Children’s author visits Sacred Heart

First-time children’s Author Maurine Harris of Bellevue read her book, “Looking for an Angel,” to the students at Sacred Heart last week. Each page contains an angel, some hidden more than others. Higdon Althoff, in PreK, points out an angel for his class. (Photos by Kim Brooks)

On the inside of Harris’ book are the names of children who have passed away, depicted on clouds. “Children like to be free like clouds,” she said. The two children at the top of the page represent Diamond and Donald Hunter who passed away in December 2016 in a car accident.
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Sacred Heart Catholic School welcomed Eastern Iowa author Maurine Harris last week on May 16. Harris read to several classes throughout the day from her book about angels.

     PreK teacher Doris Porter contacted Harris, having heard about her from one of her student’s parents. She said since she’s been with Sacred Heart, she’s lost two students. Porter said Harris’ book is a topic that children can relate to.

     “She writes poems about angels,” she said.

     Her first book is titled “Looking for an Angel.” It’s made up on different poems “that brings joy and many blessings to all of the sweet angels that live in your hearts, including the ones that had to leave too soon.

     “Every day brings different blessings,” Harris told the PreK class.

     The book isn’t just about losing children too soon, but about the loss of a grandparent as well.

     “It’s something that needs to be talked about,” urged Porter. “Death is a part of life; everyone experiences it at some point.”

     As she read, Harris had the children point out the angels on each page in her book. Some were more obvious than others, noting that angels are all around us; we just don’t always notice the signs.

     “Angels are everywhere,” she said, “hidden in plain sight.”

     When writing the poems, she began to realize how important words and angels mean to her, personally.

     One page inside her book displays several clouds with the first names of children who left this world too soon.

     “Kids like to float around and be free like clouds,” Harris said of the symbolism.

     Two of the names at the top of the page, “Diamond and Donald,” pay homage to Diamond and Donald Hunter, a pair of siblings from Monticello who passed away on Dec. 18, 2016 from a car accident. The parents are Brandon and Molli Hunter.

     Harris shared that she’s friends with Molli’s parents, George and Jill Atencio of Dubuque.

     “We are all blessed with angels by our side,” she said.

     Harris said she always wanted to write, and the idea to further her children’s book came to her after hearing about the Hunter family’s tragic loss.

     “I started the book but never got the grasp of it,” admitted Harris. “Inspiration just flowed out of my head; I couldn’t stop it.”

     After speaking with the Atencios, they gave Harris their blessing to include their grandchildren in the book, by first name only.

     “I wrote this book for the Hunter family and for inspiration for children,” she said.

     Harris’ book is available for purchase at River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque and online through Amazon.



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