Buying options

  • Purchase online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more!
  • Order from IngramSpark if you are a bookstore, library, or school.
  • Request a free copy for a child or family directly impacted by incarceration.

The story

Demetri is searching for special memories! As his birthday approaches, Demetri feels excited to celebrate with his grandma, Tía Alanna, and cousin Adla. However, he misses his mom and wishes she was there with him. Luckily, Grandma has an idea to bring them together using a needle and thread. This heartwarming children’s book features:

  • Design for young audiences ages 4-8
  • Rich and engaging vocabulary
  • Dignified characters and relationships
  • Models for how to handle difficult emotions
  • Empathy-building opportunities for all children

Family and educators can use these supplementary materials for expanded learning!

The process

Six women stand in front of San Francisco City Hall with signs saying "Cameo Families" and "Thank You for Saving Cameo House".
Credit: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ)

“Demetri Makes a Memory Quilt” was developed in collaboration with women and mothers at Cameo House, an alternative sentencing and reentry program in San Francisco. The program provides a stable living space for homeless, formerly incarcerated women and their children.

With an emphasis on uplifting those with lived experience, Renée facilitated focus group sessions with formerly incarcerated women who were compensated for their participation. The women shared key insights including their special memories, healing processes, and ways they discuss difficult topics with their children. Their contributions helped craft an honest and relatable story for families impacted by incarceration.

This book was made possible with generous support from the Bay Area Inspire Awards, a community initiative administered by the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation in Oakland, CA.