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Snowflake Princess: book dedicated to legacy of Amanda Todd

Poet Emily Issacson inspired by teen’s story
Emily Issacson's new book Snowflake Princess will be released June 10.

Canadian poet Emily Isaacson’s next work Snowflake Princess will build on the legacy of Amanda Todd.

Set to be released June 10, the book delves into the questions of life that all teens face. What is the spiritual self? How must I journey to find my destiny and my true self? And what will I live for and die for?

Snowflake Princess is a tale about a young girl named Ivory, and her mother Ebony, the naturalist’s world as a photographer, her journey around the lake, her detainment in a hospital, and her death.

Controversial in its essence, it tells a story which is based on Isaacson’s own life, her stay in a psychiatric ward back in 2006 and the impact it had on her.

Isaacson suffered from anorexia as a teenager, and eventually became a patient of Montreux, the world-famous eating disorder program based in Victoria, B.C. After her own recovery from being a 75-pound teenager, she went on to work at the centre, helping other patients and eventually became a nutritionist.

At 25, Isaacson was diagnosed with osteoporosis – an illness that resulted in depression that led to her life-changing stay in a psychiatric ward.

Isaacson, who has written poetry since age 10, went on to write and publish more than 1,200 poems. This is her ninth book.

Creating myth while dispelling others, Snowflake Princess is a work of fictional prose-poetry that tells the story of the naturalist, the philosopher and their young daughter, Snowflake Princess. The fantastical adventures that ensue are only part of this delightful and thought-provoking book about overcoming life’s obstacles.

It mirrors the struggle of Amanda Todd, a teenager who took her own life last year, after a struggle with depression and bullying.

Isaacson borrows the title for her book from a nickname Carol Todd gave her daughter Amanda.

“Amanda was my Princess Snowflake – every snowflake being unique and individual,” said Carol Todd.

Issacson says the story in Snowflake Princess is a testament to survival and the redemptive power of suffering.

“It shows us that the way to death and the way to life exist on the same road,” she adds.

“It portrays the members of family in a healing relationship and believes in the existence of support and community. When we see our frailty, our humanness in our world today, and witness the suffering of others, do we turn away, or come alongside the person so they can recover and heal? Do we want to become better people for what we have gone through? We must choose how we will respond.”

The book details the death of a young woman and how it in turn affect her family and those around her.

The Todd family has created a memorial fund to raise awareness about bullying and mental illness. Ten per cent of the book’s proceeds will be donated to the fund.

Book Launch

Emily Isaacson hosts a book launch for Snowflake Princess at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 10 at Clearbrook Library in Abbotsford.