Category: Published

Published: What a Children’s Book Taught Me (and My Students) About Grief

Michelle Cuevas’s powerful children’s book, The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole, features prominently in my essay about navigating grief while preparing for my new role as an English teacher at North Country School.  Independent School Magazine passed on my work with a personalized rejection and a website for school counselors ignored me altogether, so I pitched the piece to the Greater Good Science Center based at UC Berkeley.  I’d been a huge fan of Greater Good for years before I attended their weeklong Summer Institute for Educators in 2015. Shout out to Family #11!! That experience transformed my personal and professional life. The organization’s articles, courses, and resources continue to help me shape my goals inside and outside the classroom. You can read the essay here: What a Children’s Book Taught Me (and My Students) DECEMBER 2021: Yay for me! I made GGSC’s list (#4!!) of Best Education Articles of 2021

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Published: What’s Your Grief – Books & Broken Hearts

The website What’s Your Grief published a piece I wrote this summer. It highlights three contemporary middle-grade books that are ideal for facilitating meaningful conversations and classroom activities about trauma, grief, and loss with students. I’ll admit I was drawn to Rob Harrell’s book, Wink, because of the cover. The orange pops and the simple illustration is eye-catching (pun intended). The fictional story of Ross Maloy is based on Harrell’s real-life trials of going through middle school with a rare eye cancer. As I do with most books I preview for sharing with students, I listened to this book and then checked out the physical copy from my school’s library. One of Harrell’s masterful lines resonated with me each time: Eventually, the day got dark and ran out the way even the worst days do.     Rajani LaRocca’s debut is all about duality: family traditions and fitting in, gains and losses, life and death. An art teacher at North Country School recommended the work to me and its lyrical prose did not disappoint. Reha is the main character, an Indian-American teen in the mid-1980s, who tells her story in one powerful stanza after another. In addition to working as a writer, LaRocca is also a medical doctor. I can’t say enough about Michelle Cuevas’s sweet book, complete with whimsical illustrations, about young Stella and her black hole, Larry. This story includes so much about grief (Stella’s dad died) and growth (navigating out of the black hole) in real and…

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