Reggie & Me is the first book in the Dani Moore Trilogy. Dani's story is told through her diary in the wake of her rape and subsequent court case.
Having moved with her mum, Dani starts Year Eleven at a new school, facing various challenges that bring a renewed energy to face whatever is thrown at her and to carry on regardless. She realises that ‘normality’ is something that she can define herself, with the help of her dog Reggie and the people around her.
Reggie & Me is more than a story of survival, as the reader is taken on an inspiring journey of personal development, interweaved with tools that girls and young women can use to create the positive future they deserve.
FINALIST WINTER 2014/2015 THE PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Just finished it. Wow. Enjoyable and easy to read but a powerful message for those who've suffered personal trauma. I love the format you've used. Short chapters keep the pace moving. Love James Patterson's books as he uses same format. Inspiring. Wish I'd had this insight / information when I was teaching. The power of animals to help humans is awesome. When is second book coming out? ~ Amazon Reader
Synopsis: "Reggie and Me" by Marie Yates is the first book in the Dani Moore Trilogy. Dani's story is told through her diary in the wake of her rape and subsequent court case. Having moved with her mum, Dani starts year eleven at a new school, facing various challenges that bring a renewed energy to face whatever is thrown at her and carry on regardless. She realises that 'normality' is something that she can define herself, with the help of her dog Reggie and the people around her. "Reggie and Me" is more than a story of survival, as the reader is taken on an inspiring journey of personal development, interweaved with tools that girls and young women can use to create the positive future they deserve.
Critique: Marie Yates is an author and coach who works with survivors of rape and sexual abuse. She brings a very special expertise in writing "Reggie & Me". A thoughtful and thought-provoking work of fiction, "Reggie and Me" is one of those deftly written novels that lingers in the mind and memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reggie & Me" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).
~ Julie Summers, Midwst Book Review
Reggie and me is an amazing book. The author, Marie Yates, wrote Reggie and me in a heart stopping and breath taking way. Reggie and me is a brilliant book about a dog, called Reggie, who is rescued by a mother and daughter.
The daughter, Danielle, is a rape victim. Danielle is moving to a new house and is going to a new school.
After they went to get Reggie, and when clearing out their house they found lots of letters. These letters were from other rape victims who had been given the courage to come forward after hearing about Danielle. I have read Reggie and me and still want to read it again. It's a real page turner and very motivating and emotional. So I recommend this book to anyone who is going through a hard time and looking for inspiration. ~ Tia, aged 12
Tricky subjects, handled with warmth, honesty and compassion and woven into a compelling story about a girl overcoming some pretty horrendous challenges. Dani Moore is a survivor who is trying to rebuild her life and figure out how to be normal again. She tells her story in first person, in an intimately voiced journal. Marie Yates has constructed some really great strategies here, exploring the relationship between a rescued dog and Dani, who is determined not to let ‘victim’ become her story and identity.
It’s a book written with insight and empathy, squaring up to the issues of recovering after being attacked, but steadfastly refusing to offer details of abuse as entertainment. I really appreciated that. There’s no emotional pornography here, and a lot of sound, psychological advice threaded into the story. It’s a rare achievement to pull off a book that is helpful in these ways without being dull or preachy, but Marie Yates has done just that thing. It would be a good book to give to anyone (regardless of age, even if it is marketed as a book for teens) who is dealing with the aftermath of abuse, bullying or other violence.
Even if we don’t run into these issues personally, so awful are the stats around domestic abuse and bullying, and the stats for rape, that the odds are you’ll know someone who has been here. You may not know that you know. Having some sense of what it looks like from the other side, is really helpful.
~ Nimue Brown
Once I began reading this book, I could not put it down! It is beautifully written and very, very easy to read. No complicated plot to follow and you really feel for Dani. I felt I could almost stroke Reggie as he is described so well! I feel that anyone who has gone through Dani's experience would relate to the book and it could help lots of people who can't talk to anyone about what they are feeling. Would recommend the book to anyone and cannot wait to read books two and three in the trilogy. ~ Katharine Dudley
Reggie and Me offers a different kind of story in regards to the topic of sexual abuse. The focus is not on the fact that Dani was raped, but rather how Dani deals with the aftermath. I really liked how Yates treats a tricky and sensitive topic such as sexual abuse with warmth, honesty and compassion and woven into a compelling story about a girl overcoming some pretty horrendous challenges. When I think of Dani Moore long after I closed the book, the first term came to mind was not 'victim' a label which she refuses to standby, but rather a survivor who is trying to rebuild her life and figure out how to be normal again.
