Positive tools for thriving families.

A Therapeutic Book To Help Kids Cope With A Sudden Or Traumatic Death.

“Unique, sensitive, informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, Where Did My Friend Go? is a unique and thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ tool to help children understand and cope with loss and bereavement due to the death of a loved one be it a family member or a friend.” – Midwest Book Review, Children’s Bookwatch.

“No other picture book provides this perspective, making Where Did My Friend Go? a top recommendation that should be in any library offering emotional support tools for adults working with kids.” – Donovan, CA Bookwatch.

Where Did My Friend Go? Wins 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award

Where Did My Friend Go? wins the 2017 National Association of Book Entrepreneurs Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.

Where Did My Friend Go? Wins 2017 Book Excellence Finalist Award

Where Did My Friend Go? Wins Finalist in the 2017 Book Excellence Awards

Where Did My Friend Go?  Wins Finalist in the Children’s Picture Book of the 2017 Best Book Awards

“An excellent first step for children on the journey of healing.” —M. Crowe, M.A. Child Development, Institute for Public Health, San Diego State University.

Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope With A Traumatic Death

Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope With A Traumatic Death is a therapeutic picture book to be read by an adult to a young child (3-8 years old), who is coping with a sudden or traumatic death. A thorough guide for adults and child-based interventions are provided in the beginning and end of the book. The book is versatile and can be used for incidents of sudden illnesses, gun violence, car accidents, plane crashes, terrorist attacks, and other sudden or violent deaths.

The purpose of the book is to help the child understand and cope with his/her shock, loss, confusion, and fear. Therapeutic and support interventions are presented at the end of the book for the adult to work through with the child. Where Did My Friend Go? begins a dialogue about a sudden death, addresses what happened, identifies feelings, explores fears, confusion, and loss, helps the child cope with the trauma and grief, and reassures the child with safe tools. 

Where Did My Friend Go? is a first step, cost-effective, and immediate mental health intervention for the youngest survivors and witnesses of a sudden or traumatic death.

The Family Psychologist, Fall 2016 (American Psychological Association), shares important information on Where Did My Friend Go? Read the interview:  The Family Psychologist interviews Dr. Maker on Where Did My Friend Go?

You can purchase the book and donate it directly to any school, library, shelter, ER, community clinic, HeadStart program, or other institution of your choice from Amazon or Buy Now. 

Where Did My Friend Go? is also available on Amazon for families, teachers, librarians, counselors, ERs, and the community to purchase if their children and students have been touched by a traumatic death. 

“Where Did My Friend Go? is a unique and compelling book that beautifully captures the powerful emotions and questions young children might have after surviving, witnessing, or being exposed to a traumatic death. The book’s gentle, age-appropriate narrative, coupled with thoughtful questions and therapeutic interventions at the end, make it an ideal resource for parents, professionals, and caregivers faced with the difficult but necessary work of facilitating children’s processing and healing. I often see the painful and severe impact of unresolved childhood trauma. It is so essential for children to begin the process of healing and this book is a catalyst for that process. The gentle and reassuring story is versatile, and can be used for coping with sudden illness, gun violence, car accidents, plane crashes, or terrorist attacks. Dr. Maker has provided the community with a desperately needed tool for children touched by traumatic death. She is brilliant at providing a story that is not only visually captivating, but offers gentle wisdom and guidance for both children and adults to navigate this level of tragedy. I highly recommend this exceptional resource!”-  Krista Roybal, M.D.,Executive Medical Director,True Life Center for Wellbeing.


The Brady Campaign reports that there have been 160+ school shootings in the U.S. since Sandy Hook.

The Brady Campaign reports that everyday, 7 children and teens die of gun violence, and everyday 40 children are shot and survive in the U.S. 

More than 1 in 5 U.S. children and teenagers report having witnessed a shooting, with PTSD, depression, anger, withdrawal, and desensitization to violence being some of the outcomes.

It is hard to believe that American kids die by guns 11 times more often as children in other high income countries.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has identified gun shootings as the second leading cause of death for children and teenagers, and a national health crisis.

My hope is that people come together as a community to share this project with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, schools, and organizations to continue to raise funds and visibility for this cause.

It takes a village to help kids thrive.    

  • Exceptional, impressive, thoroughly 'kid friendly' from beginning to end, "Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children" should be a part of every community library Parenting Studies collections. For families with young children who are having to deal with divorce, "Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children" will prove to be an invaluable and instructive aid.

    Editor in Chief - Midwest Book Review

  • Those of us parenting, working with, or caring for children experiencing divorce will welcome Family Changes as a unique, positive, and creative resource for helping children understand and cope with this complicated transition. The comprehensive note to adults effectively explains how children work through painful questions and feelings. The touching story—with the endearing Zoey and her attempt to understand a very grown up topic—ends with extremely helpful follow up questions that will be highly valued by parents, child advocates, therapists, and others who wish to better serve children during this difficult time. I highly recommend this book to parents and professionals.

    Sacha Coupet, Ph.D., J.D. Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor of Family Law, Loyola University, Chicago, IL

  • Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children is an outstanding book that is gentle, positive, and validating for both children and adults. With an excellent and informative parent guide about the value of talking to children about their feelings, a highly sensitive and engaging story with exquisite illustrations, and an effective list of questions that children typically ask, this book is essential reading for divorcing families, and for therapists and advocates working with children of divorce.

    Sandra A. Graham-Bermann, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Michigan

  • Family Changes is an inspiring and exceptional book on divorce. It explains divorce in a developmentally appropriate and comforting language that validates children's complex feelings about divorce. Dr. Maker's expertise and years of experience working with children who are coping with the grief and confusion that often accompany divorce shine through in every page. I highly recommend this book to divorcing parents, schools, libraries, and professionals working with children of divorce.

    Martha Crowe, M.A. Child Development, Institute for Public Health, San Diego State University, CA

  • Dr. Maker has brought us this excellent child-centric educational book about how to navigate the changes of a family undergoing divorce. Dr. Maker takes us through this experience from the child's point of view and shares the gift of positive transformation that can occur during this life-changing time. The illustrations are sublime and the topic is handled so gently and ingeniously. Of course, it is written by a child psychologist with the gift of creativity. It's a book that every child therapist, library, school, and families going through a divorce should have on their shelves.

    Krista Royabal, M.D., Psychiatrist, Executive Medical Director, True Life Center for Wellbeing, CA

  • Based on the typical emotional turbulence a child feels from separation or divorce, Family Changes receives high recommendation as the first title that adults should turn to in the effort to explain, explore, and support a child's feelings in the matter, concluding with a list of 'process questions' which adults can use to further enhance the story line's overall approach.

    CA Bookwatch/Donovan’s Literary Services/Recommended Reading

  • The story touches on several key issues that children worry about - will their parents still love them, will they have two homes now, did they somehow cause the divorce, etc. The book also opens with a straightforward Note to Adults and ends with a list of questions that adults can discuss with children. Often books that do a good job of explaining divorce and separation are so focused on the child's point-of-view, that they don't offer any advice for the parents, caregivers, and teachers that are trying to help the child makes sense of it all. Family Changes avoids that problem and gives good guidelines for adults. I would recommend this book to parents and other family members, educators, and counselors.

    NetGalley Reviews/The Fairview Review - Librarian

  • This story is filled with little moments that reflect the nature of children perfectly. If you need to explain what it means to be divorced or separated to your child then this is one of the best ways to do that. The book is filled with relatable emotions and questions that a lot of children will have if their family is going through a separation. Dr. Maker’s years of experience are evident in the story as she masterfully addresses many common concerns for children experiencing a divorce in their family.

    The Littlest Bookshelf