Sometimes terrible things happen. If you see them or experience them, it is scary and can leave you feeling sad or angry.

Sherman felt like that after he saw something terrible happen, but Ms. Maple helped him find a way to feel better.

Hear author, Margaret Holmes, read A Terrible Thing Happened: A Story for Children Who Have Witnessed Violence or Trauma aloud. Afterward, Sasha Mudlaff suggests an activity to help a friend who is having a hard time. Click here to download a copy of the activity.

by Margaret M. Holmes

This Article's Author

Margaret M. Holmes writes inspirational and self-help stories for children. In addition to A Terrible Thing Happened, she is the author of Molly's Mom Died, Sam's Dad Died, and Charlie's Brother (a story for the siblings of a child with special needs who is being admitted to residential care). Margaret and her husband, John, live near Des Moines, Iowa. They have two grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Related Books from Magination Press

  • A Terrible Thing Happened

    Margaret M. Holmes

    Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but soon something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous for no reason. Sometimes his stomach hurt. He had bad dreams. And he started to feel angry and do mean things, which got him in trouble. Then he met Ms. Maple, who helped him talk about the terrible thing that he had tried to forget. Now Sherman is feeling much better.

    This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode, including physical abuse, school or gang violence, accidents, homicide, suicide, and natural disasters such as floods or fire. An afterword by Sasha J. Mudlaff written for parents and other caregivers offers extensive suggestions for helping traumatized children, including a list of other sources that focus on specific events.