Local Students Write Book About Grief


NORTHWOOD, Iowa – Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be difficult for some people, but local students at a North Iowa school found a fun way to deal with the grief process.

Seventh grade students at Northwood-Kensett wrote and illustrated a book in their guidance class titled “The Totally Tubular Tale of the Tiny Turtle Trauma.”

It is about a turtle named Mason and his pet caterpillar Smudge who is eaten by a bird, leaving Mason depressed.

Until his turtle friends Macy and Flash help him through the grief process.

“There are some students who didn’t think that we should write a children’s book about death and dying because they wanted it to be something a little easier like moving away because they said, you know, it’s so hurtful so why don’t we write about something less bad,” says Amy Hansen, School Counselor.

But in the end the project wasn’t just focused on overcoming grief.

It also helped the students learn how to design and write a book.

Marli Backhaus came up with the title and wrote the third and fourth pages.

“Someday I want to write my own book and this was a good way to show me how to break down the pages and how to find and the correct way to insert the title.”

Dalton Weitzel designed the front and back cover.

He says the project gave him and the other students a chance to work as a team.

“This was a huge group project between both of our classes and it would focus more on going with the group then it would going solo because you know solo is good, but working with the group you can get everything done faster.”

Hospice of North Iowa in Mason City has requested a copy of the book to display in their children’s room.

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