Home Opens the Door to Healing After Devastating Loss
Santa Rosa, CA, Dec. 2, 2020 — In the wee hours of October 9, 2017, the disoriented and panic-stricken Barnes family, with two little boys in tow, frantically scrambled to evacuate their Santa Rosa, California, home. Smoke burned their lungs. Ash stung their eyes. Nearby fires raged, engulfing homes as howling winds fed the flames. In the end, the Tubbs Fire, deemed one of the most destructive wildfires in California history, destroyed more than 5,643 homes, including the Barnes’.
They returned to the lot where their house once stood, to gain closure and confront the harsh reality that the house was truly gone. But seeing the empty lot had a profound — and lasting — impact on 7-year-old Brett.
When her search for relatable, child-centric resources to augment Brett’s recovery came up short, mother Carrie Lee Barnes used her family’s experiences to inform her compelling, inspirational book, Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing. Told from a child’s perspective, Home is one little boy’s account of the abrupt and devastating loss of his house and his emotional journey toward discovering the true meaning of home. Written primarily for young children from ages 3 to 7, Home is an uplifting story intended to bring hope and healing in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
“My goal is for this book to help comfort children as they find their new normal after the loss of their home due to any circumstance,” Barnes says. “When I read Home to my little ones, they immediately saw themselves in the story. It opened up a forum for dialogue and healing for my boys and allowed them to feel a part of something bigger.”
With wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters happening more and more frequently, it’s important for children to have age-appropriate resources for coping. Home is Barnes’ heartfelt contribution to this very worthy cause.
“My hope for Home is that it provides a much needed glimpse at an ending for natural disaster victims,” Barnes adds. “There is a moment when you find peace in the constants of the people you love who are around you every day. We need to find our center, the place we call home, in our human connections.”
Author Carrie Lee Barnes is a stay-at-home mom who previously trained surgeons on advanced robotic technology in the operating room. Home was written to help victims of natural disasters, especially children, who are emotionally affected by the loss of their home. She lives with her husband and two sons in Santa Rosa, California.
Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards recently recognized Home with a gold medal in the category of Best First Book: Picture Book.
Home: A Story of Resilience and Healing
Publisher: Round Tree Press