Communications expert Laurie Schloff has written two books for adults.
Her latest work is for a very different audience, but it was inspired by the same impulse — to provide encouragement to those who might be feeling vulnerable.
Her children’s book, Twenty Twinkling Stars, is about all different kinds of people in the world, with their varied traits. Though not directly representing them, it is a tribute to the children shot dead on Dec. 12, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“I had to do something,” Schloff said in a recent phone interview with NJ Jewish News. “I didn’t want what I wrote to be another examination of the horror, but I had to make a contribution somehow to the healing.”
Schloff, who grew up in Cranford, lives now in West Roxbury, Mass., and is the senior coaching partner in the Speech Improvement Company. She is a communications coach for business people “who want quick tips and fast results.”
She and her mother, Gertrude Schloff, who lives in Westfield, are both lifetime members of Hadassah. Laurie said she learned from her mother a commitment to working for tikun olam, to repair the world.
“I wrote Twenty Twinkling Stars,” she said, “to contribute to creating a more peaceful world through communication. Just like stars in the sky, children sparkle in their own special way. I wanted the 20 stars to reflect a unique interest or playful aspect of the spirited personalities that all children have.”
The illustrations are by Lena Warnke, an artist and New York University linguistics student who recently won the Boston Globe Gold Key Award for her art. She said, “Creating the artwork for Twenty Twinkling Stars was both rewarding and challenging, because it was important to use images to capture the hearts and minds of the young readers, while also honoring the Sandy Hook students.”
The proceeds from sales of the book are going to benefit the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere, or SAVE, a 25-year-old organization that involves youth in conflict resolution, anti-bullying, and violence prevention projects. It has 2,100 chapters in 48 states, with more than 230,000 young adult members.
Carleen Wray, executive director of SAVE, described the book as “a touching and powerful celebration” of the young Sandy Hook victims, “with an inspirational spirit that all young readers can appreciate.” She said, “We look forward to collectively raising awareness about the role that today’s youth can play in using communication to quell violence to make our schools and communities safer.”