12 steps 12 stories

(35 customer reviews)


Back Cover

12 Steps 12 Stories is an enjoyable and helpful children’s book which provides those involved in recovery with a fresh new resource to use when approaching the younger members of their family. A valuable tool with a strong spiritual emphasis for families to explore and enjoy together, these 12 stories will assist parents, grandparents, relatives, counselors, therapists, and members of the clergy to begin to discuss the spiritual principles behind the steps. Based on the proven success of Alcoholics Anonymous, this simple and inspiring book offers age-appropriate stories to coincide with each step in the twelve step recovery process. Included after each story is a follow-up guide to encourage additional conversation and exploration. These stories help children understand the nature of the changes in their home that accompany recovery in a language they can grasp. True prevention work begins by reaching out to young children of alcoholics in an effort to avoid continuing the family legacy and generational issues of addiction.


Book Details

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Book ($14.95), Audio CD ($9.95)


Debra Alessandra


35 reviews for 12 steps 12 stories

  1. Anonymous

    I loved it!! Approaching and talking about a sensitive issue with children can be difficult. The author, Debra Alessandra, is able to bridge that gap and open communication through the stories in her book. Children and adults will find the stories delightful yet moving and will want to revisit them again and again.

  2. Mary Angiorlis

    At first, my grandchildren did not understand the step concept because they were so young. The metaphoric stories drew them away from an electronic screen to the printed page. Then the most amazing thing happened. They talked about what the story was trying to say. They recited content, then discussed their opinion, and of course, argued with each other over what it meant. As if by magic, the concepts of the steps was understood. Learning is often a messy activity with these three young people I am raising, but this book drew them into it. I can’t wait for Debra Alessandra’s next book.

  3. Gayle Swift

    Debra Alessandra has written a collection of simple stories that beautifully illustrate the principles of 12 Step Recovery. From a warm. compassionate point of view, the parables show examples of each step in action. Coupled with follow up questions that further explore each step, the book is practical and easy to follow. The book is firmly presented from a spiritual perspective and a stance that surrenders to a Higher Power is key to recovery. Readers of all ages can benefit from this gem.

  4. Trish Carr

    The gap that exists in the recovering community for younger children will be filled with this collection of stories. I LOVE not only the idea, but I am intrigued by the execution. Each story presents the essence of the step in a small, concise manner. Kids will easily relate to these characters. The follow-up reflection will enrich their understanding and make it powerful for them personally.

  5. Constant Reader

    Debra Alessandra has written a very clever and creative book that teaches children about alcoholism. With the inventive use of stories to illustrate the twelve steps of recovery, Ms. Alessandra has written a book that will truly help children to understand the disease of addiction. This book would be a great addition to elementary schools so that all children might learn about alcoholism to help end the ignorance which sometimes sees alcoholism as a moral failing.

    Ms. Alessandra’s skillful presentation is worthy for any educator to consider for their classroom. I believe this book is a welcome and needed addition to the library of books on addiction.

  6. Amy K

    These stories have provided me with great insight and support at just the right time in my life. Thank YOU!!

  7. Natasha

    A delightful addition to the reading material in my own 12 step program.

  8. Deb Habyan Geotis

    This is a tender and insightful book of beautiful stories that explain the 12 steps for children. Every story enables the reader to understand the basic idea of the steps and how they relate to our daily lives. I see this book as part of a comprehensive healing program for people and their families in recovery.

  9. Jennifer Amos

    My husband and I bought 12 steps 12 stories so that we could read it with our four children. We all absolutely love it. Reading together as a family is such a great way for us to teach our kids the spiritual principles behind these 12 steps. It’s also a great way for our family to bond. It’s truly a blessing having this book as a tool and really helps our family greatly. We have just finished step 7 and we can’t wait to see what step 8′ s story is all about. Thank you to the author…. We love you!!!!!!

