How a neighborhood retiree found a new calling writing children’s books

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After a 40-year career spent advising adults, Lake Highlands resident Anne Worth has turned her life around, partly shaken by a pandemic.

At 80, she has already published two children’s books since the pandemic, and she has a third on the way. After retiring from counseling and moving into the community in Land onshe writes regularly.

“Every morning, at 4 am, I got up to sit in front of my computer,” she says.

Her book series, Tessie’s Tears, follows a young girl, Tessie, as she experiences and learns about death, grief, and other forms of loss. The first two episodes of the series are grandpa goes to heaven and Molly walks away.

Worth’s foray into children’s books was a result of faith, sympathizing with children who had lost loved ones to COVID-19 and some of the events in her own life.

“During the pandemic, every child in the world, not just in the United States, has been exposed to death. If it wasn’t someone in their family, it was someone in their neighborhood or a friend of theirs or whatever,” Worth says. “I wanted the children to know that when someone who knows the Lord dies, he goes to Heaven; they have a new healthy body.

Each of the books references the Bible and addresses grief and loss from a religious perspective. A couple in the Philippines illustrated the book for her. They held their character design meetings over Zoom.

“I sent her a photo of me as a young girl and the other little girls would be based on my girls,” she says. “So we sketched a few different classes and he sketched it right in front of me.”

Since the publication of the first two books, she has donated books to schools and churches.

Although she has no biological children, Worth claims many, including Sudanese girls she has met while working with the Lost Girls of Sudan and a Russian son (she met him during of a mission trip while in an orphanage). They all call her “Maman Anne”.

It’s not the first time she’s written a book, she said. She has co-authored six books with other authors and wrote a memoir in 2019 titled call me worthyon which she spent nine agonizing months, she says.

In the memoirs, she addresses the difficulties regarding divorce, abortion, alcohol and her family.

“That’s one of the reasons I think I was such a good therapist, because I went through all of this myself.”

The third book in the Tessie’s Tears series, Corkie the rescue pup talks about Tessie who lost her puppy. It will be released on November 19.


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