This audiobook chronicles the shocking and appalling story of the handsome, popular, and energetic sixth-grade teacher in a Caseyville, Illinois, elementary school, who was accused of sexually abusing numerous young girls.
©2015 Charles Bosworth, Jr., Don Weber (P)2015 Charles Bosworth, Jr.
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"What could be worse than child abuse?"
This is an interesting story because the path for those seeking justice for the abused children was winding and not simple. The most incredible part is not that the man abused children, but that his community almost let him get away with it, deciding to find fault with the abused victims instead. This book is the perfect example of what a twisted world we live in. It shows how human nature can allow turning a blind eye to the ugliest things instead of choosing to bring them into the light for all to see.
"Was not expecting the end..."
I really like true crime books narrated by Kevin Pierce. This is one of many I've listened to. Lots of detail and so heartbreaking but a good story to listen to.
"Important Book for All Parents and Teachers."
Enjoyable is the wrong word for this story considering the subject matter. Engrossing would be more accurate. It is important for people with children to read, because it does a very good job of explaining what the signs of sexual abuse are. For instance, it is normal for victims not to tell their parents. This is a shocking story with a satisfying ending.
That is a toss up between the verdict from the first grand jury, the second trial, the verdict from the second trial and the final scenes in the park. This is a very well-written book. It details the case against a serial pedophile teacher and how he is finally brought to justice.
Kevin Pierce gave an excellent performance of all the characters. His best characters were Katharine Howse, prosecutor Weber, and the defense attorney. He did the little girl characters amazingly well.
This book is heartbreaking. The courage that the girls showed in testifying in a hostile town is inspiring. In the end, justice is done (although at the hands of the teacher rather than the law).
This book contains graphic descriptions of real crimes. It is sexually explicit (not gratuitous, just explicit). It is a very well done book. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
"Dumbstruck and Shame"
This is an incredibly well written book. I am dumbstruck by the public's anger towards the young ladies and making the perpetrator a victim all the while trying to remind myself this occurred 30 years ago while in my heart knowing little has changed in Illinois/the Midwest (I am from IN and IL). In the end Van Hooks final demise only stands as further proof of his guilt.
"Read the description first"
What happened is extremely tragic. The way that the characters and events are sometimes referred to is very melodramatic. "If he had only realized what this call signified;" "If only they hadn't done _____ that day". To me, not being familiar with the events, had me anticipating some of these people to be killed, or the story to become suspenseful at some point. In reality, it's a true courtroom story- not so much a retelling of what occurred as an accounting of events that took place, though that does occur at points, due to the nature of courtroom trials. I think further background information on the girls (What are their home lives like? Did they have friends? Were they bullied? etc.) would have been helpful to readers looking for a story...not a re-reading of newspapers and courtroom transcripts. If you like courtroom stories, definitely go ahead on this one. If not...read the description first.
The narration for this book was excellent- exactly what you would want to up the intensity and add depth.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, narrator or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
"Don Weber for President"
Top three without hesitation.
From start to finish the entire story was captivating. The unbelievable notion that this predator would be held in such high esteem is beyond comprehension.
I didn't have one particular scene but the way in which these children were represented and the caring adults around them made it feel like a victory for all at the end of the book.
If you want a great story and diligent efforts to prosecute the animal makes this book worth hearing. You will not be disappointed. Excellen!!!!!
"Riveting, but Heartbreaking"
That the young victims had such a fantastic support system in Pam Klein, Don Weber and many other members of the judicial system.
My favorite characters were all the brave young ladies who stood up to this man.
He sucked me in right away. Just as if he was "telling" a story instead of reading it.
Without giving anything away, the ending was bittersweet. A predictable fate for a "man" such as Robert Van Hook.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
This book was difficult to listen to for obvious reasons. However, this story had to be told. Even today, people don't realize the shame and skepticism that victims face in these situations, often times from their own family members. This man enjoyed the unwavering support of his community, no matter what evidence was presented. Although he was proven guilty, his victims continued to endure the disgrace placed upon them by community members. It truly is heartbreaking.
"The Worst Kind of Crime"
Secret Lessons is about a sixth-grade teacher in a Caseyville, Illinois, elementary school, who was accused of sexually abusing numerous young girls, and the ensuing investigation and prosecution.
What the book also brings to light is the shameful behavior of some in the school, the town, the county, and the justice system.
A book about a subject like this could easily turn tawdry and sensationalistic, but the authors of Secret Lessons, Don W. Weber and Charles Bosworth Jr., approached it with insight and compassion, shining a light on areas of our society that all too often remains in the dark.
This audiobook was riveting from start to finish.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.
"We need to know this can happen"
Well written story that keeps you listening and engaged. The narrator carried the story and characters through nicely and was a pleasure to listen to. I don’t usually listen to books in this category, but will be looking for more from this author in the future.
* I was given a free copy of the book from AudiobookBlast dot com in exchange for a fair and honest review.
"An important story"
Riveting and heartbreaking. I just finished and am still in disbelief. It is incredibly important that someone told these girls' stories. Well read, written.
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