by John Graham-Pole
A Boy and his Soul is the second in my trilogy of novels for and about children, teens, and their families, inspired by 40 years of caring for children with cancer. The story is a fantasy—but born of the real-life experiences of very ill and dying children.
Eleven-year-old Jeremy, who has advanced leukemia, becomes aware of the presence of his ‘animated’ soul, Jewel inside him. Jewel guides Jeremy in helping his family and friends come to a peaceful acceptance of his coming death. These scenes are interwoven with Jeremy’s near-death experience. After an apparent journey to Heaven, he returns to Earth to say his final goodbyes to all his caregivers, friends, and family.
As a pediatrician who has cared for many children who have died, I hope this book will make it easier for children and grown-ups to talk about these hard, hard things. Though parts may be challenging to read, I hope the hopeful and sometime humorous tone of A Boy and his Soul will make it an absorbing and inspiring read.
“Tears of sorrow, laughter and joy heal us as our souls connect with this boy who found his own soul”
Sandra Bertman, Ph.D., Scholar, Arts & Health Institute, Lesley University
Author, Grief and the Healing Arts: Creativity as Therapy
“This courageous and heart-warming novel brings the death of children into the conversation … I believe it will make a difference to lives—and to deaths”
Nancy Moules, Ph.D., Professor Nursing,
Chair in Child and Family Cancer Care. University of Calgary
Since retiring from the University of Florida as a professor of pediatrics, oncology, and palliative care, I and my wife, Dorothy Lander, a retired professor of adult education, have lived in Clydesdale, Nova Scotia, and work with artists, healthcare folk, and many others in our community to explore how the creative arts can benefit our personal and communal health. I’ve written nine other books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.