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Book Review:"This Bird Flew Away" by Hubber Lynda M. Martin

Updated on April 15, 2013

Little Bird


Broken Wings

A first reaction to child abuse and child sex trafficking in North America is often "Wow! - It happens in Canada, too?" and "What kind of person does this?" What kind of person, indeed...

What leads a person to pick up a tiny young bird, break its wings, and leave it on the ice to die? What damaged species tortures, exploits, and kills the offspring of its own kind and the 'more the merrier'? Adults that abuse children are horrid creatures - severely off balance, abused in childhood, or having all the signs of being possessed. Before the law pursued child abusers in my state, I saw adults physically abuse children in public and laugh about it. That cannot happen now, but does so regularly behind the sanctity of the home. When children enter midddle school, the law largely steps back unless the parents are trafficking the children for sex, because the caseload of abuse cases involving K-5 is already too heavy.



In the 1990s, a major cause of death among "infant to 5-years" in America was murder. In school districts in our county during those years, the major issue reported by interviewed parents and teachers in schools from daycare to grade 12 was violence. Toledo OH, although additional legal efforts have been directed toward the problem, is the gateway city for distributing children across North America for the sex trade (see link below). This includes Canada, but Canada already suffered child abuse and exploitation. Lynda Martin draws inspiration from years of caseload and personal experiences in abusive treatment to bring us This Bird Flew Away.

This Bird Flew Away

by Lynda M. Martin

Black Rose Writing: 314 Pages

"A Journey from Neglect, Betrayal and Abuse to a Life Dedicated to Helping Others"

Bird On the Wing, Taking Off

Bria ran to save her own life and that of her baby sister. Many never get away.
Bria ran to save her own life and that of her baby sister. Many never get away. | Source

The Civil Rights Era brought about more than equal opportunity employment and voter’s rights. It loosened the gag from individuals experiencing physical, psychological, sexual, and other types of abuse. Freedom opened a vault of secrets whose end we cannot yet see -- So many families have “secrets” that are not to be divulged; but the hidden things leaked, flooding into the 1980s. Hospitals began ferreting out abuse in emergency rooms. Safe Houses opened to help victims. Brave individuals in law enforcement and the courts began to intervene.

General awareness has risen sharply, but This Bird Flew Away takes us into the reality of the ERs, the homes, and the secrets of the back-alley sex shops. It also takes us into the plains of Manitoba and Alberta, Idaho and Montana. We see stories of people close to the land and miracles on a rodeo circuit.

Bria, ages 9 – 23, is a composite of personalities filling innumerable case notes in child protective services files. A talented, academically gifted child, she is passed around an extended family and packed across the Canadian-American border too often. Exploited for money as a small child in rodeos and horse shows, locked away in a room daily by a violently abusive aunt, sold at least twice in the child sex trade, Bria survives with the help of an understanding social worker, the courts, and her second cousin and hero Jack.

Bria escapes abuse, but jumps into the fire under the boiling pot of human nature and frailties of her new family, friends, and employers. Each scene in her life is important to understanding the operations and cycles of abuse; and what prices abuse extracts from its targets and from those who truly love them, but cannot help. At every turn, a new relationship creates problems and additional people along the periphery attempt abuse and must be handled. Does it never end? Abuse is not uncommon – it blankets North America. We hope our advocacy and the progress of our involved professionals and support teams thin the blanket further every month.

Master of My Own Life


Mastery of OneSelf

Many abused children and adults come to feel that they are Nothing, as did Bria. They have no Self, no Voice, and no one to help. Many die in abuse. Survivors often need to feel more control over their own lives than do non-abused individuals. This in itself can cause some problems in relationships and work. However, some formerly abused individuals take up careers in which they can directly make a difference in the impact of abuse, as well as help prevent it. Bria the adult is a survivor that helps while she tackles her own problems.

Books such as This Bird Flew Away can increase awareness of the multiple types of abuse to a level we have not yet reached. It can stir more people to advocacy against abuse and for healthier parenting practices.

Hundreds of books appear on store shelves to warn the public and discuss different aspects and targets of abuse. Anyone may be a target, but a talented person that looks or acts “nice” to an abuser is a particularly juicy potential victim. Abuse wastes the talent and lives of its targets until it is stopped.