  10. Diane Craver

    I am thrilled to have read Ms. Alessandra’s work. Having a parent with a substance abuse problem is chaotic and confusing for children. When a parent gets into recovery, their life improves. Explaining this journey of recovery to your children is a sorely missing component in the literature available to children. The best way for children to assimilate new concepts is through metaphoric stories. Ms. Alessandra’s stories deliver on both counts. The stories are told in terms that are easy for children to understand, yet still, address key issues. This literature is a beneficial resource for not only counselors and therapists, but parents as well. What an amazing resource to help children gain insight into a very complicated and often confusing topic.

  11. David H. Sheil

    As a pastor and Recovery Counselor, I found this to be very well written and believe it will be a great tool in assisting children in gaining an understanding of not only recovery but advancement in spiritual life. Will share with others and encourage families to own this one too.

  12. Jenny W

    12 Steps 12 Stories is an incredibly valuable resource for families, educators and treatment professionals

  13. Margaret

    Beautiful, Brilliant, About Time!
    Buy, read, educate, share.
    If you’re searching…and you’ve landed on this page…
    then you are certainly meant to read this.
    So click and buy. 🙂

  14. Yvonne Rodgers

    These beautifully written and illustrated stories provide a vital tool for parents and educators to bring a conceptual understanding of the 12 Steps home to children involved in the addiction and recovery process. Debra’s passionate stand for well-functioning, sober families shines through in this masterful guide to understanding the 12 Steps at any age!

  15. numbersman11

    Debra Alessandra has written a book for people of all ages, even though it is targeted for children. Combining her years of working with children as a teacher and her own personal struggles in life, she has crafted a thoughtful, well-intentioned and positive book sure to help anyone who may be dealing with problems in their life. And, as with all good books, it is a useful tool for anyone, no matter their station in life. I highly recommend it.

  16. Lisa McKeon

    12 Steps 12 Stories is an excellent book for any family that has a loved one in recovery. This book contains 12 different stories whose main character demonstrates the thoughts, feelings, and actions the character goes through as he works through the 12 Steps outlined in a recovery based lifestyle. I was engaged in the stories as I read the questions the author posted at the end of each chapter. Have you had a habit you could not stop like Edd the dog who kept running across the busy street? I could relate to how Johnathan the goldfish felt holding his secret! Does helping other people feel good like it does for Sahara the camel? Yes, yes and yes I found myself saying! These easy to read 12 Stories identify the thoughts and feelings typically associated with the step. The worksheets at the end of the chapter provide a place for the reader to express how they identify with those feelings. What a blessing to have a book that can help children and adults understand such a complicated subject matter!

    The 12 Steps in a recovery program are the foundation for a successful life free from addiction. The 12 Steps can be difficult concepts for adults attempting to work them and yet the author has found a way to communicate these spiritually based concepts in a simple, entertaining and effective way geared specifically for children. Adults and children both can benefit from this book. I would highly recommend this book as a must-have tool for families with loved ones in a recovery program.

  17. Lorelie Rozzano

    12 Steps 12 Stories is a wonderful read for anyone who wants to learn more about recovery.

    I just finished reading 12 steps and 12 stories by Debra Alessandra. Debra does a fantastic job of explaining the steps in terms that we can all understand. Her characters are cute and adorable and experiencing many of the things that we as addicts, or the family of, think, feel and go through. She finishes each step with thought-provoking questions in which the reader can relate to themselves. As a recovering addict thinking back to the early years of my sobriety, I can’t help but wish I’d seen this little book. Understanding the steps can be daunting for many of us who are new to recovery. Thank you, Debra Alessandra, for making it so much easier!

  18. Janice Hanna

    12 Steps 12 Stories is an amazing book for adults and children. I have been sober for 39 years and have never seen a book like this. I wish I could have had this material to share with my children when I first started my recovery. Thank you, Debra, for a wonderful book.

  19. Casey Cummings

    Debra has an uncanny ability to present the very serious recovery concepts in a way that children will understand and enjoy. 12 Steps 12 Stories is an incredibly valuable resource for families, educators, and other professionals.

