Goshen: Lessons from the River $6.25
The Wondrous Wizdom of Oz: A Spiritual Odyssey
The Wondrous Wizdom of Oz $2.99$15.00
by Sonja Lauren

A smile is a terrible thing to hide. But a child whose teeth are missing or rotten will hesitate to show her ugly secret. She knows that her smile will elicit ridicule and astonishment, not a smile in return.

Sonja Lauren was one such child. She has written her story of neglect and emotional starvation, of losing all of her teeth by the vulnerable age of thirteen, and of eventually rising above her early tragedy. Through her own determination and the caring assistance of her dental surgeon and other health professionals and friends, Sonja is living life with a smile that she’s proud for the world to see.

Sonja’s story reminds us of the importance of proper oral hygiene for children and graphically presents the ugly ramifications of dental neglect. It gently chastens parents, health professionals, and other concerned adults to reach out to the neglected child.

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Meet the Author

When she attended her first writing class in 1993, Sonja Lauren discovered her gift as a writer. Five years later, she began creating The Covered Smile. Ms. Lauren currently lives in Virginia, where she works as an ophthalmologist’s assistant, and enjoys writing and sharing her new life with her daughter. She is currently working on several new books and looks forward to volunteering her time helping children and adults recover from abuse and neglect.

Press Kit


Formats: Paperback

Pages: 132

ISBN PB: 1-883911-52-4

Release Date: 06/01/2003


“It is with great pleasure that I recommend the services of Sonja Lauren as a speaker. Sonja’s story made a tremendous impression on the audience of the West Virginia Growing Healthy Children Conference. She is definitely a leader rather than a follower. Her uplifting presentation clearly demonstrates the importance of good oral health.” —Phil Edwards, Director of Infant, Child and Adolescent Health for the State of West Virginia

“Everyone who even has a small connection to oral health needs to hear this story as it will captivate and hold your attention till it’s conclusion. Sonja is an exceptional storyteller who tells a story of hopelessness that turns into a story of hope for those who yet suffer in today’s wealthiest nation. This is a must hear story for all.” —Terry Dickinson, D.D.S., Executive Director, Virginia Dental Association

“I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing The Covered Smile, written by Sonja Lauren, and would recommend this book to everyone in the dental field today. As a storyteller, Sonja is remarkable, but the passion and heartmoving facts behind her life’s dental saga are truly important for all of us in dentistry to hear and understand. I would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to host a speaker of great influence to look at Ms. Sonja Lauren to move an audience. Her life reflects a strength of character and a willingness to find the positive, growing and sharing with all, making each of us more compassionate dental providers in the process.” —Kathleen Roth, D.D.S., past President, American Dental Association

The Covered Smile is an incredible tale of abuse, neglect, parenting and triumph. Sonja’s story is a beacon in the night for children, parents and everyone who cares about children.” —Lynn Douglas Mouden, D.D.S, MPH, co-founder of P.A.N.D.A.

“Sonja has courageously overcome shame to share her powerful story of recovery and forgiveness. This is a story you won’t soon forget.” —Deborah Hatchell, Executive Assistant to the author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul ® Series, Jack Canfield

“Sonja’s story is both heart-breaking and uplifting. It eloquently describes the life-long consequences of child neglect and also teaches us the importance of looking beyond the ‘troubled child.’” —Deborah Lowen, MD, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Justice Center

“This book is a book for everyone young and old.  It will make you think of all the pain that was in this woman’s life and how amazing she is and how many people she can help.  Her story is heroic that she can share her suffering to better someone else’s life.  I personally want to thank her for her beautiful spirit that has made me want to be involved in the fight against neglect.  I would recommend this book to everyone.  It is a book you can’t put down till you know the end.  I look forward to more books on the fight on neglect from this very talented author.” —Debbie Mullins on Amazon.com

“I read this book in two days; I could not put it down.  It is a story of survival and triumph of the human spirit over poverty, neglect and pain.  As a counselor, it brought home to be just how much impact we can have on a child’s life for better or for worse.” —Diane York Russakoff on Amazon.com

“This is a wonderful story of a woman who survived a life of neglect.  This story will bring tears as you learn of a life of pain for a young girl who felt alone.  Then tears of joy as her life being a mother herself and meeting wonderful people that opened doors of help.  You learn of her triumphs as an adult.  This story will move you.  This story will help others be aware of neglect right in their own back door.” —A customer on Amazon.com

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