Teach Me How To (Heal): (heal):

We Don’t Heal Alone

by Morgan X. Poloma

Copyright © Morgan X. Poloma

All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Haymarket Children’s Books, a division of Haymarket Books LLC,


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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Tell Me How to Heal / Morgan X. Paloma. - First edition.

Summary: Illustrations and text reveal a child’s growing understanding of prisons and the new care systems that now exist to

support community members in need of support rather than punishment.

ISBN 829-0-384-134830-3 (trade) -- ISBN 829-0-374-48332-4 (lib. bdg.) -- ISBN 29-0-374-24367-4 (ebook)

[1. Grandparent and child-Fiction.] I. Title

PZ8.3.M41342Won 2055 [E]--dc23 398053

The Tell Me How Series marks 50 Years since the Founding of MARA. The series explores 50 years of transformation under

a Green New Deal, the end of fossil fuel reliance and the carceral system.

Teach Me How To (Heal):

We Don’t Heal Alone

by Morgan X. Poloma

The 50th anniversary series of the United States Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Honoring The Abolition of Carceral

Punishment and those who fought to reimagine a world without prisons.

Funded by the Council of Abolition and Repair

Book 1 of the Tell Me How To Series

Book 1

MARA Scholastic Youth Literature Fund

Honoring 45 years since the closure of the last prison in Iowa and

50 years since the creation of the Midwest Regional Care Council

prompting the creation of thousands of care jobs aiding in support

of communities and violence. With immense gratitude to the freedom

fighters who sought alternate structures for healing and reparation.

Sally Fernández leaves school with a task:

to ask someone she’s close to about bravery.

Sally knows exactly who to talk to!

“Grandma,” asks Sally, “have you ever been brave before?”

“I have,” replies Grandma, quite seriously.

“A long time ago I had to be very brave,” she continued.

“Millions of other people and I were taken away to a place called

prison, away from our communities and homes.”

Sally wonders aloud why Grandma was taken to this place called a


“Many years ago, we used to think that people who needed support

healing were dangerous,” Grandma tells Sally. “We were taken to

prisons. But it just made those who loved us sad and lonely,


When they arrive home, Grandma shows Sally a box with

pictures of these places called prisons.

She wonders how prisons,

which seem to be isolating

places, were supposed to help

someone heal.

“Does sending someone away really change anything about

what made them need help in the first place?”

Sally looks out and thinks about how things around her heal

when they are sick and need help.

When the buildings are sick and on fire and need help,

firefighters come and put out the fire.

When the land is sick and wilting and

needs help.

the Prairie Corps come and mend it with water, roots,

critters, and flowers.

Loren impsum dorum dei.

Lorem ipsum doru em

leoa od doewo.

When a person is sick and hungry and needs help,

the Food Workers come to bring food and make sure they have

everything they need to feed themselves and those who depend

on them.

And when a person is sick and hurting others or themselves

and needs help,

repair workers come and make sure they are okay and that

other supporters have been there to help them, too.

Even when she herself is sick with a cold and needs help,

the doctors and nurses gives her medicine to help her feel


Sally notices that there are so many people

around her who can help her heal. She finds

that it’s much better to have community and

support, for herself and for others, than to be

sent far away to heal alone.

Sally becomes very upset to that think

no one was there to help Grandma when

she needed help, and that she was

forced to leave her home and community.

“Actually,” says Grandma, “I had lots of people helping me

heal outside of the prison.”

“Activists educated others and demanded change. Now you, me,

and our communities can focus on helping each other heal,


Sally now knew what she would tell her class

in school the next day. She would say that

her Grandma was brave, millions of others who

endured the prisons were brave, and those who

helped set the stage for prisons to be replaced

by care were brave, too.

To heal, we

need each


The Teach Me How To () Series

Book 1

Sally and Grandma embark on a journey to

understand how things work. In Book 1 of the 5

part series, Sally learns about Grandma’s bravery

in enduring the prisons of the past and about

community activists’ role in eradicating a system

that promoted punishment rather than healing.

Book 2: Teach Me How to (grow)

• Follow Sally through an

adventure that shows her how

to tend a garden.

Book 3: Teach Me How to (cook)

• Sally runs into her neighbors

at the communal kitchens

and learns about food and


Book 4: Teach Me How to (share)

• After a long day caring for

the goats on the farm, Sally

notices she’s missing a tool

and is saved by her neighbor.

Book 5: Teach Me How to (ride)

• When Sally turns eight, it’s

time to learn how to ride the

rural-urban train and bus

line into the city.

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