Parents' Guide to

Meeka's Secret

By Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Lovely story gently takes on tough topic; needs supports.

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This lovely ebook nicely addresses the complexities of sexual abuse in a remarkably kid-friendly way, but it feels like there's a lot missing from the overall user experience. The story's graphics are whimsical, and though there are some mildly scary parts, the text is very accessible, even for younger kids. Meeka is relatable and his thoughts and actions are believable. The plot strikes a wonderful balance of describing abuse --and all the feelings that come after it -- in a non-threatening, mostly non-scary story. But, given all the ways kids and families can interact with an app, there are many more features that would be nice to see, especially with such a tough topic. For instance, it would be nice to have parental supports such as in-text discussion questions, an overall reading guide, or other learning scaffolds to help parents make reading the story a more meaningful experience. A resource list could also help parents look further for help and support. A way for kids to express themselves after reading, or prompts for critical thinking could also help enhance their learning. Even some additional story navigation tools would be a welcome addition. The endless runner game is fun, but feels totally removed and superfluous to the story. It's also important for kids to understand that these situations don't always happen with strangers; in fact, usually kids know their abuser which can make it feel even more complicated. Ultimately, Meeka's Secret gets high marks for its story, but could use more development as an app.

App Details

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