Stairway to Heaven: Grandma has Gone Home
by Stella Baeza

"I found myself asking questions I had no answers for, like 'How is it that Grandma is no longer here? Is she really gone? Why did she have to leave?'"

This story for older children and pre-teens addresses death through a girl's experience of her grandma's passing. The story begins with Molly looking out the window and reminiscing about the fun summer she, her brother Jason, and her friends experienced. As the weather turns colder, she realizes that she hates winter, and even more so since her grandmother died. She is told that her grandma went to a faraway place to live, but she doesn't understand what this means. Molly begins to focus on prayer and meditation and envisions her grandmother in a beautiful place. She imagines a stairway to heaven with angels and fairies guiding her grandmother and is soothed by the beauty of this. Molly reminisces about the fun time they all had with their grandmother, but she deeply misses her. The children's mother helps them to process the grief in examining heaven.

The author's book looks at death, the soul, prayer, heaven, and God. The first part does a nice job exploring the sadness related to death and reveals how reminiscing is important for healing. The value of a parent helping her children with this sorrow will aid readers in understanding that others can help them through the grief process and that they are not alone. As the book progresses, it is shown that the ideas presented reflect a Christian viewpoint regarding death with the use of prayer, the grandmother's soul that went to heaven, and accepting Christ and a personal relationship with God. The book is mostly dialogue with some illustrations. This well-written story will likely resonate with Christian audiences.

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