  20. Professional Therapist and Coach

    As an Addiction Therapist am always asked by my clients for reading material and items for children to understand addiction and the 12 steps. I was amazed at how easy this was to read and explain! It can be used for adults that need the 12 steps broken down or children as it is written in an easy to ready story format. It is entertaining and fun!

  21. Kindle Customer

    I am grateful to Debra for such a wonderful and inspirational addition to my library. I have shared this book with family,friends.co-workers, and clients. I ha e enjoyed sharing it as much as reading it!!
    Thanks, Debra for the gift of this wonderful story.

  22. Erin Madden

    12 Steps 12 Stories is a delightful resource I could use with parents and children to help them explore recovery together. These stories provide age-appropriate material to children in a simple and entertaining way that is helpful to me in my practice.

  23. Mary

    Having access to this set of captivating and unique stories expands my ability to help the grandchildren I am raising to understand the recovery process. They are enchanted with the illustrations, can easily identify with the characters and have a keener sense of what their mother is doing to improve their lives.

  24. Paul Robinson

    Through the illustrated stories that coincide with the 12 steps, Debra has taken a life and death subject matter and brought it to a language everyone in the family can understand. I believe it is important to get the family involved with the recovery after all this disease is a family disease. This book gently exposes children to this debilitating disease which includes them in the recovery process and helps them feel part of rather than alienated, education will also help arrest the hereditary cycle of this disease. This book is a must-have. Thank you, Debra, for having such a kind heart.

  25. Mary

    Having access to this set of captivating and unique stories expands my ability to help the grandchildren I am raising to understand the recovery process. They are enchanted with the illustrations, can easily identify with the characters and have a keener sense of what their mother is doing to improve their lives.

  26. Dr. Daniel L. Derewitz

    As I read this book, I could hear Debra’s soft voice and kind heart in every word! I have known Debra for 28 years. Her gentleness of spirit was the first thing that drew me to her for friendship. I could hear all of her life experiences in each story. Her love of children, her profound insights and sensitivities, her commitment to this way of life….all are captured with each sweet story. As I read each story, I was moved at Debra’s portrayal of each of the 12 Steps, presented in such a way to capture the hearts of not only children but everyone who is striving to live a fuller, more peaceful and joyful life as can be found in the ” puzzle pieces”, as Debra aptly wrote, of each step when put together as a whole creates a beautiful way to live life! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Debra, for putting this wisdom into such a wonderful book for “kids” of all ages!

  27. Ryan Mahoney

    This is an easy read which makes it very insightful for not only children but adults as well. Understanding addiction can be very complicated. Through this book, Debra has broken down recovery with some wonderful stories that readers of all ages can enjoy and learn from.

  28. Eric Nelson

    As the adult child of an alcoholic, I certainly enjoyed and related to many of the wonderful and thoughtful stories in 12 Steps, 12 Stories. I think many children get confused as their loved one begins to get “better” but is still gone from home a lot. The book helps them understand that the person they love is getting better, and helps give them tools to feel better as well. Addiction is a family disease and it affects the ones who don’t use/abuse very much.

    I will most certainly be recommending the book as I come across kids (grown or not) who can benefit from it’s wonderful and thoughtful words.

  29. Patricia Martz

    This beautifully illustrated collection of stories provides an age-appropriate framework for discussing alcoholism with children who have a parent or loved one who suffers from the disease; however, it can work just as well for those with addicted loved ones. It is based on the premise that addiction and alcoholism are family diseases in the sense that they affect not only the lives of the addict or alcoholic, but all those who love them. The stories present the twelve steps in a format that is familiar and accessible to children but also conveys a powerful message of recovery – both from the perspective of the alcoholic or addict and of their family members. The follow-up worksheet pages encourage children to share their feelings in healthy ways and deepen their understanding of the disease. I highly recommend this little book, which is consistent with the principles of Nar-anon and Al-anon and provides a foundation for compassion, understanding and a healthy co-existence with an adult alcoholic or addict.