Dani's story is told in first person in a diary format. This format allows us to get a first hand look at Dani and her emotions. I would have liked to actually see what Dani goes through rather than her recounting all which happened in the story in each entry, which can be a bit tedious. One of the biggest strength of the book is that Yates doesn't make Dani's recovery unbelievable in which she succeeds and has a perfect day every day. Dani has really bad days from trying to overcome bullying from some of her female friends and when her self confidence takes a hit, which happens to all of us. Another very strong aspect of the book is displaying the relationship and parallels between Dani and her rescued dog Reggie.
Though Reggie and Me deals with a tough issue, it is ultimately uplifting and is helpful without ever being preachy and heavy handed. It shows us that we have a long way to go from erasing 'victims' from our vocabulary and replacing it with 'survivors'. ~ Rummanah Aasi, Books in the Spotlight Blog: http://booksinthespotlight.blogspot.fr/2015/01/reggie-and-me-dani-moore-1.html
Reggie & Me is a heartwarming tale of survival after the most difficult of circumstances.Marie Yates has written a totally realistic, and heart rending story about the power of healing assisted by the love of a four legged friend, filled with identifiable and inspirational characters that practically leap off the page.
Reggie & Me should be on everyone?s must read list. ~ Thomas E. Sniegoski, New York Times Bestselling author of THE FALLEN series, and the BONE: QUEST FOR THE SPARK trilogy.
You know that feeling when you start reading a book and it grips you so tightly that you literally can't put it down? This morning I started reading Reggie & Me by Marie Yates, and didn't move an inch until I'd turned the final page. What a wonderful, heartfelt, compelling, heartwarming, uplifting, thought-provoking and inspiring book! ~ Lisa Tenzin-Dolma
I have already recommended Reggie and Me to a brave young woman and her mother who were both in need of support and understanding. I can imagine recommending it many more times. The book is written in an engaging style for young readers who need to know that they’re not weird and they’re not alone. Useful resources are sewn into the narrative of the book providing tools that readers can use, but doing so in a gentle way as we follow Dani on her journey. Reggie and Me manages to do that very difficult thing of being compassionate and caring but also realistic and useful. We see the highs and the lows of life after sexual abuse, and by creating a trilogy Marie Yates helps us to understand that recovery from abuse is a long journey, not a quick fix. I look forward to reading more about Dani and Reggie in the remaining books. I would encourage both professionals and parents who are supporting young people living with the impact of sexual abuse to introduce them to the Dani Moore Trilogy. ~ Dr Nina Burrowes - Psychologist, Speaker, Author
Reggie and Me is a strong and courageous portrayal of a young girl’s survival of rape. It is written from an autobiographical stance and it makes the book very real as a testimony of her survival, the style of language and expression is one representation of the parlance of young people themselves and I think this will make the book more ‘appealing’ and readable to this audience too. She describes some key people and events in her life that have helped with her ongoing recovery from this trauma, including her mother, a teacher, taking up Taekwondo and a pet dog called Reggie, who incidentally seems very significant in her regaining trust and love again. Additional to her story is how her survival is plagued by bullying, comfort eating, self-doubt and negotiating the complex aspects of adolescent relationships. There are many simple but poignant episodes in the book where Dani does reflect or only lightly touches on her experience of rape and this is brought home to her again when she hears about Amie who was also raped; we see how Dani empathises and reaches out to befriend her, introducing Reggie too. The strong feature of the book which is particularly powerful is that Marie writes from the heart and with a young person’s voice and her remarkable strength in her recovery may well be an inspiration to others as victims and those who can support a young person in this recovery. ~ Ruth Jones OBE - Director of the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse at the University of Worcester
'Reggie & Me is an extremely inspiring ‘must read’ for any young person. The book offers a contemplation of the trials of teenage life, as the positive story carries its reader through the struggle of mastering them. We see the main character, Dani, turn to Taekwondo as a means of personal development. Her courageous choices and resilience in grappling with some difficult challenges is a brilliant reflection of the many strengths that Taekwondo aims to teach. We hope that Dani will inspire many other young people to take up our sport and improve their mental and physical wellbeing.' ~ British Taekwondo
This book is a fantastic and brilliant read from cover to cover and will appeal to both teenagers and adults who have been through a traumatic experience in their life time but found that what did not kill them infact made them stronger.
First time author, Marie Yates, writes in a beautiful & captivating manner and I found I was gripped throughout the book wanting to find out what happened next. I could not put the book down and read the whole book cover to cover in one session!
I felt I could really relate to Dani’s character as she expressed her innermost thoughts about growing up and facing the pressures & challenges that school can bring any normal teenager. For Dani though it was different as she had the extra pressure of starting a new school mid- term and right before her exams. Not only that but she had the pressure of keeping her rape ordeal a secret and overcoming the victim mentality, guilt and shame she was feeling about it all.
