A long time ago and far away—although it could be here, and it could be now—a boy threw a stone and injured a girl. For as long as anyone could remember, their families had been enemies, and their towns as well, so it was no surprise that something bad had happened.
Hate had happened. Revenge had happened. And that inspired more hate and more calls for revenge. But this time, a young girl decided to try something different…
Inspired by the original Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon, and the movement that has grown up around it, Lauren Thompson has created a timeless parable for all ages that shows readers a better way to resolve conflicts and emphasizes the importance of moving forward together.
After our teacher read aloud Harriet the Spy, my childhood best friend and I started our own detective agency. We dressed in disguises and roamed the neighborhood observing people and taking notes. Back at spy headquarters (my friend’s house) we shared these discoveries and tried to make sense of the lives of others. Our play evolved, and soon every day after school we rushed home to write, illustrate, and read aloud our original stories to each other. By age ten I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I have illustrated over twenty-five award-winning books for children, and have also written three including: The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan; Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building, which was an ALA Notable, a Horn Book Honor Award winner, an International Reading Association Honor Award winner, and more; and Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World. I also work as an art director, designer, and educator. I teach “Writing for Picture Books” at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I live with my family in Palo Alto, CA.