  30. Frank Ervolino

    I applaud this book as a useful contribution towards helping people overcome addiction and that comes from being a professional who treats people with addiction every week. Ms. Alessandra has ventured beyond the basic mechanics of recovery from addiction and she has gone towards that not often discussed region of the soul where one’s vitality for life in general resides. It is hard to be successful in recovery if one does not have a certain spark for life in general. 12 Steps 12 Stories goes back to every addict’s childhood and to the children of alcoholics to give them the oral tradition of storytelling which can help them understand the answers to the big questions we all have in life. “Why am I here/” or “Why did this happen to me?” and “Am I ok?” comes to mind. In more ancient times, the oral tradition of storytelling through fables, religious stories, and epic fiction gave us ways to individually gain insights into our own personal answers to these tough questions. Ms. Alessandra now provides people who must deal with addiction in their lives a resource written just for them. Bravo!

  31. Dolores Ayotte

    Motivational/Inspirational Author Debra Alessandra has a special gift. She is making every effort to reach out to children to help them understand and overcome the struggles of having a family member/loved one who is dealing with the negative consequences of alcoholism.

    12 Steps 12 Stories consists of just that…12 delightful and easy to understand tales that coincide with the 12 steps to the recovery program offered to those with an addiction to alcohol. At the beginning of the book, Author Debra Alessandra adeptly explains the disease of alcoholism and its three-dimensional parts of mind, body, and spirit. She states that “the alcoholic has lost their connection to a Power Greater than themselves.” She further extrapolates on the 12 step recovery program.

    In her noble effort to help children cope with this debilitating disease, Author Debra Alessandra utilizes colorful characters and illustrations to reinforce each step that a recovering alcoholic is actually facing. In doing so, she creatively and effectively takes the child through the program along with the recovering alcoholic so that they can better understand the experiences of the parent or loved one. This process is a “valuable resource” for the parent as it may “help the children you love feel comforted, included, and valued”.

    This children’s book is definitely an enjoyable and easy-to-read little gem. It deals with a very difficult subject in a positive way in order to openly and honestly discuss alcoholism and the effects it has on the whole family as a unit. In other words, it offers the opportunity to deal with this disease as a family rather than the go-it-alone approach. There is a strong “spiritual emphasis” incorporated into the book which stresses the need for a Higher Power to help cope with the devastating disease of alcoholism. In my opinion, this emphasis can be beneficial when dealing with other illnesses as well. As the author states…” these 12 stories will assist parents, grandparents, relatives, counselors, therapists, and members of the clergy to begin to discuss the spiritual principles behind the steps.” I wholeheartedly agree!

  32. Beth Luneke

    Brilliant – truly. Thank you for writing it. This book not only guides the child through the complexity of recovery in simple terms, but it also allows them to go on a journey of exploration and growth for themselves. Any child will benefit from this book, irrespective of whether they live in an addictive household or not, as they learn how to maneuver complicated feelings, be introspective about their own choices, and seek help when they need it.

  33. Purple Passion

    This charming book is a must to help children understand
    the 12 steps of recovery. Use of animals to illustrate the steps
    is delightful. As the vocabulary is fairly advanced, reading
    the book with the guidance of an adult, may not only
    strengthen the relationship between the child and the adult but further facilitate the child’s understanding. The end
    of the book is filled with excellent resources.

  34. Sarah E Rowe

    After working in recovery treatment for over 25 years, I finally found a book for young children that offers them a glimpse into the “Steps” of their recovering loved one. I recommend this imaginative, educational, and thoughtful book for all.

  35. love.happens36912

    12 Steps 12 Stories is an outstanding book full of gorgeous illustrations. Each step has its own character and it is beautifully written. A must read for any child and/or adult living and trying to cope in a recovering family.

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