A Minnesota eighth grade student, who had a special bond with her grandfather, has written a book that has touched the lives of many people who deal with dementia. Edie Weinstein will be reading her book "Grandpa and Lucy: A Story About Love and Dementia," was at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Aug. 8), at the Tomah Boys and Girls Club. The location address was 105 West Milwaukee St., Tomah. This afternoon at 3 p.m., there will be a reading at the Sparta Barney Center, 1000 E. Montgomery St., Sparta.
"I actually did not initially intend to officially publish Grandpa and Lucy," the author said. "St. Paul Neighborhoods ACT on Alzheimer’s actually reached out and offered to publish the book. I could not have been more thrilled and touched. I love to read and write, so the idea of seeing my work actually published was a dream come true!"
Weinstein wrote "Grandpa and Lucy" during the spring of her eighth grade year and it was published during the fall of her freshman year.
So far, she has sold over 2,000 books, across the country and internationally, some being sold as classroom sets.
The young author said the story is loosely based on her relationship with her grandfather.
"He actually never had dementia, thankfully, and he and I had a close relationship," she said.
"He was a strong source of stability and endless amounts of love during my formative pre-teen years. Many days, after school, he would pick me up to get ice cream together. He would listen to me talk about my day for hours. I saw him or talked to him more days than not."
Weinstein said, after he passed away when she was in seventh grade, she started learning about dementia and realized that it could deter other kids from forming a strong connection with their grandparents or loved ones.
"I wanted to do something that would help other kids have a connection with their grandparents, like I did with mine," she said.
"To this end, I find that the most touching way my book affects others is by creating an opportunity for kids to connect with a grandparent. One of my favorite moments was getting sent a picture of a grandma reading my book to their grandkid, who was sitting on her lap. That is exactly what I hoped would come of my work! I also love the work I get to do with "Grandpa and Lucy" because I get to connect with other kids while sharing work that was created by kids, for kids."
Weinstein said she does not get the chance to do many readings now, since she is in college, but still "jumps at the opportunity" to share her work and spread dementia education.
"I feel so grateful for all the support that has made it possible for me to bring dementia education to so many communities, such as leaders in my own community or the support of CLIMB Theatre, which adapted "Grandpa and Lucy" into the play that will be coming to Monroe County," she said.
Weinstein added that she has learned a lot at her book readings.
"Many people share their dementia experiences with me; I feel honored to be trusted with their stories," she said. "They also remind me of the deep human need for connection, belonging, and love, and they propel me to continue working on dementia education."
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