Positive tools for thriving families.

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

“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.

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

where-did-my-friend-go-bookWhere Did My Friend Go? is a therapeutic, coping picture book to be read by an adult to a young child (3-8 years old), who has witnessed or survived gun violence, with therapeutic questions and child-based interventions provided at the end of the book.

The purpose of the book is to help the child understand and cope with his/her trauma, loss, confusion, and fears. Process, therapeutic, and support questions and 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, addresses what happened, identified feelings, explores fears, confusion, and loss, helps the child cope with the trauma and grief, and identifies safe mechanisms and adults in the child’s existing environment. 

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

DONATE NOW to print and distribute 1,000 free copies to shelters, schools, ERs, libraries, and mental health centers to make a difference!


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. 

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. 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.


My goal for this book is to print and distribute 1,000 free copies of the book to schools, Head Start, emergency rooms, trauma centers, shelters, and community mental health organizations in Detroit, L.A., N.Y., Chicago, and other high-risk cities across the U.S.

Once published, Where Did My Friend Go? will also be readily available on Aspiring Families and Amazon for the community to purchase in the wake of another school or mass shooting. Mental health professionals, teachers, social workers, pediatric nurses, child community leaders, and other child-focused professionals can use the book with young children.

Call To Action:

I am hoping that many people will contribute to this mission by donating to the Indiegogo Generosity Community project, so that we can successfully print and deliver free copies of Where Did My Friend Go? to the kids who need it the most. 

Click here  to learn more about how to donate and support the distribution of this book to children who need it most.

Where Did My Friend Go? will be available for purchase on Amazon and Aspiring Families. In the wake of another school or mass shooting, anybody from the community can go online and buy the book for the children, the school, the library, and their community.

The book will also be available for purchase to donate to your local school, Head Start, shelter, community mental health agencies, and libraries via Aspiring Families.

My hope is that people come together as a community to share this project with 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