Eight-year-old girl from Canning Town publishes book to help children with grief

Brooke Turpin

Brooke Turpin has written about her grandfather's passing to help other children dealing with bereavement. - Credit: Eliana Lopes Gouveia

An eight-year-old girl has published a book after the death of her grandad to help children coping with grief.

Brooke Turpin, from Canning Town, also wrote Grandad Wasn't Well to help deal with the illness and eventual loss of her beloved grandfather, William.

Grandad Wasn't Well

Grandad Wasn't Well is illustrated by Michael Harper. - Credit: Eliana Lopes Gouveia/Michael Harper

The youngster said: "Everything I have written is from my experience and are the true feelings of an eight-year-old going through a hard time.

"I hope many children around the world can relate to my story and are encouraged to write about their feelings."

William Turpin

William passed away in January. - Credit: Family of William Turpin

At first, William thought he was suffering from Covid-19 because he was having difficulties breathing.


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But the retired chef, who worked at ITN's canteen during his 44-year career, was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died at home on January 9, two days before his 71st birthday.

Eliana Gouveia, Brooke's mum, said: "He loved Newham. He didn't want to go into a hospice. He was Canning Town born and bred. He loved it."

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In writing the book, budding author Brooke is following in the footsteps of her Portuguese grandfather, the self-published poet Carlos “Goia” Gouveia.

Eliana said: "Everyone has said the book is amazing. People are saying it's inspiring, sharing real life experiences from a child's perspective.

"It was better for Brooke to write it because when I tried to speak to her about grandad being ill, she said she didn't want to talk about it, but wanted to write the book.

"All her emotions went into it."

The self-published work took Brooke about four weeks to write and includes illustrations by Michael Harper who also hails from Newham.

Brooke, a pupil at Kaizen Primary School, Elkington Road, loves reading and writing and now plans to pen more stories besides publishing book reviews on social media.

Eliana said Brooke's story was used in a lesson at Kaizen and a teacher friend has plans to use the book in her school to help youngsters dealing with bereavement.

"Grandad would be so proud of her," Eliana said.

Grandad Wasn't Well is available to buy from Brooke's website for £8.99.

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