Be the Change Network

aka "Kari's Blog"

Archive for June, 2007

Mrs. Broccoli Guy – My own little discussion group

June 25, 2007 By: Kari Category: General No Comments →

Mrs. Broccoli Guy continues the Bones That Float Blog Book Tour with a little discussion group:

This is not a “Book Discussion so much as it’s a “Discussion Inspired by the Book… in other words, you don’t need to have even heard of this book to join the discussion!! I just want to know your thoughts on these two questions:

Does a parent’s love make up for the loss of everything else?
Can you love the people your child was born to?

Click Here to follow and participate in the discussion, it’s fascinating.

Blog Book Tour: Mrs. Broccoli Guy

June 24, 2007 By: Kari Category: General No Comments →

Bones That Float: A Story of Adopting Cambodia, by Kari Grady Grossman is a complex and compelling true story of three lives and the deep connection to Cambodia that they all share. It would be a mistake to lable this an “adoption story” and relegate it to the bookshelves of only those who have adopted from Cambodia. In truth there is much more here…

Author Documents Cambodian Adoption in ‘Bones That Float’ – By Nicole Formosa

June 21, 2007 By: Kari Category: General No Comments →

Summit Daily News By Nicole Formosa

LANDER, Wyo. — It took a trip almost to the highest point in the world for Kari Grady Grossman to discover her professional calling in life.

In spring 2002, Grossman was tracking the Ford-sponsored women’s expedition to the summit of Mount Everest (local Jody Thompson and former local Kim Clark were two of the climbers) as a writer for Discovery Channel online. On Mother’s Day, at 18,000 feet elevation and 8,000 miles away from her 2-year-old adopted son, whom she desperately missed, she realized that adventure writing was no longer her dream.

“That was a real defining moment,” Grossman said.

She redirected her efforts toward researching a book on Cambodia, from where she adopted her son, Eric Ratanak Grady Grossman, in 2001 and where she and her husband sponsor a school in his name.

Four years later, she realized her goal, publishing “Bones that Float” a memoir of her experience adopting a child from poverty-stricken Cambodia and attempt to locate her son’s anonymous birth mother intertwined with two stories of survival from native Cambodians. The first is the compelling, often heart-wrenching, recollections of Amanda Prom, a neighbor and friend of Grossman’s in her hometown of Lander, Wyo., whose family lived through the cruel Khmer Rouge regime before escaping to the U.S. in the early 1980s. The second is of Sovann, an early 40s friend of the Grossmans who also lived through the Khmer Rouge, but stayed in Cambodia and his struggles to make a life for himself and his family in an economy devastated by war, even with an education.

The idea of weaving together the three stories, Grossman says, was to bring Cambodia’s troubled past, including enduring U.S. bombings in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to a mainstream audience.

Her inspiration came when she brought her new son home to the mountains of Wyoming in late 2001.

“I was shocked and amazed that nobody around me seemed to know anything about what had happened in Cambodia,” she said, referring to four years in the 1970s when the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. Anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 million Cambodians died or disappeared during the brutal reign.

“Bones that Float” is on the shelves at both Weber’s Books and Hamlet’s Book Shoppe in Breckenridge, and has sold well.

Courtney Phillips, manager at Weber’s, just placed in a second order of 15 books after the first six copies sold out.

“People really generally love it,” she said. “They’re comparing it to (Greg Mortenson’s) ‘Three Cups of Tea’ as far as tone and the way it made them feel. It’s just really giving people some hope in a time when those kinds of feelings are few and far between for most of us.”

Similar to Mortenson, who began building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan after a failed K2 bid in 1993, the Grossmans quickly recognized the need for education in Cambodia.

Shortly after adopting Eric, Grossman and her husband sponsored the Grady Grossman School in the village of Chrauk Tiek in the Kampong Speu province near the Cardamom Mountains.

It started with 50 kids studying on a dirt floor under a dilapidated thatched roof. The school now serves 10 times the number of students and includes a teacher’s residence so educators can afford to instruct the kids.

With government salaries hovering around $25 a month, many instructors have traditionally made teaching a second priority to other odd jobs that paid the bills.
“In many new buildings, there’s no education going on because the teachers don’t make enough money to live so they don’t show up to work,” Grossman said.

Supporting teachers with a food stipend and residence enabled more teachers to educate full-time and therefore more kids to attend school.

Grossman, who visits Cambodia every year, is now aiming to develop a lifeskills training center at the school to equip students with crafts that can provide a means of income.

For instance, teaching students how to grow agriculture or developing cooking fuels alternatives to wood to help curb illegal logging in the forest — a huge problem near Chrauk Tiek.

Eventually she hopes the life skills model can spread to other schools in Cambodia.
“What I envision is not building more schools. It’s making the schools already built function independent of the government and self-sustaining,” Grossman said.

A quarter of all the profits from “Bones that Float” go to the Friends of the Grady Grossman School. For more information, visit

Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at

Event and book signing
Kari Grady Grossman will have a booth on Breckenridge Main Street during the Mountain 2 Mountain Race for the Mountains on June 24, 2007. Also on June 24, she will sign copies of the book at Weber’s Books in Breckenridge from 4-6 p.m
She’ll be back at Hamlet’s Book Shoppe for a book signing at the end of August.

Casper Star Tribune: Adopting Cambodia – by Hannah Wiest

June 17, 2007 By: Kari Category: General No Comments →

On Fathers Day June 17, 2007, the Casper Star Tribune published, in the Range section, three articles about Kari, her family and the Grady Grossman School. The wonderful articles focus on how we are empowering Cambodia’s oppressed through education and how sales of Kari’s book, Bones That Float is supporting our school.

Click here to read the articles.

Blog Book Tour: Exploring Adoption – Interview continued

June 16, 2007 By: Kari Category: General No Comments →

June 16, 2007

More Q & A With Kari Grady Grossman, Author of “Bones that Float: A Story of Adopting Cambodia”

Bones_that_float_2 Today I conclude my two-part interview with Kari Grady Grossman, author of Bones That Float, A Story of Adopting Cambodia.

Laura Christianson: What was the most important thing you learned about yourself during the process of writing Bones that Float? Read the interview…