Up in the Sky So Blue, a Book for Children and Teens About Alzheimer’s

About Lisa Graff

Up-In-The-Sky-So-Blue-LisaJGraff Up in the Sky So Blue
By Lisa Graff

When I was a young girl, sitting on a swing, I imagined I could vanish into another world if I swung high enough. During the pandemic, I wanted to escape to another world, so I drafted one chapter about a young girl who landed in a magical place called Aurora. The writer inside me pondered, Why did she want to escape?

Some memory surfaced inside me about my own grandmother who developed Alzheimer’s when I was in high school. I recalled how difficult it was for my mother when she had to put her own mother into a nursing home. Now in my mid-sixties, I’ve watched several of my friends struggle to cope with the same issue. This role reversal is unfathomable and impossible to navigate for most anyone.

Knowing how painful this was for my mother, what if a child had to deal with an elderly parent or grandparent who was experiencing memory loss? Who would help? If she had no other family, would a stranger come to her rescue?

Up in the Sky So Blue became a children’s novel (and an adult novel) about Alzheimer’s, friendships and love.  My descriptions of a fantasy world serve as a reminder that everyone needs self-care and deserves to enjoy life.

It was my job to check on my grandmother when I got home from school. First, I would make her a snack of gingersnaps and milk. Then she would ask me to play cards. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Tommy plays Gin rummy with Grammy. Her mind is still sharp, and he treats her with respect.

I was profoundly affected by the conditions of the nursing home where my grandmother spent her final years. She thought I was her grandson, and she only had granddaughters.

Up in the Sky So Blue has many themes.
-We all need help and it’s difficult to ask for help.
-Every family is unique. Tommy and his mother are a happy family and Tommy isn’t bothered that he doesn’t know his father.
-A third theme for children and adults is that death and grief are a part of life.
-And finally, the most important message in this story is that the elderly deserve our compassion and support as they grow old and can’t do the things that used to bring them joy.

Reading and writing have always been my great escapes, and books are rewarding and helpful tools to help us cope with conflicting emotions. My first novel Find me Alone is about sisters who are struggling with an alcoholic parent. My third novel debuting in June is about a young girl struggling with her parent’s separation. Everyone, especially children need to read about the problems they might be experiencing in order to feel less alone.

Bio Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area, before her retirement in 2010, to Lewes, Delaware. A 1972 graduate of Robert E. Peary High School, she completed a bachelors degree from Frostburg State in 1976 and is listed in the Who’s who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges 1975-1976. In 1979, she earned a Masters in theater from Northwestern University and has numerous acting credits from local community theaters. She taught grades K-12 in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public School system and became a leader in the field of English as a second language in grades K-5, facilitating workshops for new teachers and writing and implementing new curriculum.

Her first novel Find Me Alone was published on Amazon in 2017. Four articles published in Delaware Beach Life Magazine include Getting my feet Wet April, 2012, Profile: A Renaissance Woman, Amie Sloan, October, 2013, Profile. A collection Tailored to her work, April 2014, and Bee Keepers Club, April, 2018.

An accomplished author, her previous credits include The Washington Post: “My father, my son” (March 19, 2011) “No teacher can Compensate for Neglect Many Kids Suffer at Home” (November 3, 1991, awarded the Mass Communications Award by the Metropolitan Area Mass Media Committee in 1992) “Labor’s Pains” (Health, 1995) and “Code Blues Brought Fear to Classrooms.” (Montgomery Extra, October 2, 2003)

“My Father’s Death from Alcohol” appeared in 1990 in Woman’s World Magazine. Lisa wrote a regular column in theGaithersburg Gazette, about her beloved neighborhood of Woodland Hills, and was a regular contributor to a weekly column called Class Acts in Education. Her current column since 2012 is Our Senior Yearbook (previously Retirement 101) and is published bi-monthly in the Cape Gazette. Her 2021 column ‘One Daughter, One Starfish won first place in the Delaware Press Association. She is an active member of the Rehoboth Writers Guild and AAUW. Lisa loves reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family, husband Ray, her two children and four granddaughters.

Social media platforms:

Our Senior yearbook: Facebook page

twitter #lisajgraff1

LinkedIN: Lisa Graff

Instagram: pairofgraffs

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