Updated Fri, Feb 21, 2014 2:12 pm
Carole Amber’s children’s book, The Gift of the LadyBug, is helping young people around the nation cope with struggles, tragedy or loss in their lives.
Writing the book also helped its author turn one of the most difficult experiences of her life into a celebration of ladybugs.
"The Gift of the LadyBug is much more than a book," said Amber. "It is a way of being, an example of how to live, and a testament to the wisdom of our beloved son TJ."
Amber’s son, TJ, died in April, 2009 at 14 months old due to complications from Leigh syndrome. It was during this dark time in Amber’s life that a story about two horses who become the parents of a ladybug came to life.
"As we see it, a ladybug is anyone who is different from others," said Amber. "Everyone is a ladybug in some way. When it comes to The Gift of the LadyBug, ladybugs are amazing and heroic children who happen to have a life threatening illness or medical condition that makes them different."
Amber is speaking at Ohio University Lancaster about her book on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in the Raymond S. Wilkes Gallery for the Visual Arts. The event is free and open to the public.
"The Gift of the LadyBug is one of the most powerful and touching books I have ever read, and I put adult fiction books into that as well," said Ohio University Lancaster Development Director Mandi Custer. "Carole Amber is one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever spoken with."
The evening presentation will be the culmination of a day where Amber will appear at Forest Rose School in Lancaster and sign books for the children. Forest Rose is run by Fairfield County Developmental Disabilities and serves children with special needs, including those with medical issues and disabilities.
Lancaster Kiwanis made a gift to OUL, and with the money, the campus will purchase enough copies of The Gift of the LadyBug for each student at the school.
"The theme of the book, and what Carole Amber is really trying to get at, is that we are all different. It’s about celebrating differences," said Custer. "This is not going to be a sad night. This is a celebration. It’s about celebrating life."
Amber’s presentation is part of Ohio University Lancaster’s ongoing effort to provide cultural event opportunities for our students and our community.
"There’s a lot of learning that goes on inside the classroom, but some of the most memorable college moments happen outside the classroom. Special events, programs, visiting scholars, and visiting authors leave a mark on the campus and the students" said Custer. "Students and community members get a special kind of learning that they don’t get inside the classroom."
Learn more about The Gift of the LadyBug at www.giftoftheladybug.com.