Makayla Sitton's story becomes book

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

JUPITER, FL (WFLX) - The memory of a little girl killed in a horrific Thanksgiving Day shooting last year will live on thanks to a simple story she told her mother right before she died.

Makayla Sitton's mother has turned her story into a very special children's book. "The Bear's Castle," written by Makayla Joy Sitton.

Muriel Sitton often recorded her daughter, Makayla, reciting poetry and Bible verses during their home schooling sessions. One day she was recording and asked Makayla to tell her a story.

After Makayla's death, artist and illustrator Tyler Hollis read about the little girl's love of reading. Tyler had also lost her daughter, Heather, suddenly and tragically.

Tyler contacted the Sittons, and they agreed to publish Makayla's story about the bear -- word for word.

Tyler designed the book and all the illustrations. Even the little bear's bedroom is an exact replica of Makayla's room which is still as she left it.

Muriel says the story is simple, sweet and pure of heart, like Makayla. But publishing the book has been bittersweet. Sweet because it keeps Makayla's memory alive and shares her love of reading with the world. But bitter that she's not here to see it. "We would have loved for her to be here and see it all, but I have a feeling, maybe, she is seeing it from heaven, knowing an maybe proud of us and saying, 'Well done Mama and Papa. Thank you for inspiring us all to cast our eyes on beautiful things.'"

There will be a special book signing at the Jupiter Library on Saturday at 2 p.m. You can find the book online. All proceeds from book sales go to the Jupiter Academy of Music and the Florida Classical Ballet Theatre where Makayla took piano and ballet lessons.