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My Brother Is Not a Monster: A Children’s Book About SUD, Recovery, and One Loving Family

Children can understand SUD better than adults might think. Good storytelling can help. This beautifully illustrated children’s book is spot on: showing a family challenged by SUD but coming together to support their Loved One. Instead of magnifying fear, it teaches and sheds light. And its arrival could hardly be more timely.

The reader reviews are emphatic: “This book belongs in all school libraries.” “As my brother died of an overdose, this book has touched me and my kids.” “I am able to nurture myself as an adult after reading this book, as a child who grew up in a home where SUD was present. This book is going to save lives.”

They’re talking about My Brother Is Not a Monster, a new children’s book by Lee S. Varon, illustrated by Alisha Monnin. It tells the story of Joey, a young man with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), as witnessed by Sophia, his younger sister. Sophia loves him deeply but is worried and confused. It’s a situation, as the Allies community knows so well, affecting countless families around the country and the world.

My Brother Is Not a Monster, however, works hard to reduce the confusion. “Understanding the disease of addiction can be extremely difficult, especially for children,” notes former congresswoman and CEO of Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse Mary Bono. “Lee Varon’s story does a wonderful job of demystifying this difficult disease through the eyes of a child.”

A book on SUD for young children: what a wonderful resource for families. We’re glad to bring it to your attention. You can read more about the book, author, and illustrator at Lee S. Varon’s website.


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In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)