TODAY: Buy a book, help a kid!

Julie Kenner and her daughter Isabella
Me and my sweet girl!

As many of you know, my daughter Isabella was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, meaning that there was a gap through her lip and jaw and her palate was open. (Bilateral would mean two gaps).

Her lip was repaired in China when she was about a year old (we recently did a revision to pretty up that scar, and she’ll have another revision this summer). China, however, didn’t repair her palate. That was repaired when she was 3 1/2 years old, after we adopted her. I blogged about the surgery here

Isagella after her cleft palate repair surgery

Many people don’t realize how important it is to have a corrected lip and palate. Babies can’t suck with a cleft. Speech is completely impossible.

And the kids often have decades of surgery ahead of them. (Isabella will be having a bone graft this summer, taking bone from her hip to fill the gap in her jaw; she’ll also be having a lip revision. In a few years, she’ll have surgery to actually move her jaw forward. That’s in addition to the three surgeries she’s already had. And she’s one of the lucky ones; some kids born with clefts have many, many more).

The support of charities that help kids around the world with cleft lips and palates is something near and dear to my heart. I personally support Love Without Boundaries (and Half the Sky, which helps with educating orphans in China). But there is another organization that sends out doctors to repair the cleft lips/palates of kids, and that organization is The Smile Train.

So I was very pleased to see that author Sophia Knightly is donate a proceed of today’s sales of select titles of her books. You can read all the details here. So buy a book and help a kid!


Tami Clayton

What a cutie your daughter is! And brave and strong to go through all of those surgeries. Thanks for sharing the link about the books. I will go check them out!

Sabrina Garie

Your daughter is lovely and the photos suggest she has a real sweetness of spirit in addition to spunk. Thanks for sharing your story. Raising children is so simultaneously overpowering and awe inspiring–every single day. Learning others stories helps us celebrate our own.


Oh, this is so very, very true: “Raising children is so simultaneously overpowering and awe inspiring–every single day.” thanks so much, Sabrina!


i just came to your site to see if there was any info on if/when another “Good Ghouls” book might be coming. my teen daughter (adopted from russia at age 4 and also cleft lip and palate) and I have been reading them and book two leaves you waiting for book three. My daughter is going to fume when she finds out she’s been left hanging (as do all teen drama queens). It wouldn’t be so bad but she doesn’t do a lot of reading. We were waiting in the hospital for a lip repair in December and things were running behind so she pointed to the book I had and said “read to me”. I had previously read all the demon hunter series and had picked up “Aphrodite’s kiss” knowing I was going to need something during her recovery. After reading 2 hrs during her surgery I realized it wasn’t a book I wanted her to read yet so I ordered the books from the ghoul series. I was so surprised to see your latest entry on your site! I know what you’re going thru!
mmm, any info on book 3 for the Ghoul series (yes, I know. like you don’t have anything else going on …)


Thanks so much for posting … and yes, it sucks to be left hanging. But never fear, books 3-6 are on the way!

My goal is to have Demon 6 out in the spring (late spring) and Ghoul in late summer. I think it’s going to be doable. I have the cover for Ghoul 3 ready to go! Which reminds me I need to post it…will do that next week!

Hugs to you and your daughter. Our girls and so many kids like them have so much to overcome. I know Isabella’s spirit and sweetness make me marvel every day!


thanks for the update! I was hoping the next ghoul book would be out in early summer as we have tentatively scheduled her nasal revision/nose job for then (between track season and cross country). it has been hard to convince her that she will run better when she can breath out of both sides of her nose…sigh. “born this way” has not helped this matter – thank you Lady Gaga. our angel made it thru by stubbornness, determination, and fighting for what she wants. great qualities and a double edged sword.


She sounds amazing!!! I’ll post release date updates as soon as I can! We’re looking at bone graft surgery this summer, too. Not sure when yet.


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