New Children's Book AVERY'S GIFT Illustrates The Impact Of Organ Donation

The play tells the powerful true story of Avery Toole and Dalton Lawyer.

Author Jonathan Hoefer shares a timeless story of love, loss, friendship, and finding true colors, inspired by two incredible children and the connection they forever share in his upcoming children's book, Avery's Gift (Mascot Books, June 1, 2021).

Young Avery wakes up in the middle of the night to find that her colors have completely faded. Surrounded by a familiar yet magical surrounding, she is guided out of her bed by the playful flowers from the wallpaper and finds friendly woodland creatures that help her get her colors back. Avery is guided to a pebbled beach shore where she encounters a boy named Dalton, who joins her on her quest. They search to no avail, but before Dalton must leave Avery, he presents her with a beautiful, heart-shaped locket. With this gift and a warm embrace, Avery is in awe as she watches her colors return, more vibrant than ever!

Avery Toole was born in 2004 with a heart defect and after five years of life-threatening complications, she was placed on the national heart transplant list. A few months later, Dalton Lawyer, a caring and energetic eight-year-old boy from Texas, was tragically hit by a truck while riding his bicycle and was pronounced brain dead. Dalton's parents made the decision to donate his organs, and four people were saved by their generous gift. On August 6, 2009, Avery received his heart. Avery is now a healthy, vibrant 16-year-old girl with a sparkling personality, whose passion for life and spirit lights up a room. The Toole and Lawyer families are still in touch today, forever connected by a strong and loving heart.

As the beautiful illustrations of artist Milana Samarskaya takes the reader on a dreamlike journey to help Avery find her colors, the book also highlights the importance of organ donation. Hoefer is collaborating with Donate Life America to give people a new perspective about organ donation, with the intention of encouraging over 1,000 people to sign-up as nationally registered organ donors. A portion of the sales of Avery's Gift will be donated to Donate Life America to help further organ donor awareness and education.

"What makes me most proud about Avery's Gift is that the story can be read from two different vantage points." says Hoefer. "Younger readers will enjoy this heart-warming, mysterious, and beautiful story of Avery searching for her missing colors with the help of her newly-found friends. Parents can read it with their toddlers and preschool-aged children to demonstrate kindness and friendship, without needing to discuss the 'story-behind-the-story.' Older readers will appreciate the book as a reimagined version of a very tragic story, as it can be used as a vehicle to discuss the important aspects of organ donation, and how this decision can be the ultimate act of kindness."

JONATHAN HOEFER is an author, illustrator and art director and has been involved with the printing and publishing industry for over 20 years. He is a graduate of Syracuse University's Visual and Performing Arts program, majoring in illustration. His illustrative work has been published in national newspapers and magazines. He has been an illustrator and art director of four books including Eddie Shapes Up by ex-NYC mayor Ed Koch and Pat Thaler Koch, Lilly Lou Makes a New Friend and Lilly Lou Goes to Washington, D.C. a series by Mike Murphy. In addition, Hoefer wrote and illustrated Pun Intended: Welcome to the Punny Farm, which are visual puns, once made famous when he acted as Art Director of the Daily Orange Newspaper at Syracuse University. He currently lives with his family in St. Petersburg, FL.

MILANA SAMARSKAYA is an illustrator that has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil in her hand. Reading and drawing are her two passions since childhood, and have developed into a love of book illustration, collaborating with children's writers to give their stories life. Samarskaya currently lives in Taganrog, Russia. Learn more on Samarskaya's website, and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Avery's Gift will be released through Mascot Books on June 1, 2021 and can be pre-ordered on Amazon and other major booksellers. To sign up on the national registry through the Avery's Gift program please visit: To learn more about organ donation in general, please visit:

To pre-order your copy and find out more about Avery's Gift please visit their official website:


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