Rita the Boot-Neck Girl Rita Dancing

Rita the Book-Neck Girl is a heartening tale of tolerance and friendship as crafted from the imaginations of two young sisters, Elena and Gracie Desserich, and captured by their father, Keith Desserich. Featuring inspired characters such as Rita the Boot-Neck Girl, Frita Four-Eyes,and Eddie Elephant Ears, these friends soon learn that they're not really so different after all and certainly not alone. Brought to life by the playful illustrations of Joshua Thompson, this tale promises to not only be a favorite bedtime story, but also one that we can all learn from.

Buy The Book!

Both under the age of 6 when originally told, Elena and Gracie Desserich shared a strong bond of friendship until Elena's passing from cancer at the age of 6. Her story inspired her parents to write Notes Left Behind, a personal account detailing the lessons on love and living she left with them during her struggle. Within months, it achieved international acclaim, becoming a New York Times Bestseller and today is translated into over 20 languages worldwide. A portion of author proceeds from each book benefits cancer research through The Cure Starts Now Foundation.

The Desserichs

Brooke and Keith Desserich have no idea why their oldest daughter, Elena, invented stories about Rita the Boot-Neck Girl. Yet, with Gracie’s help, they hope that another generation will experience the fun of reading as a family. In tribute to their daughters, Keith and Brooke Desserich wrote Notes Left Behind, a New York Times Bestseller, today translated into over 20 languages worldwide. The Desserichs live in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Josh Thompson

Illustrator Joshua Thompson lives in Northern Kentucky with his lovely wife, a crazy dog, and an evil cat. He spends most of his days staring at a computer screen or watching cartoons – which explains a lot actually.

For further information about Rita the Book-Neck Girl speaking appearances, media requests or other questions, please