Life is filled with change and, sometimes, loss. Children experiencing loss and grief may need help to know that they are not alone and that memories can comfort them. Amanda Rawson Hill wrote You'll Find Me for just that reason. Here's an interview with her about creating the book. Magination Press: What inspired you to write You’ll Find Me? Amanda Rawson Hill: I wrote You’ll Find Me about eight months after my brother-in-law died of cancer. His daughter was three at the time, and she came to visit for the week. A day or two into the visit, she found a picture of her dad and carried it everywhere with her. After she left, I was stripping the sheets on her bed and found the picture under the covers. I got teary thinking about how she’d found her dad and then the text just came to me in a rush. I ran to get a pencil and paper and wrote the first draft in about 30 minutes. MP: Why do children need books about loss? ARH: Children need books about loss to know that they aren’t alone, and that it will be okay. They need someone to tell them that this big, scary thing isn’t the end of the world. And often after a huge loss, the most important adults in their life are also in a profound state of grief which can make it very hard to effectively talk to the child about loss and help them process it. Loss is part of life, and books tell children that in a way that is still hopeful and gentle. MP: Some people might interpret your story to be about coping with the death of a loved one. Did you intend it that way or did you intend to address a wider kind of loss? ARH: The journey of this book has been very interesting. When I originally wrote it, I was actually intending it to be a pre-grief text: something a family would read when a parent or grandparent was in the process of dying. Something to help them say goodbye. It also worked very well as a grief book after the fact as well, so we figured we’d market it as both. But after I saw Joanne’s illustrations, I was struck by how much they changed the tone of the story. The pictures really softened and universalized the text so that it could be whatever a child needed it to be. So we tweaked two sentences in the text to give it a broader audience beyond just loss. Now I see it as a book to help children through any kind of separation. Short term, long term, etc. MP: Children have experienced new kinds of losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic including the loss of going to school, playing with friends, or participating in favorite activities like sports, art classes, or playing in the band. How do you think You’ll Find Me might be especially helpful in this situation?Read More
About Amanda Rawson HillAmanda Rawson Hill co-runs a newsletter called Middle Grade at Heart, which is a book club kit with a new middle-grade book each month. Her debut middle-grade book was published in Fall 2018. She lives in Atwater, California. Visit online and follow on Twitter and Instagram.
My love will always be. And as long as you look with more than just your eyes...you'll find me. Loss can feel lonely and sad. Missing a loved one, a pet, or even a favorite activity can leave a hole in your heart. You'll Find Me gently suggests how memories and everyday experiences can help keep loved ones in mind forever. Hear author Amanda Rawson Hill read You'll Find Me aloud and learn how to make connection bracelets.Read More