Friday, February 16, 2018

"Where Did My Friend Go?" - a heartfelt bookwrap

This book should never have had to be written .  Unfortunately it is so timely right now after what so tragically occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida a few days ago.  

Nikolas Cruz, an ex-student, entered the school with an AR-15 gun and randomly killed 17 people.  He was apprehended by law enforcement and now faces charges of 17 counts of premeditated murder.  This disturbed young gunman is only 19 years old.  So sad. 

 How terrifying ... not only to those involved at the school massacre, but to those all over the world who withstand such atrocities.  How can kids ( and adults ) psychologically process such a heinous act and could it happen again at another school in the future?  How can something this evil ever be stopped from taking place again? 


Where Did My Friend Go?
Helping Children Cope with A Traumatic Death

Authored by Azmaira H. Maker. Ph.D

Ages  3-8


Unwrapping some illustrations for you 

Editorial Review

"Unique, sensitive, informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Where Did My Friend Go?" is a unique and thoroughly 'kid friendly' tool to help children understand and cope with loss and bereavement due to the death of a loved one be it a family member or a friend."

-Midwest Book Review, Children's Bookwatch

About the book

First of all I want to send my condolences and prayers to the families who have lost their loved ones in this unthinkable, senseless mass shooting in that Floridian High School. So horrific that no words can describe how evil it was.  Now is the time to find ways to keep kids safe and for them to try and heal from this indescribable tragedy.

"Where Did My Friend Go? " will help explain how to handle those painful emotions that occur during the aftermath of such a traumatic happening.  These words of coping and comfort are straight from the author's skilled heart to help kids try and process that shocking act of violence that took place right inside of their school:  

.   Parents, teachers, counselors and other caretakers can talk to the children about what happened in simple and reassuring ways.

•    We can explain the traumatic incident to children in simple, non-graphic facts. Kids know what happened. Keeping it a ‘secret’ or making up a story about it may only add confusion and mistrust.

Kids may fear talking about it because it is a “secret or forbidden topic.” To create healthy dialogues, we can invite children to ask adults any questions they might have about what happened or about themselves and their loved ones.

Children often worry, “will it happen to me? Can it happen at our school or in our neighborhood?” We can reassure and comfort children by telling them that this scary event is not an everyday occurrence, and that children are safe.

We can use simple words and simple sentences that avoid hate, racism, and fear. Young children grasp issues better when it is explained in emotionally neutral, brief, and clear ways.

We can tell children that this is a very sad event that should never have happened.

We can reinforce and tell children that the adults are working hard to keep all children safe – at home, at school, on the playground, and in the community.

We can turn our televisions off while children are in the room, and make sure adult conversations take place with only adults in the room.

We can encourage the kids to draw pictures, write a letter, or even give a toy to the families affected. Giving back is very healing, even for children.

We can help children mourn and grieve, and process their thoughts and feelings via books on loss, puppets, drawings, and stories.

My new book, Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope With A Traumatic Death can serve as an excellent first step in the journey of healing. Where Did My Friend Go? is a therapeutic coping children’s picture book to be read by an adult to a young child (3-8 years), who has lost someone to a sudden or traumatic incident.

We can write letters, draw pictures, and send toys to children who have survived a traumatic incident. Giving back to others can be very healing for kids."

 Most kids if not exposed to violence first hand bump into it electronically through television, video games, movies and social media sadly.  

The illustrations in this wonderful book are soft and realistic which makes a perfect balance against the heart-wrenching, to the point,  text.   Throughout the book both parents and teachers give words of comfort lending their adult support at such a confusing, chaotic  and scary time in a child's life.  The process questions at the end of book open up the dialogue even further.  It allows a conversation  between a loving, caring grown-up and a vulnerable, innocent child to be discussed.  

I highly recommend this book to parents, caregivers and therapists. It is a therapeutic tool to unlock the thoughts and feelings that a young children may harbour in their hearts,  and in so doing,  bring comfort, healing, assurance and hope,  that they are not alone.  It is an assurance and commitment that every adult involved in  that child's life will do their very best to keep that child safe now and in the future.  The book is versatile and can be used for incidents of sudden illnesses, gun violence, car accidents, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, and other sudden or violent deaths.

Storywraps Rating...  5 +++ HUGS!!!!!

About the author

Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in trauma, loss, child development, and parenting. She has spent more than twenty years working with children and families. She has also taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and published several articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Maker received her bachelor's degree from Vassar College and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Hospital.
Dr. Maker now works as a clinician, author, presenter, and consultant in San Diego, California. Her first book, Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children, won several awards from the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the National Association of Book Entrepreneurs. Dr. Maker is currently writing My Story: Coping with and Healing from Pregnancy Loss, and other books on IVF, anxiety management, and celebrating differences.

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