Laura Sobiech of Lakeland, Minn., whose son Zach died of cancer last year, has written a memoir about his life. “Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way,” will be published by Nelson Books in May. It is the story of young Zach, who was diagnosed with the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma at age 14 and died just days after his 18th birthday.

During the years of his illness, he wrote a song of hope, “Clouds,” which became a huge international hit. (It’s been viewed on YouTube more than 11 million times and its proceeds have raised more than $750,000 for cancer research.) His story went viral as well, and the teen, his song, his struggle and his faith were the subject of many stories, from the local news media to Katie Couric, CNN and Billboard Magazine.

Five thousand people gathered at the Mall of America in December to sing “Clouds” in Zach’s memory.

Laura Sobiech’s book dedication is simple and heartfelt: “For Zach. I am so grateful I got to be your mom.”


Also …

“My Country, ’Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future,” by Rep. Keith Ellison, has been published by Gallery Books. Ellison, who lives in Minneapolis, is the first Muslim elected to Congress.

“Hanukkah Bear,” a picture book written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Minneapolis artist Mike Wohnoutka, has won the National Jewish Book Award for illustrated children’s book.

John Rosengren’s new book, “The Fight of Their Lives: How Juan Marichal and John Roseboro Turned Baseball’s Ugliest Brawl into a Story of Forgiveness and Redemption,” will be published in mid-February by Lyons Press. (Roseboro played for the Minnesota Twins in 1968 and 1969.) Rosengren lives in Minneapolis and is the author of several books. He’ll read from “The Fight of Their Lives” on March 25 at Magers & Quinn in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis writer Erin Soderberg will read from her middle-grade book “The Quirks in Circus Quirkus” at 2 p.m. Saturday at Red Balloon, 891 Grand Av., St. Paul, and at 1 p.m. Feb. 9 at Wild Rumpus, 2720 W. 43rd St., Mpls.