The Shared Room by Kao Kalia Yang
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Featured on The Thread: Picture book deals head-on with the loss of a child
When someone you love dies, you know what doesn’t die? Love. On the hot beach, among colorful umbrellas blooming beneath a bright sun, no one saw a little girl walk into the water. Now, many months later, her bedroom remains empty, her drawers hold her clothes, her pillows and sheets still have her scent, and her mother and father, brothers and sister carry her in their hearts, along with their grief, which takes up so much space. Then one snowy day, the mother and father ask the girl’s older brother, “Would you like a room of your own?” He wants to know, “Whose?” They say, “Your sister’s.”
Tenderly, and with refreshing authenticity, beloved Minnesota writer Kao Kalia Yang tells the story of a Hmong American family living with loss and tremendous love. Her direct and poignant words are accompanied by the evocative and expressive drawings of Hmong American artist Xee Reiter. The Shared Room brings a message of comfort and hope to readers young and old.