Avery’s Gift is a beautiful story that made me smile, brought a tear to my eyes and gave us hope.
Avery’s Gift is based on true events that happened on August 6th, 2009. Then five years old, Avery, who was born with a rare heart defect, received a heart transplant from eight year old Dalton, after he was tragically hit by a car. Avery is now a vibrant (and healthy) sixteen year old and the two families have become close as they are forever bonded with the gift of a loving heart.
The story itself is just beautiful with gorgeous illustrations to accompany each page. The story is age appropriate for younger and older readers and gives parents the opportunity to expand the story. Avery has woken up in a dream like state and has lost her colours. As she searches for them, she meets Dalton and they have so much fun together. As Dalton gets ready to embark on his own new journey, he gives Avery a very special parting gift – a gift that helps to awaken her colours once again.
While the story doesn’t mention the heart transplant in those words, the gift that he gives her and the illustration are perfect and more than bring this part of the true story to life. It gives parents the opportunity to start having important conversations with their children about organ donation, compassion, kindness and the impact this has on others. It is a story of loss but also of friendship, kindness and the power of a simple gift. Avery’s Gift is a very special book and will make a great gift for readers of all ages.
Read this special story to my 5 year old great granddaughter. She was mesmerized by the flowing illustrations and had many questions about the story as we shared the reading aloud. As a retired children’s librarian the magic of the tale read aloud so beautifully that my great granddaughter began to point out all the rhyming words as the story progressed. Knowing the origin of the tale I was choked up by reading it aloud. Appropriate for the young and old this book is a treasure worth having at home or in school. There are many lessons one could teach from this gem!
Bosch Fan, Amazon Customer Review Rating: 5 Stars
There is no greater treasure than the gift of life offered selflessly to another. Through tragic experiences of two families comes this meaningful depiction of the most precious gift, organ donation. I was instantly and completely drawn into Avery's world and her discoveries with the help of Dalton. Their story has been perfectly and most beautifully interpreted in this book. In such a child-like dream sequence, this most poignant message is meant for all ages as we see and feel its impact. Not only is the prose exquisitely formed, the delightful illustrations create an ethereal quality which enhances the message and mission of the story. This book is a beautiful creation worthy of your time. I've read it repeatedly and it always evokes a deep emotional reaction. As a result, I would also like to encourage your consideration of joining the organ donation registry to allow such precious gifts to continue.
Kathryn G., Amazon Book Reviewer
"The courage and sacrifice of kids like Dalton and Avery is incredible. Their story is amazing and powerful, and Dalton will live forever in our hearts."
This beautifully written and illustrated book is truly a gift for any family who has had to face the painful end-of-life decision of organ donation. Every detail of this story is pure magic, from the dream-like representation of Avery and Dalton’s journey guided by the clever fox and the wise-old owl, to the symbolism of Avery’s loss of color, the gifting of the heart-shaped locket, and the eternal connection of these two lovable children by this most precious gift.
A treasure in so many ways, this book has the power to bring peace and meaning to families who are faced with agonizing decisions in their darkest hour, and hopefully also to change some of the attitudes towards the importance of organ donation.
Avery’s Gift is a profound book that will appeal to every member of the family in a completely different way—with the younger listener enchanted by the joy of undying friendship, while the more mature audience reflects on the consequence of such life-changing decisions. This gem should be on the bookshelf in every family’s home, whether affected by organ donation or not.
Christine Pesold, PHD.
Editor-in-Chief, Basel Life Magazine
"Avery’s Gift is a story about faith, hope and new 'birth' through life after death. It highlights an invitation that awaits to a place beyond magnificent that can be anything you imagine it to be."
Cheryl Toole, Avery’s mother
"Avery's Gift" is very moving and written in a way that can be very positive for both children and their parents. It captures the positive miracle without focusing on the painful circumstances for both families. Nice balance. Well done!
Dan Schwartz, Heart transplant recipient
Anschutz Medical Center in Denver, Colorado (June 5, 2018)
Teachers in schools around the world agree that imagination and compassion are essential skills for the rising generation. Jonathan Hoefer's book, Avery's Gift, allows readers of all ages to imagine a gift they might give that would bring life and light back to someone who has lost them.
Avery's Gift provides a beautiful way to introduce or expand on the critical and lifesaving nature of organ transplants. The story allows everyone from 5 to 105, from poets to medical scientists to find joy with the language, illustrations and lessons packed in this beautiful book.
Retired Head of School
Shorecrest Preparatory School, St. Petersburg, Florida
"A huge thank you for your generosity and inspiration. we learn from Avery everyday and sharing this story for children and families is truly extraordinary. Thank you, Thank Thank you! ❤️"
VP, Associate Chief Chief Nursing Officer (ACNO)
Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts