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Can you remember a time that you felt different when you were a child? Either through a learning disability or a loss of a family member or friend, we all have experienced times throughout our lives when we felt different. When you compound the feeling of being different with grief, the emotions can be overwhelming — especially for a child. Through her book, Jimmy, Toughest Dog Ever, author Sally Hill Mills takes us on a special journey through the eyes of Jimmy, who is experiencing both being different and experiencing loss. 

This beautiful children’s book helps to translate the tough life lessons that surround grief into a language that is easy for children to understand. It’s about healing from the loss of a pet, a friend, and being able to open your heart again to a new pet or friend. Change is part of life. Grief and loss are part of life. Those experiences help us grow and appreciate the new life (and relationships) born out of such a tragic loss.

Sally Mills Jimmy Toughest Times Ever

About Sally Hill Mills

Sally Hill Mills learned to write children’s books by writing with children, as a creative writing teacher in elementary schools in Albuquerque. She learned from kids what keeps them interested in a story – relatable characters, obstacles that have to be overcome, and action. She learned how important it was for children to laugh while reading a book, especially when the characters explore complex, emotional topics.  

Her first book, Jimmy: Toughest. Dog. Ever. grew out of Mills’ experience as a special education teacher. She saw that kids who left the room for “special” classes or who had visible disabilities feared being labeled and not belonging to the larger group. When her real life dog died, Mills realized that, as hard as it would be, her dog’s death offered an opportunity to take the character Jimmy on another, even more difficult journey: through grief and loss into recovery and re-connection.  In her second book, Jimmy: Toughest Times Ever Mills drew upon her own experiences with childhood grief to write the book.  Kirkus called this book, “A lovely, resonant, child-appropriate tale about loss and the cycle of grief and healing.”

No longer teaching, Mills is still learning from children, now her six grandchildren, who have been sidelined from school by the pandemic and spend lots of time with her, her husband and their real-life dogs. 

Connect With Sally Hill Mills

Sally Hill Mills Jimmy Toughest Dog Ever
Sally Hill Mills Jimmy Toughest Times Ever
Sally Hill Mills Jimmy Toughest Dog Ever
Sally Hill Mills Grief Dogs Storytelling
Sally Hill Mills Grief Dogs Storytelling

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