Rebecca J. Hubbard

Reviews of Kindness in a Scary World

Reviews of Kindness in a Scary World, the first book in the Growing Strong Together Series. This book helps parents and other adults talk to children about the violent images they are exposed to on the internet and TV.

Reviews of Kindness in a Scary World

Red City Review

5 stars




This certainly is not an easy book to recommend, nor is it one that parents will desire to reach for when their children ask for a story. But—and we cannot stress this enough—Kindness in a Scary World will be the book your family turns to when tragedy rears its head once again. Hubbard’s book sings with human compassion and provides a safe starting point for difficult conversations with children. Parents will also find the discussion guide at the back of the book to be useful, as it addresses some of the common questions children have when they are exposed to topics like death and violence, and how best to respond to those questions. With this story, Hubbard shows how books can build bridges between people and allow us to connect with each other when it matters most.

Jack Magnus/Reader's Favorite

5 stars


Devoted mommy of 3

4 stars


Rebecca J. Hubbard’s social issues picture book and guide for children and their parents, Kindness In A Scary World, addresses the ongoing violence children see happening throughout the world, and sometimes even in their schools. The material she offers for parents is an excellent resource for introducing a subject that no one should have to be exposed to, least of all children, and it does so in a way that works very well with the story line. Teaching children to see the interconnectedness of the world, and everyone in it, helps them to feel as though they can be part of the solution, a much better position to be in than to feel like a passive observer and a possible helpless victim of something inexplicable. Becca Johnson’s illustrations are masterful and do a great job of complementing the story and the emotional responses of the child and his parents. Kindness In A Scary World: A Children’s Book About Terrorism is most highly recommended for parents, caregivers and teachers.

Catastrophes of any kind present parents with a conundrum. How does one explain evil in the world? Not all events are the same and none of them have a ‘cookie cutter’ response. But, Rebecca J. Hubbard has nailed down a unique and appropriate answer to children’s questions.

With news coverage of killings and terrorist activities a daily occurrence, children are often exposed to these dramatic events without our knowledge. When we think they aren’t listening, they are. It’s a scenario that every parent has or will encounter. Many times, parents are put on the spot to answer without time to really think. This book offers a way to proactively address these issues.

Kathleen Choe, LPC-S

5 stars

Kindness in a Scary World by Rebecca J. Hubbard takes the frightening, overwhelming topic of terrorism and makes it approachable and accessible for parents and children to understand and deal with in clear and practical ways.  Hubbard’s compassionate, clear prose and Becca Johnson’s compelling illustrations treat this complex, mature subject matter in a manner that empowers families to address violence in meaningful ways without over-simplifying or sugar coating the size and scope of the problem.  This book is an invaluable resource for educators, therapists, caregivers, parents, and anyone who wants to help children grapple with the ever-present, ongoing threat of terrorism in a hopeful and encouraging manner.

Alicia Nance

5 stars

How does a parent explain senseless mass violence to a child who is just old enough to be aware that the world has become an unpredictable and frightening place?

Kindness in a Scary World is a remarkable story of just such a scenario.  At its core it is a story that shows parents how to teach a child to focus on the good in humanity by being one of the caring ones, thereby empowering the child to use love and kindness to impact his/her world.

The child in this story overhears a news story of an apparent mass killing and is quick to pick up on his/her parents’ emotional reaction.  Seeking guidance, the child asks the many questions that a young child would ask, including about his/her own safety and that of his/her loved ones. The child asks many of the questions that we all ask when faced with modern day mass killings.  The parents never lay blame and the story is apolitical.  I love how the author uses the real curious and questioning nature of a young child as a technique. It is what gives the story its charm and realness. The parents offer explanations on a level that the child can understand and give the gift of strength and security through love. Somehow the parents redirect that curiosity and the child realizes that he/she can make a change in the world just by showing kindness in her/his own community. 

Although the subject matter is unquestionably somber and frightening, the story takes on a lighter tone as the child discovers ways to help pets and elderly neighbors.  Any caregiver or teacher sharing this story with a child in an appropriate setting would be able to teach life lessons to young children about how to deal with the unthinkable acts that humanity is capable of in our modern day civilization.