Black Dog Henry the Hound
by Laurence James Kiernan

"My eyes filled with tears and I exclaimed 'Why me?' he said nastily. 'Why not? It's because I can, I'm going to make you hate yourself.'"

Discussing difficult subjects with children is a challenge that all parents face. Through this story, Kiernan creates a kid-friendly narrative to explain how depression can affect us, and how to face these powerful emotions.

The first section of this book is meant for parents and guardians only, telling the story of Kiernan's struggle with depression, and how it affected his life. This parents/guardians-only section shows how anyone can struggle with depression at any point in life.

As the second part of the story evolves, Kiernan introduces the character called Black Dog, who follows the narrator around, making him feel useless, scared, and alone. The reader feels great empathy for this poor child and can relate to their feelings of not being good enough. As the Black Dog continues to belittle the child, they finally give in and express their feelings to their family. The reader follows this character's journey as they receive help to be rid of the Black Dog.

Kiernan ends the book with another parents/guardians only section, including advice for what parents can do to help their children who may be encountering the Black Dog. Though there is a melancholy tone, Kiernan addresses a serious issue that many adults and children are facing, and how to provide help for these individuals. Through understanding the Black Dog, children and adults see that they are indeed not alone in this difficult journey. Kiernan shows that, often times, a cry for help rises when the Black Dog enters life, and helping is the right thing to do.

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