Kids


(★ ★ ★ ★ ★) If every parent, teacher, librarian and child in America read this book, perhaps we could put a stop to the largely silent epidemic of sexual abuse of our children.
Hip Librarian


Strong at Heart is a lifeline to those who will need it most…

Eclectica Read the full review here.


KHUM radio interview for the 2014 book launch.

In depth, dynamite interview with Carolyn Lehman about Strong at the Heart on Cynsations, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog.

2014 interview with Nancy Bo Flood on Pirate Tree here.

Eclectica review by Tiffany German here.

National Council for the Social Studies, and The Children’s Book Council, Notable Trade Book for Young People.

California Collection,  2007

Kentucky Bluegrass Award, 2007 Master List.

Texas Library Association, Tayshas Reading List, 2007-2008

Missouri State Teachers Association, Reading Circle program

Skipping Stones Magazine, 2006 Honor Book.

Bank Street College, One of twenty-five recommended books for teens in 2006.

New York Public Library, 2006 Books for the Teen Age.