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New children's book helps kids cope with grief

"The Shared Room" author Kao Kalia Yang says kids need books where they're represented in their grief.

Grief can be a difficult emotion at any age, but especially for children.

Inspired by a real-life story, award-winning author Kao Kalia Yang decided to write about the topic in a new children’s book, called "The Shared Room."

"Children lose children everyday across the country," Yang said. "Kids need books where they are represented in their grief."

In the story, a grieving family considers what to do with a girl's bedroom, months after her sudden death.

Yang, herself a mother of three, said she was inspired by the tragic death of a Ghia, a little girl who drowned three years ago in Minnesota. Yang said the book was written with permission from the girl's family, in hopes that it could help other families and children in their moments of loss. 

"All children, regardless of whether they have experienced tragedy or not, can benefit from the experience of those who have; teaching a deeper understanding and compassion through literature is often times the most gentlest way to introduce children to the realities of grief," Yang said. "It is an important book for the times we live in when so many families are grieving."

"The Shared Room" is now available for purchase from University of Minnesota Press.

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