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When I read this earlier today, it made me cry.

It starts:

I learned to read when I was 4, just as my 4-year-old best friend Danny became sick (he was dying of leukemia) and I was starting to be sexually abused by a next-door neighbor. I quickly discovered that when you open a book you could jump into a new world and escape the world that you are forced to live in.

Danny was the one who first made me realize the power of books. No matter how crappy he felt if you read him Put Me in the Zoo he would giggle and glow with enjoyment. I read him that book hundreds of times before he died when we were 6 and it never failed to make him feel better.

By the time I was 6 and raped for the first time by that neighbor, I was reading at a 6th grade level and the books I devoured were the likes of Nancy Drew, the Hardy Brothers, Trixie Belden, the Box Car Kids, Little Women and The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

This story belongs to a reader called Chloe, and I totally applaud her bravery.

For the rest of her story, pop over to Dear Author.