Jane was one of my most favourite characters in the book as she was a true guide and mentor for Dani and taught her how to use her mind to overcome the challenges she was facing. Jane teaches Dani valuable life lessons of how to change negative thinking into positive thinking and actions which was what helped Dani to get through her challenges the most and achieve the goals she set herself.
I could also personally relate to how important it is to have a dog as your best friend throughout your teenage years and Reggie came into Dani’s life at exactly the right time and for the right reasons.
Reggie who is half Rottweiler and half German shepherd is the most delightful dog, who through his innate wisdom, shared, what I felt were the most important lessons and teachings for Dani after her ordeal.
Reggie helps Dani to learn how to trust again and feel respect, unconditional love, acceptance and complete loyalty. Reggie’s important teachings result in them both forming a very deep and mutual bond in their relationship with one another and proving that dogs really are our best friends.
There is a great twist at the end which made me smile and laugh out loud and made me feel on a high and left me wanting to read more.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone to read as I feel there are parts in Dani’s story that we can all relate to. The book made me smile, laugh and at times brought tears to my eyes as it took me back down memory lane in my own life and helped me realise that indeed what does not kill you does make your stronger!
Fantastic Read: 10/10!
~ Nikki Brown - The UK's Natural Dog Whisperer
Reggie and Me is inspiring, humorous, and thought provoking. The issue of how survivors of abuse and their families rebuild their everyday lives is rarely tackled and this story highlights the on-going challenges they face. Reggie and Me is a very realistic portrayal of teenage life and the far-reaching impact abuse can have. Above all, it is a story of strength and courage providing inspiration for survivors and insight to others. The author cleverly weaves practical strategies into the story line to give ideas of how anyone facing a challenge can choose to take action and move forward with active hope. Although aimed at teenagers this book is also a great resource for anyone who works with young people, parents and anyone who is struggling to know how to rebuild their life after a traumatic event. I would thoroughly recommend this as a resource for those supporting anyone who has experienced abuse and as a discussion tool for schools. ~ Elinor Wilde – Chartered Psychologist
Reggie and Me is a story about the use of coping strategies and day to day survival of a young person (Dani) experiencing the serious consequences of trauma and victimisation. It is a story about using the tools of our everyday lives, including our beloved pets to enable the strength and focus required to move forward in life towards a happy future. The story of the aftermath of the rape of Dani demonstrates the far reaching consequences of victimisation for a young person, particularly on a day to day level such as attending school, friendships, exams, and generally feeling happy and secure in life.
The story focuses on the role of ‘Reggie’ the dog in helping Dani to address her feeling of isolation from the world and her friends as well as giving her a sense of ‘felt’ security in the big wide world, and a feeling of protection from further physical harm. Dani and Reggie’s relationship highlights the need for young people such as Dani to experience unconditional relationships not just from family members and very good friends, where they can be enabled to express a wide range of emotions and be accepted and listened to ‘whatever’. Reggie offers this to Dani and the story is a commentary on the incredible value of the relationship that can be forged between a human being and an animal.
In addition to this Dani’s coping strategies highlight the importance of the use of the body and the mind together to work towards recovery through use of sport, self-awareness, and goal setting. As a children’s social worker I have spent a considerable amount of time working alongside children to make sense of their experiences of abuse and trauma and to enable them to move forward. For many of these children and young people the benefits of professional therapeutic support is not sustained for a variety of reasons or is not available to them as they grow and develop. With its focus on identifying and using individual personal strengths as well as the use of sport and goal setting to enable a journey towards recovery, I would recommend Reggie and Me to any teenager trying to make sense of what has happened to them and to assist them in finding and using the skills within themselves, with the support of others, to move forward with their lives. ~ Vicky Pike - Children's Social Worker
Reggie and Me is a motivational book, offering strategies and coping mechanisms for survivors of abuse. This book is not just aimed at those who have experienced abuse but at families, friends, teachers and anyone who is able to provide support, strength and encouragement at a time when ‘normality’ never seems achievable. Told through the story of Dani, it provides a realistic portrayal of teenage life and the day to day struggles all teenagers face such as exams, friendships and moving home along with struggles that are not always widely known to others. The author includes strategies within Dani’s diary that may help, encourage, challenge and motivate survivors to move on and know that the abuse is not what defines them but enables them to make positive changes and rebuild their lives. It is a story of strength and courage and I recommend this book, not just for survivors but anyone who has been affected by abuse in any way. As a teacher myself it is an invaluable resource for schools in supporting pupils who may be affected by the issues dealt with in the book. ~ Sara Pepperday - Teacher