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Why I Didn't Say Anything: The Sheldon Kennedy Story [Hardcover]

Sheldon Kennedy
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 22 2006
In 1996, Sheldon Kennedy rocked the insular world of Canadian hockey by announcing that his former minor-league coach, Graham James — the Hockey News 1989 Man of the Year — had sexually abused him more than 300 times.The media portrayed Kennedy as a hero for breaking the code of silence in professional hockey and bringing James to justice. The heroic myth intensified in 1998 when Kennedy announced that he was going to in-line skate from Newfoundland to British Columbia to raise awareness of sexual abuse. The skate raised over $1 million for Canadian Red Cross sexual abuse programs, and Kennedy settled in Calgary with his wife and young daughter.Anyone who has followed hockey in the last ten years is familiar with the story of ex-NHL player Sheldon Kennedy. As one of the most promising hockey talents to emerge from the Canadian minor leagues in the last two decades, Kennedy was destined for hockey greatness. But after he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1988, he attracted more attention for his off-ice antics than for his contributions to the score sheet. Plagued by rumours of drug and alcohol abuse and a string of injuries, Kennedy drifted from team to team.The happy ending promised by the headlines never materialized. Still haunted by the demons of sexual abuse, Kennedy's life spiralled out of control. Now he has finally come forward to tell his story, and the story of coach Graham James, who is out of prison and currently coaching hockey in Europe.

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About the Author

Sheldon Kennedy skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career and played for Canada's gold-medal-winning team in the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his minor-league hockey coach, Graham James, with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five-year period while a teenager under Graham's care. Sheldon's subsequent decision to go public with the charges rocked the hockey world and thrust him into the media spotlight, where he became an unofficial spokesperson for millions of sexual abuse survivors in North America. His life story was made into an award-winning television movie, and he has appeared on Oprah, ABC's Nightline, W5, and The Fifth Estate.After retiring from the NHL, Sheldon in-line skated across Canada to raise awareness of sexual abuse issues. Sheldon now works as a youth counsellor in Calgary, where he lives with his daughter, Ryan.

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First Sentence
I was born in 1969 in Brandon, a small city in southwestern Manitoba, but my parents soon moved my older brother, Troy, and I up to Thompson, a town about 500 miles north of Winnipeg. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Survivors of sexual abuse and general public April 26 2010
I am a survivor and found Mr. Kennedy's book to be true in nature and well written. He provides enough detail for the reader to experience the vicitmization through his eyes and he describes perpetrators to a "T" especially the denial and lack of ownership in ruining his life and the life of others. It is important for the public to understand how easy it is for a child to be harmed so badly and for so long.There are so many other horrific details to be shared... His book provides a good introductory reading in understanding sexual abuse and I recommend it to everyone. Knowledge is power...for children's sake! Just remember that perpetrators are the most unsuspecting people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why I Didn't Say Anything April 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was an excellent story. I commend Sheldon for coming forward. I am a victim of sexual abuse as a child. As victims we carry shame and fear.
Telling your story is a part of the journey to healing.
For those who have never been abused, by reading about it, it helps you to understand why we don't say anything. We are children in a children's mind. We are programmed... We are afraid, we are ashamed. We don't understand.
As aduylts, we try to block it out, we are afraid of criticism or more shame..
It is a good read. Be blessed Sheldon Kennedy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The After Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse Jan. 9 2007
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Sheldon Kennedy was a hocky player that seemed destined for greatness. He played for Canada's gold-medal-winning at the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship. Then when he reached the major leagues he fell apart. It never seemed that his skill or talent was too low, but the drinking, drugs and other off the court antics seemed to create an atmosphere doomed for failure. He drifted through three teams in a nine year career, never reaching the heights that seemed within his grasp.

Upon his retirement, he announced that during his early years of being coached by Graham James he had been sexually molested by James several hundred times.

Most of this book is on the after effects in Kennedy's life as a result of the abuse. It is a story of using drugs and alcohol in an attempt to heal what never should have been in the first place. It was a fierce struggle that is continuing to this day.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Devestatingly honest. Feb. 17 2012
By Cupcakes Sandie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book isn't for the weak at heart. Sheldon hockey player was the first to come out with allegations against Graham James. The story rocked the hockey community. Although, in recent times, Theo Fleury has received more news for Playing With Fire, I found this one to be a "better" read. It was more coherent and Sheldon is somewhat more eloquent- not relying on cursing to get his picture across. Don't be fooled, this book is not an easy read due to the subject matter, but read in conjunction with Theo's book you get the "whole" picture. Both men have dealt with the devastation well into their adult lives and let us in on what went on, for them, both on and off the ice.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sept. 6 2012
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One of the best and easiest to read autobiographies I have ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone, especially hockey fans. Sheldon Kennedy is very brave for Making his story public.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book May 3 2012
By Lisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a powerful and frightening story. Sheldon tells it unflinchingly; it's almost brutal in its honesty. This book should be required reading for every parent, teacher, police officer; it should just be required reading, period.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story April 20 2014
By Edward J Volway Jr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story portion of it was good. I thought the end of the book could have used some work. There wasn't enough focus on whether Graham was convicted of anything after the judge went easy on him. What about all the other victims? Did they ever prosecute? How are Jana and Ryan doing? There were some errors in transcribing. A few words out of place, but overall a good read.
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