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Review: Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos

Purchase on Amazon |  Barnes and Noble

Purchase on Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Matt Mikalatos offers a poignant and compassionate look at a father’s relationship with his children, the healing power of a small act of kindness, and the certainty that even death can’t stop love in a deeply moving memoir inspired by a sky lantern with a scribbled note and the journey to find the child who wrote it.

“Love you, Dad. Miss you so much. Steph.”

A brokenhearted daughter scribbled those words on a sky lantern before setting it aloft. She had no way of knowing the lantern would fly halfway across the country.

Matt Mikalatos found the lantern, broken and crushed, the words still legible. As a father of three daughters, Matt could not let Steph’s heart-wrenching note go unanswered, but he wasn’t sure where he could find her. So he posted an open letter to her on his blog, which went viral overnight. Little did he know how that small act of kindness would lead him to the real Steph and change his family’s life in remarkable ways.

A poignant and lyrical account of the beauty and wonder of domestic life, Sky Lantern tells the miraculous events that followed Matt finding the sky lantern in his yard—of meeting Steph and forming a friendship that impacted him and his family—proving that the bond between a parent and their child is lasting and far-reaching.

Sky Lantern will bring a tear to your eyes and a smile to your face as you fall in love with Matt and his family in this heartwarming, beautifully written memoir.


Inspired by a sky lantern with a scribbled note, Sky Lantern by Matt Mikalatos is a memoir of his journey to find the person who wrote it. In its simplest form, the book took on much more of a meaning than that. Matt, father of three girls, stumbled upon a sky lantern in his yard one day and teetered on whether or not he would leave it alone or search for the person who wrote. Putting himself in the situation, he decided to take a chance, wrote a letter to Steph on his blog and waited to see if anything would happen. The impact of the letter and the journey that transpired over a series of events not only impacted his life but through this act of kindness inspired and transformed so many others.

If you are a parent, this is definitely one that will reinforce the love you have for a child. If you are someone who lost a parent, it is definitely one that will give you comfort and leave you feeling loved. Life is so short and many people never get the chance to say “I love you” or share how they feel about a person. Many times, you just don’t get a chance to tell a person how you feel about them. There is for so many that one hope that reflects back if only and then you encounter a moment of the concept of how people or things come into our life to show you something, this is what this book is all about. You have Steph who lost her father and sends this sky lantern to tell him how much she loves him and ironically the person who received it is a father who has all the love in the world for his girls and through this encounter is driven and inspired to make sure they know. What makes this book so special is not only when he wrote a letter to Steph but how this experience inspires letters to his own daughters that will make your heart leap and appreciate that bond between a parent and a child.

This is a quick, easy read that you will find easy to connect with. This is such a beautiful story with a great message that will resonate and hopefully inspire you in your own life. I highly recommend and will say you will probably need to grab the Kleenex box. To sum this up, there is a passage from the book that I think says it all, “This book is for people with questions about what it means to love, to be loved, and to love well. It’s for anyone who has had a parent relationship: absent, complicated, or amazing. It’s about embracing the truth about ourselves: that we are worthy of love, and that love makes our lives worth living.” 

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