Granger Smith Debuts Children's Book About Coping With Heartache, Grief

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Granger Smith marked the release of his latest book on Tuesday (April 2). The former country artist said Up Toward the Light is intended for children; however, his wife, Amber Smith, was quick to respond that there’s something “for everyone.”

Smith posted a selfie on Instagram, holding up his copy of Up Toward the Light in the direction of the sun to mark the book’s long-awaited arrival. The book, which discusses coping with loss, is complete with illustrations by Laura Watkins. Smith wrote in his caption: “It’s out! I’m so excited to get feedback about my new book ‘Up Toward The Light.’ It’s a very simple illustration about finding meaning and purpose especially in the depths of heartache and grief. It’s a children’s book but [Amber Smith] quickly corrects me that ‘it’s for everyone.’ It’s actually a true story about a conversation between me and a tree. I hope it matters to you!”

Smith announced the release date of Up Toward the Light — a pre-planned announcement — on February 6, hours after country legend Toby Keith “passed peacefully…surrounded by family.” He was 62. Smith said that morning that he “wasn’t expecting” to make his announcement on the same day the country music community was mourning Keith’s loss. He added that he’s “so grateful for the joy TK’s music brought so many of us for so many years.”

“Whenever we experience loss or shock in this way, even with a country music legend, we have this tendency to look inward and to try to fortify ourselves so that we could be a rock as we’re processing our own mortality and thinking about how fragile life is,” Smith said in a video he posted on Instagram when he announced his book. He explained the tree analogy, and explained that Up Toward the Light is “a story of processing that. It’s a kids book, but I think it could be helpful for kids and parents alike. Processing these thoughts about our own mortality, and what is a helpful way to think about loss. Maybe this particular story, (it’s) about a boy losing his grandpa, and he has a conversation with a tree, a very wise tree, and I hope it could be helpful for you. …I think this is gonna be an important project for me, so that we could all stop worrying about what’s down below and start realizing that we have to be moving up toward the light.”

The After MidNite host and Like A River author said his new children’s book is available “wherever books are sold.”


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