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Arts & Culture

MN Reads: "The Shared Room" by Kao Kalia Yang, illus. by Xee Reiter

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Kao Kalia Yang's book The Shared Room begins as what she calls "a love letter" to the 6-year-old who drowned three years ago at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve, the little girl she'd gotten to know and who told the author, "When I grow up I want to be a writer. Not just any writer, but one like you."

Then it became a book for Ghia Vue's siblings, and her family, because she said she couldn't find any "honest, tender books" to help Ghia's brother and sister.

But as we move through these strange and troubled times, grieving so many changes and losses, the message of grieving together comes through loud and clear.

"When you lose someone, the space where they were gets colder," explains Yang. "Other people have to move in to warm the space."

The Shared Room, written by Kao Kalia Yang and illustrated by Xee Reiter, is published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

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