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Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson | [Eric A. Shelman]

Out of the Darkness: The Story of Mary Ellen Wilson

In New York City, in April of 1874, a most unusual event took place. A severely abused nine-year-old girl named Mary Ellen Wilson became the first child in America to be rescued from an abusive home. She had been beaten, burned, slashed with scissors, locked in a closet, and had never been outside of her tenement home in over 7 years. Thanks to the concern and dedication of a missionary named Etta Wheeler, the child was finally saved from her cruel captors.
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Publisher's Summary

In New York City, in April of 1874, a most unusual event took place. A severely abused nine-year-old girl named Mary Ellen Wilson became the first child in America to be rescued from an abusive home. She had been beaten, burned, slashed with scissors, locked in a closet, and had never been outside of her tenement home in over 7 years. Thanks to the concern and dedication of a missionary named Etta Wheeler, the child was finally saved from her cruel captors. Henry Bergh's ASPCA - yes, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - was instrumental in securing her rescue. When no other agencies would become involved, the ASPCA used its power and influence to not only save Mary Ellen, but to charter the first organization of its kind to prevent cruelty to children, the NYSPCC - the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. This book remains the only book that tells the dramatic story of Mary Ellen's life and rescue.

©Print Version: 1999 Audiobook: 2014 Dolphin Moon Publishing (P)2014 Dolphin Moon Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (51 )
5 star
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4.4 (43 )
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Story
4.0 (43 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Debra K. 06-18-14
    Debra K. 06-18-14

    LOVE MY KIDS!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "History, Human suffering, drama, all in one"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Out of the Darkness to be better than the print version?

    Yes, the characters were brought to life. The drama felt real. The descriptions of the living conditions, how people were treated, felt more intense.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Out of the Darkness?

    When Little Mary Ellen was being tortured by her "mama" and her "papa"... definitely got my heart racing wanting to know how she would be saved...I also was very angry when the horses were being mistreated... especially the one in the snow.


    What about Deb Thomas’s performance did you like?

    Characters were easy to differentiate. Felt like she was rooting for Mary Ellen, too. Her male voices were quite good! Also, you could feel the hatred and anger when she was voicing Mary Ellen's "MAMA"... a bit eerie...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    YES!... I cried and was very distraught at many points during this book. And I was elated when she was rescued, as well as heartbroken at her condition and her innocence of her own condition.


    Any additional comments?

    Great audio book! I especially liked the behind the scenes drama regarding the ASPCA, and how that pre dated the New York Children's Services. I can't imagine how children survived back then. Strong people.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nettie 04-26-15
    Nettie 04-26-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "great book"

    I thought it was a great book .expect for the end which kinda was dragged out to long

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Nolen 03-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    Story
    "Great story."

    Although a very sad story, it was told really well & I found it hard to turn it off. Thoroughly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria T. Halliday Vermilion, OH 01-05-15
    Maria T. Halliday Vermilion, OH 01-05-15 Member Since 2014

    Maria Therese

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    "Good narration"

    She did all different voices, which I enjoyed. I wish more time was spent on the story of Mary Ellen a bit more, but it was, overall, a good book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbra Guffee 06-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    1
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    "historical fiction"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes it was easy to listen to and kept my attention


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was very easy to listen to. Some audio books can distract from the story.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 07-16-15
    Jennifer 07-16-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "Captivating"

    Beyond the story of abuse lies the history of an intertwining of a love for animals and children alike. Excellent piece!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J McCoy 06-30-14
    J McCoy 06-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    Story
    "The Abuse of Mary Ellen Wilson and history of SPCA"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Heads up it is also the history of SPCA


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I kind of guessed the ending. And I was glad to see such organizations coming about to help people.


    What didn’t you like about Deb Thomas’s performance?

    Sometimes the different peoples seemed kind of fake. but it was ok.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a good book, but the history sometimes was a lot to listen too. Some of the history was great. I know they were trying to lay the foundation for the story but it is a slow starting book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 02-19-15
    Elizabeth 02-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    6
    2
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    Story
    "So much wasted potential."

    A compelling story but poorly written and narrarated. The characters are two dimensional and the writing is overly simplified garbage.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle 12-29-14
    Michelle 12-29-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dry"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was interesting to hear how CPS came to be, but it was a bit dry.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    No surprises


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Not to use so many voices with strong accents it was hard to understand at times


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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