Seattle's Child

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Rise book project release

The RISE Book Project

Children's books foster health in the aftermath of parent gun deaths

It’s hard to heal after the death of a loved one by any means. But healing the trauma of losing a parent to gun violence is a work that only those who have gone through it know. 

Lynniah Grayson knows that work. She founded the Seattle-based non-profit RISE (Resilient in Sustaining Empowerment) to facilitate and nurture the healing process in kids who have lost a parent to a gun and their surviving parents. The RISE Book Project is one avenue on the RISE map to healing. This month, the project will publish its first nine children’s books, each telling the unique story of unexpected trauma experienced by a family. Professional illustrators volunteered their time to make each volume shine. 

RISE book release party

Stories from The RISE Book Project will be released December 30 at a special event at Byrd Bar Place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The release party is open to all and will include live readings, a book fair, and refreshments. Books will also be available for purchased by visiting the The Rise Book Project webpage.

Rise book project release

Writing toward healing

“We believe in the transformative power of storytelling, particularly through books, as a means to facilitate healing and ignite a love for reading in children. By channeling their experiences into narratives, the young authors and their surviving parents embark on a journey of self-expression and therapeutic healing,” says RISE founder and Executive Director Lynniah Grayson. 

“The writers are children who have tragically lost a parent to gun violence, along with their surviving parents. Writing is a crucial aspect of their healing process. It allows them to navigate the complexities of grief and contribute to a collective narrative that extends support to others facing similar challenges.”

Fostering empathy and understanding

Grayson says the books are first written for the children, their families, and their communities. But they are also aimed at helping any child touched by the profound impact of gun violence cope by creating “a connection that transcends individual experiences, fostering empathy and understanding.” 

“The stories within these books act as a source of solace and empowerment,” Grayson says. “They provide a platform for children to share their journey, encouraging resilience and positive growth,” she adds. “By sharing these narratives, we hope to create a sense of unity among affected individuals and communities, promoting healing and awareness.”

The book project’s team. Photo courtesy of rise4us.org

Books benefit families

Books will be available in print form for $25 per book. That money, says Grayson, “contributes to the project’s sustainability.” Writer families will also receive 50 copies of their stories to sell themselves, “providing a tangible resource for those navigating the challenges of gun violence loss. 

“It’s a collective effort to address a crucial gap in support for affected families,” says Grayson.

To order a book, send an email to thebookproject@rise4us.org.

Read more:

RISEing up: A mother and grandmother talk about ending gun violence

About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for NestingInstinctsSeattle.com and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at Compasswriters.com.