Finn ma nn
Make Some Ripples
Book shows children that each of us
can truly make a difference.
Special to the Jewish News
ou never know how your
actions might affect someone
you don't even know. This is
the premise of a new children's book
called The Ripple Maker, in which
a wise snake counsels his friend, a
despondent frog. Everyone, the snake
proclaims, can make a difference.
The Ripple Maker itself exemplifies
these efforts because sales of the book
go toward scholarships for young writ-
ers while keeping alive the name of the
author, a ripple maker himself
The Ripple Maker
was written more
than a decade ago,
though only recently
published. Its author,
Dustin Rose, 25, was
killed by a deranged
driver while return-
ing home from work
in December 2002.
At the time, he was pursuing a degree
in creative writing at Wayne State
University. The night before the acci-
dent, he had decided to quit his part-
time job and commit full time to school
and his writing.
Since his death, his parents, Ed and
Lynn Rose, and his sister, Morgan, for-
merly of West Bloomfield, labored to get
The Ripple Maker published.
"It took several years to even get going
on this:' Ed says. "It wasn't easy at the
beginning and, at some point, we finally
said, (We need to do this. But Lynn really
pushed it hard."
Lynn explains, "I knew how much he
wanted to be published."
The Ripple Maker stood out from
the rest of Dustin's writing, which Ed
describes as "hundreds and thousands
of pages and pages and pages of poetry"
Written in rhymed verse, The Ripple
Maker manuscript included detailed —
though incomplete — instructions on
how the story should be illustrated.
Lynn sent the manuscript to children's
book publishers and, after a series of
rejections, the project halted. While
walking in Lake Mary, Fla. — where the
Roses now live — she came upon an art
exhibit by local high school students and
saw a picture of a dragon she thought
could be a model for the wise snake in
the book. She contacted the artist, then a
high school junior named Sara Ramirez,
and the book was back on track.
Over the next three years, as Sara
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graduated from high school and began
college, she worked on the drawings,
linking Dustin's words to the vision in
his notes. She finished in the summer
of 2011. The Rose family then self-pub-
lished the book under Rabbit-in-a-Hat
Publishing, a name based on a drawing
Dustin created for his bar mitzvah.
"The Ripple Maker is a wonderful
and joyful book, beautifully illustrated,"
says Ellen L. Barton, chair of the WSU
Department of English. "It is a wonder-
ful tribute to Dustin, who sounds like he
was wise like the snake."
At the time of his death, Dustin was
engaged to Alison Gordon, and her
parents, Paul and Marion Gordon of
Farmington Hills, were instrumental in
establishing the Dustin Rose Memorial
Scholarship at WSU in the months follow-
ing the tragedy.
"They had all these plans about what
they were going to do after they gradu-
ated," Marion says. "We just thought that
to honor him and his talent we would
start the scholarship in his memory"
Though Dustin was primarily a
poet, he often talked about becoming a
screenwriter and explored all forms of
creative writing. "He was a very talented,
smart, caring person," says Lynn, "and
passionate about things he loved."
"He thought people should make a
difference," Ed recalls about his son. "I
mean, the message in The Ripple Maker
was really kind of the way he felt about
To honor Dustin and help fulfill
other young writers' dreams, the Rose
family will grant all sales proceeds of
The Ripple Maker to the Dustin Rose
Memorial Scholarship Fund at WSU. The
Ripple Maker can be purchased for $20.
To order the book, visit www.
rabbitinahatpublishing.com . To
donate to the scholarship fund, contact
Gina Horwitz, assistant director of
development in the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences, at (313) 577-9635 or
Brian Escamilla is a WSU communications