Wake Up Beautiful Girl! & Lilly’s Life

From trauma to truth

Three days before her 7th birthday, my daughter Serena was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.

The utter shock and disbelief generated waves of grief. Also, and most importantly, it signaled an invitation into self-discovery, self-care, as well as activated my deepest instincts as a mother and caregiver in search of truth.

A healing journey

We began writing as a way to better understand what was happening to us. Story-telling enabled a degree of perspective, which helped us see our own situation through new and fresh eyes.

The first book about "Lilly", Lilly's Life, was originally published in 2008, and then again in 2011. Wake Up Beautiful Girl! was originally released in 2012.

The new and expanded 2nd edition books, bear over a decade of trials, errors, pains, and joys, and is reflective of the advances in the management and treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Who is Lilly?

The main character in Wake Up Beautiful Girl! and Lilly's Life, is based on Serena's favorite childhood doll, Lilly. Lilly's "look" is a composite of both Serena's doll, as well as illustrator Mary Gilmore's daughter, Hazel.

As a related aside, Mary Gilmore is a life-long friend and very old soul, whom I had the good fortune to meet when we were both 11 years old. Mary is a gifted artist and educator who, without hesitation, offered to illustrate the books when they were first conceived in 2008.

Chronic illness affects the body, mind, emotions, and the spirit

From the very beginning, we intuitively knew this....but how does one deal with something so overwhelming?

Fear, fatigue, anxiety, and depression are a given. Anyone who is touched by chronic illness knows this full well.

In writing Lilly's story, our aim was to normalize the inter-dependence that is required when someone we love is chronically ill. This is not a punishment, drudgery, nor something to take lightly-- it is a noble calling to serve another in this manner.

For educators

We have additional classroom and teaching resources for this book, as well as the promotion of social-emotional health and attributes. Contact me or my colleague Kristie Pretti-Frontczak to discuss your individual needs.

Specifically, the book promotes the following social-emotional attributes as described in our ESSENCE GLOSSARY:


Ready to purchase?

Each book is priced at $9.95 for single copies. BULK discounts are available on orders of 5 or more books.

Book specs: (Wake UP!)

6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color on White paper
30 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1545285107
ISBN-10: 1545285101
BISAC: Education / Elementary



Book specs: (Lilly's Life)

6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color on White paper
32 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1545324721
ISBN-10: 1545324727
BISAC: Education / Elementary


To purchase single copies, simply click HERE (you will be redirected to Amazon.com)

For BULK ordering go HERE or email me at mayraporrata@gmail.com