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Kate Banks, Children’s Author Who Wrote About Grief, Dies at 64

Kate Banks, who, despite personal tragedy and debilitating illness, became an award-winning author of children’s books and young-adult novels that captured the wonder of youth while also confronting fear and grief, died on Feb. 24 in Basel, Switzerland. She was 64.

The cause was medically assisted death, following a Stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis in 2022, her sister Amy Banks said.

Ms. Banks had mast cell activation syndrome, a disorder of the immune system, and had been unable to undergo standard cancer treatments or take most medications, including those for pain.

Despite the ailment, which she had suffered for decades, and the lingering trauma from the murder of her father when she was in college, Ms. Banks was prolific, having published more than 50 books since the late 1980s.

A Maine native, she drew inspiration for her work from a childhood spent among the woods and rocky beaches of her home state.

The cover of Ms. Banks’s 2001 book, “A Gift From the Sea.”Credit…Farrar, Straus and Giroux
“That’s Papa’s Way” (2009). Ms. Banks drew inspiration from her childhood in Maine.Credit…Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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