New York Life Foundation

Lost in the Middle

Agency: Anomaly


When children process grief for the first time, parents and caregivers often struggle to find the right words to help them navigate their grief. According to a COVID Collab/Hidden Pain study, the COVID-19 pandemic has left more than 300,000 American children without a parent or caregiver, creating widespread need for a new resource to help this group of bereaved families navigate their grief through collective healing.

In light of the effects of COVID-19, the New York Life Foundation, in collaboration with its creative agency of record, Anomaly, has drawn inspiration from the pandemic's impact to shape the underlying message of Lost in The Middle, a graphic novel centered on collective healing and grief. The New York Life Foundation has granted more than $415M in charitable contributions across the United States since its founding in 1979 and more than $70 million in the childhood bereavement space.

The book, Lost in the Middle, follows eighth grader Kai as he sets out to help incoming middle schoolers transitioning to a new school handle problems big and small, all the while growing through his own grief journey. It builds on the 2020 series, Kai’s Journey, a film and three-book series dedicated to children and families who have experienced the death of a loved one. It’s about a little boy named Kai who, together with his mom, learns how to navigate a profound death in their family. The series strives to provide guidance and support as they embark on this lifelong journey of learning to better understand, process, and communicate their grief.

This latest iteration tackles difficult topics tied to grief and loss of middle school experiences, from smaller things like moving away from friends to the death of important people in their lives. By showcasing how Kai and his school community grieve and grow together, the book provides a strong example of how to tackle these complex and difficult topics to move towards collective healing.

All of the books are translated into Spanish, along with additional resources like parent and educator discussion guides. New York Life Foundation also created discussion guides for educators and families to promote productive conversation around difficult topics, including how to collectively grieve and heal.

This professional campaign titled 'Lost in the Middle' was published in United States in October, 2023. It was created for the brand: New York Life Foundation, by ad agency: Anomaly. This Integrated medium campaign is related to the Public Interest industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 5 months ago.


Creative Agency of Record: Anomaly
Illustrator: Genie Espinosa
Production Company: Jelly
New York Life Foundation President: Heather Nesle
New York Life Foundation Vice President: Maria Collins
VP, Chief Brand & Creative Officer: Kari Axberg
Corporate Vice President, Brand Marketing: Fernando Urruchua
Corporate Vice President, Brand Marketing: Melissa Allred

Kamineni Hospitals


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