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Lions line bookshelves with a range of stories

Using the power of prose, nine Lions have authored a collection of stories, ranging from young adult literature to historical accounts to two of baseball’s biggest same-city rivals. Some of the works have been recognized in competitions and by national news outlets for their compelling narratives. Congratulations to all of our authors!

Morgan Baden ’01, a long-time ghostwriter, penned her first novel with her husband, Barry Lyga. The young adult novel, The Hive (Kids Can Press), was named to People Magazine’s Best Books of Fall 2019 list.

About the book: The Hive follows 17-year-old Cassie, falsely branded and on the run from a deadly, state-sanctioned mob. Aided by a shadowy underground network, Cassie becomes an unlikely heroine as her search for the truth makes her a threat to the entire unjust system.

Sarah Blake ’06 won the debut fiction category from the Jewish Book Council for Naamah (Penguin Random House).

About the book: In fresh and modern language, Blake revisits the story of the Ark that rescued life on earth and rediscovers the agonizing burdens endured by the woman at the heart of the story. Naamah is a parable for our time: a provocative fable of body, spirit, and resilience.

Neil Boumpani ’80, MA ’81 and Lea Landolfi ’81, MEd ’83 co-authored Sing It, Dance It, Play It, Learn It (Seven Horns Publishing), a book of songs that teach life lessons to young children.

About the book: Sing It, Dance It, Play It, Learn It! is a collection of 28 original songs, many of which deal with problems and situations that our children confront daily. Each song has a related lesson plan that deals with life situations through discussion, song, and music in an enjoyable way.

Angela Cleveland MEd ’11 wrote a children’s book, Coding Capers: Luci and the Missing Robot (National Center for Youth Issues). She is also the author of 50+ Tech Tools for School Counselors: How to Be More Engaging, Efficient, and Effective.

About the book: Join Luci and her friends as they go on an adventure to find a missing robot! In the process they learn the foundational concepts of coding, the increasing capabilities of technology, and the power of persistence.

Chris Donnelly ’03 recalls the 1985 New York Yankees and Mets team dynamics in his book, Doc, Donnie, The Kid, and Billy Brawl: How the 1985 Mets and Yankees Fought for New York’s Baseball Soul (University of Nebraska Press). The hardcover and audiobook earned the top spot for new releases in mid-Atlantic U.S. biographies on Amazon.

About the book: Doc, Donnie, the Kid, and Billy Brawl focuses on the 1985 New York baseball season, a season like no other since the Mets came to town in 1962. Never before had both the Yankees and the Mets been in contention for the playoffs so late in the same season. For months New York fans dreamed of the first Subway Series in nearly 30 years, and the Mets and the Yankees vied for their hearts.

Christine Keenan Fagan, a national exchange student at Trenton State College in 1985–86, wrote a book titled The Expedition (She Writes Press). Christine and her husband were the first American married couple to ski without guide, resupply, or other assistance to the South Pole.

About the book: Meet Chris and Marty—a married couple working on their careers, raising their only child, and chasing big adventures. At midlife, they suddenly find themselves weighing the responsibility of parenthood against the possibility of one more grand adventure, before their aging bodies and the warming continent of Antarctica further degrade. They ultimately decide it’s time to pursue their biggest dream: Ski 570 miles from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole.

Maria Pratt Hopper ’62, a professional genealogist and retired teacher, has spent the past 20 years as the Montvale, New Jersey historian. In celebration of the town’s 125th anniversary, Hopper has penned the history of the borough for the Images of America (Arcadia Publishing) series.

About the book: Montvale is a small borough of approximately 4.5 square miles in the picturesque Pascack Valley in northeastern Bergen County, New Jersey. How the borough grew from a small farming community to a population of nearly 9,000 in 2019 is told through the use of vintage photographs.

James Queally ’09 draws on his extensive experience as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times in his debut novel, Line of Sight (Polis Books).

About the book: All favors come with a cost, and after using what little favors he has in the Newark PD to get his private investigators license, former crime reporter Russell Avery finds himself paying. He spends his days reluctantly keeping sideways cops out of the crosshairs of the Internal Affairs department. Until Keyonna Jackson, a social justice activist, presents him with a troubling video: a made-for-YouTube cell phone snippet chronicling the same kind of questionable use-of-force that had set New York City, Ferguson, and Cleveland on fire in recent years. The same use-of-force that he’s been covering up for Newark PD.


— David Pavlak

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