‘Dear Rachel’ author teaches kids how to live in a violent world
by WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyles Editor
Jan 06, 2013 | 1614 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A father's love
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Hard lessons in reality is what is offered to children and even parents in the insightful new e-book, “Dear Rachel,” about one father’s efforts to teach his teenage daughter about the realities of living in a violent world.

Author Christian Alan takes a realistic yet sensitive approach in trying to teach his daughter that the world she experienced growing up is not the same one she will experience as she begin to explore the world on her own.

In his introduction, Alan writes to his daughter Rachel, “The message that I want to convey to you through this book is that the world has become a very violent and unsafe place to live. Reading this book will not in and of itself, keep you safe. My hope is that it will create an awareness in you that the world can be a dangerous place if you’re not paying attention.”

In his book, Alan uses real-life stories as object lessons, stories that graced the headlines in the newspapers and on television to underscore the importance of personal safety, something every parent can easily relate to. The author is quite forthcoming in admitting that his cautionary work is not a “feel good” book, but “a book I want you to feel.”

Alan succeeds chillingly in not only making the reader feel, but oftentimes feel the growing tension, as in the case of his young daughter’s narrow escape from death at his grandparents pool, in the first chapter, “Don’t ever say ... ‘It Can’t Happen to Me.’”

Having lived through the era of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, along with the gruesome Charles Manson murders of 1969 and watching the hostage situation unfold during the 1972 Olympics, the author speaks to his daughter from first-hand knowledge in a heartfelt and loving way that commands interest and attention.

Using everything from the Bombing of Pan Am 103 and the Oklahoma City Bombing to the Columbine school massacre and beyond, Alan paints his daughter a convincing picture of life in what he quotes from 2Timothy 3:1 as “the last days.” While discussing the Virginia Tech Massacre of April 2007, he wrote, “The evidence I have presented here about the world being a violent place is irrefutable, but my hope is that I have opened your eyes to the fact that this kind of behavior exists out in the world. The more awareness you have about that fact, the safer I hope you’ll be.”

Yet, the lessons do not end with Alan’s raising awareness in his daughter about the turbulent times she was born in. Alan takes on the media’s most powerful instruments — television and the Internet — and detail its gradual impact on a society that lost its innocence and chose to embrace a more blood-thirsty form of entertainment.

Opening her eyes to the existence of child molesters living among us, as well as their methods, and the most practical strategies of avoiding and surviving an attack, is information every parent should value having at their disposal. Alan uses Scriptures from the Holy Bible to help his daughter see that his wisdom is rooted in the Word of God, not his own.

In the end, he not only captures the reality of life in these United States from a concerned parent’s perspective, but Alan captures the raw brutality of recent headlines that just might help save his daughter, and other children, if his e-book is read.

His blend of cautionary tales with familiar cases of violence to help keep his daughter out of danger and away from abusive relationships is a love letter of the rarest kind. Mixed with warnings and well wishes, “Dear Rachel” might be the kind of read that, despite it’s candid conversation, make every concerned parent and child in America feel - and feel good.

To read a sample or “Dear Rachel” in its entirety, go to: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/sample/read/2940045095952.