The two books are “Talking Through Reading and Writing” by OMS eighth-grade teacher Dan Rose and local professor Christine Walsh, and “The World is Mine: A Message of Love and Loss” by OMS special education teacher Nikki VandenBerg, who writes under the pen name Everly Cade.
OMS Principal Mary Beth Fierro shared the big news with staff via email to announce the authors had been published and applauded them for their efforts.
“They’ve worked very hard to get these books published and it serves as another example for students and staff alike that hard work pays off in the end,” said Fierro. “We are incredibly excited for them and proud they’re on our team here at the middle school.”
Below is a brief look at each book:
Talking Through Reading and Writing
Rose and Walsh teamed up and spent “well over three years” from initial idea to publication of the book, in which there are many examples of rich literacy conversations between a teacher and his 8th grade students that never would have occurred face to face in the classroom.
“The book is interesting for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons we think the book is special is because it contains student voices, actual Reading Journal entries from students who are currently going through the Oswego City School District,” said Rose. “The book gives real voice to middle level readers: their successes, their failures, their frustrations, their accomplishments.”
Rose noted the book, which is also available digitally, offers insight into the reading process, especially with regard to motivation and confidence building, for students, parents, administrators and other teachers.
Students write about what happens when they read or don’t read, how they feel about reading, how they’re connecting with characters and ideas, why they don’t have enough time to read, and what their reading goals are, and their teacher writes back to them. After each conversation there is some “meta-talk” that shines a light on what the conversation has taught us about this language learner and how this “data” is informing our beliefs and practices.
Rose has been teaching eighth graders to become more independent readers and writers for almost two decades. He lives in Oswego, with his wife, Kelly, and three kids, Sebastian, Sydney and Ellie.
Walsh is a visiting assistant professor at the State University of New York, Oswego, PDS (Professional Development School) liaison, and literacy coach/consultant. She lives in Baldwinsville, with her husband, Brian, son, James and golden retriever, Bailey.
The book is available at rowman.com and an eBook version is available for totally virtual viewing.
The World is Mine: A Message of Love and Loss
VandenBerg’s book, illustrated by Terri Einer, is described as a heartwarming children’s picture book that shares the journey of a family of whooping cranes living their best life, living with loss and living on.
“I have been writing my whole life in one way or another and have a collection of stories that I am working towards publishing,” said VandenBerg. “I’m continuing to work with the same illustrator of the World Is Mine for the sequel/follow up, which is a sweet story of love, loss and honoring our loved ones that have passed on from a sibling’s perspective.”
It is the first book published under VandenBerg’s penname Everly Cade, which is a combination of her children’s first and middle names.
She has a Master's Degree in Special Education and has spent the last 15 years “working with amazing children,” she said. VandenBerg is a lover of everything sun, sand and sea, but especially loves her husband, her four children, and their newest baby; a mini Goldendoodle named Winston.
The book is available on Amazon.