Three people killed in the Atkins tornado in February will be remembered in a book. You'll recall ten-year-old Emmy Cherry and her parents were killed when their home was leveled on February 5th.
Emmy was an avid reader. Her family says she was reading at four-years-old. Just before she was killed, Emmy wrote a book report on her favorite author. That author is now writing Emmy into her books.
February 5th a young life ended in Atkins, along with the lives of her parents. Emmy, Dana, and Jimmy Cherry were a close family. Both of Emmy's grandmothers say they'll never get over the grief.
Elaine Kizer says, "It's just horrible the way we feel. This girl was just absolutely something different."
One of the only things remaining from Emmy is her last book report spotlighting author Erin Hunter. Hunter writes the Warriors books, a popular series with 5th through 8th graders.
Grandmother Kay Cherry says, "She would sit in a chair in my living room and she'd laugh and say these books are so funny. They’re so great."
What was left of the Cherry’s home in Atkins has been removed from their property, but the three lives that were lost there will now forever be remembered in a children's book series. A best selling author has offered to make all three Cherry family members characters in her next book.
Kay Cherry says, "It blows our minds. All of us. It blows our minds."
A Russellville book store owner, who knew of Emmy's passion for the Warriors series, contacted the publishing company to tell them of the tornado. They contacted the author in London, England who immediately sent a series autographed books to Emmy's classmates at Atkins Middle School. The decision was also made to make the Cherry's into characters.
Today's THV spoke with author Erin Hunter from her hometown of London, England. Hunter said she was struck with Emmy's story.
Hunter says, "She loved animals like I do, she wrote about warriors. She was an amazing child who doesn't deserve to be snuffed out quite so quickly. I think we need to let her spirit resonate with us."
All the way from Atkins, Arkansas to London, England, family members can hardly believe a best selling author will help carry on the memory of a girl gone too soon.
The book with Emmy's character in it is the fifth in one of the Warriors series. It's scheduled to be released early next year.
Meantime, the author Erin Hunter is scheduled to come to Atkins from London in September to personally speak with Emmy's classmates.
The Russellville book store owner who made the initial call to the publishers, will auction off a Warriors autographed book on EBay. The money made from that will go to a fund that's been set up in Emmy's memory. That fund is used to help other tornado victims.