LISTEN to today's show with special guest Alyson Richman!
Teacher Appreciation Day, which takes place annually on the first Tuesday in May, is quickly approaching on May 7, 2019! Internationally bestselling author Alyson Richman's latest novel, THE SECRET OF CLOUDS (Berkley Hardcover; On Sale February 19, 2019) is an emotionally charged story of a dedicated teacher who works with a student with a rare illness, and how each is shaped and changed by the other.
In an interview, Richman will talk about the following topics:
The book was inspired by one of Richman’s dear friends, a teacher in Richman’s native Long Island, NY, who shared how she once tutored a child who was too sick to attend school, and realized a decade later what a lasting impression this student had on her life.
Richman’s friend also shared a special lesson she uses in all of her classes. Each year, this teacher has students write letters to their future selves, and she then seals these letters in addressed envelopes and keeps them in a drawer for years. When these students are set to graduate high school, Richman’s friend mails the letters back. Richman was so moved by this story that she decided to incorporate it into her book.
Richman did extensive research to inform the novel, particularly into the teaching methods and lesson plans that she describes. She selected such methods because they are based on first-hand accounts of use in Long Island school districts.
Various teachers inspired Richman to become a writer – and their lasting impact is with her still today.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In THE SECRET OF CLOUDS, Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev, Ukraine. Years later, after the couple has safely immigrated to America, the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition that isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher, agrees to tutor Yuri at his home, even though she is haunted by her own painful childhood memories. As the two forge a deep and soulful connection, Yuri’s boundless curiosity and unique wisdom inspire Maggie to make difficult changes in her own life. And she'll never realize just how strong Yuri has made her—until she needs that strength the most.