This Bird Flew Away presents a smooth, engaging style in language that ensures it to become a classic. Gathered from experiences in child services work and seasoned by the author’s personal life, the story is a powerful entry into contemporary historical fiction. While reading it, the first chapters of the book brought to mind such stories as To Kill a Mockingbird.

This book is the first of at least a trilogy of volumes about the life of Bria. After reading this book, you will want to read the others as they appear.

I enthusiastically hope that this series of books becomes a wdiely-respected film series as well.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      "How to recognize abuse" should be a required suject in school. Thanks for commenting, Denise!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Patty, so glad that you shared this. It is horrifying and every parent who wants to protect their child from predators are always alarmed at any whisper of danger.

      It is truly amazing how much evil there is in this world. We all have a dark side within us, some never seem to seek the light for healing. Damage and destruction reaps damage and destruction. Heartbreaking!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @Immartin -- The statistics are staggering, but your book shows us the bigger hope we have not imagined. I wish many people read it and spread the word. Thanks for sharing your book and furter intsllments with the world! I know of no other volume so thorough in the topic.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Thank you, Patty for this wonderful review of my book and how you blended it with your own take on the problems of child abuse and exploitation. Yes, my book is based on many years working in child protection but I'd like to say that most of the survivors went on to lead good lives -- which is a good thing because the true scope of abuse is so vast even the experts can't agree but settled for the world-wide estimate of 7/10 girls and 4/10 boys. I wanted my book to focus on the optimism I found in those I came to know.

      This may be a dark subject, but this is not a dark story.

      Thanks again. Lynda

    • profile image

      computer guy 6 years ago

      You are right this is argumentatively the worst subject in the world to talk about. But it needs to be talked about and discussed. Although there are many laws out to prevent this abuse from happening the laws are weak. People abuse children and are convicted only receive a couple of years of punishment; then they are put back on the streets to start over again. I don't know exactly what the percentage is but repeat offenders ratio is high.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks to everyone for taking precious time to read this one. If we all could read this Book and Enelle Lamb's book, we'd tell everyone we know about the difficult responsibilities of child rearing. Good parents are just Heroes, no question.

      It is incredible that an adult can hurt a child so much, and a horror that the child can grow up to step into those behaviors.

      Darlene - I too wonder if the damaged can ever be totally healed. "No more secrets" is a good policy in these lives. Best to you and your continued healing.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Yes Patty, thank you so much, I am in my 60's and I haven't healed but I am working on it. This is an important topic and, "No more secrets" that is my take, it is worthy of sharing and we need to protect the children. Love & peace darski

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Compelling subject.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      You can not even trust priest these days

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Beautifully captured the heart and soul of the author's work. Nicely done.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 6 years ago

      Dearest Patty,

      It took me several tries before I could fully read your entire Hub . . . It stuck a soft spot deep in my soul . . .

      Thank you for writing with such sensitivity and clarity . . .

      Long ago I thought I had healed from the scars of childhood . . . We never really completely heal . . .

      At best, we learn how to channel our horrific experiences into something positive . . .

      I am a bird that flew away . . .

      I will read this book you eloquently recommended . . .

      Blessings once again to you dearest Patty . . .

      EarthAngel . . .

    • Jeremey profile image

      Jeremey 6 years ago from Arizona

      As always Patty your hubs are great. If this is a topic of interest to you, you might enjoy a movie called "Trade", won a sundance nomination or two a bout 3 or four years ago.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      Voted up, and shared.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Patty, this is a book everyone needs to read. Child abuse is a horrible against a helpless victim. How awful that the adults a child is supposed to be able to trust inflict such pain on them.

    • kafsoa profile image

      kafsoa 6 years ago

      Omg, this brought pain to my heart.

    • fetty profile image

      fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

      Everyone who writes on Hub pages should go out and purchase this book. It is NOT what you expect because of the beauty and sincerity of the author, Ms. Martin. This book is moving, warm and a real page turner. Martin's dialogue is intriguing and worth reading. She offers hope without preaching. This book touches your heart and keeps you turning the pages until the very last piece of the story. I highly recommend this book, as well.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      This is a book containing the widest range of the subject I've seen.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      So incredibly sad, and great that someone has published on this terrible epidemic. :(