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Book honors girl killed at ice caves

Grace Tam's stories, poems and journals have been compiled in a work to benefit animal shelters.

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By Eric Stevick
Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE -- "Love is..," a compilation of essays, poems and journals of 11-year-old Grace Tam, is interspersed with letters from those who loved her.
Grace died July 31, 2010, when she was struck by a large chunk of ice that snapped off the Big Four Ice Caves. She was standing well back from the ice fields waiting to have her photo taken.
For her parents, John Tam and Tamami Okauchi, the book is part of their effort to honor Grace, who a month before her death had finished the fifth grade at Kellogg Marsh Elementary School in Marysville.
"We try as much as we can to keep her memory alive," John Tam said. "We thought this is one of the ways to remember her by. Hopefully she won't be forgotten because she was so young."
Grace's parents plan to use a stamp they had made from Grace's signature at a book signing set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday* at Kellogg Marsh, 6325 91st St. NE. Another book signing event is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. April 16 at the Marysville Public Library, 6120 Grove St. Other dates are in the works.
In the book, the Tams explain how they chose their daughter's name.
"We named her Grace, truly believing that God blessed us by giving her to us," they wrote. "Since then our life had been filled with love, laughter and joy."
The family kept many of Grace's writings, including her travel journal when she visited Hawaii, Japan and Hong Kong. The book also includes poems, short essays, fiction and even a mystery that she never had the chance to complete. Her parents hope readers will use their imaginations to finish the book for her.
Mixed among the passages Grace had written are more than two dozen letters from her friends, family, neighbors and teachers.
All proceeds from the book will be donated to animal shelters, Tam said.
Grace dreamed of opening a shelter to help abandoned or mistreated dogs.
The books can be ordered online through Tate Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446;

*Correction, Feb. 29, 2012: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date.

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