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Edited by Katie O’Donnell ’07, director of stewardship and alumni relations, the Beaver Bookshelf spotlights titles by alumni authors. If you have an alumni publication you would like to share with the UMF community, please send the details to us at umfalumni@maine.edu. We’ll add titles as we receive them, in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
*Entries marked with an asterisk have been added in the past month.

Kimberlee Bennett ’97

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Paddling Southern Maine

Bennett and Moore’s guide provides directions and descriptions for 54 paddling adventures for those who wish to explore Maine by kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddle board. These day trips allow paddlers to explore beautiful ponds, lakes, slow-moving rivers, protected tidal rivers and saltwater coves. (All appropriate for recreational paddlers)  None of the trips require shuttling or portaging. All of the trips, with only a couple of exceptions, are within an hour’s radius of Portland, Maine.

*Jenn Bogard ’97  

Bogard - ABC

The ABCs of Plum Island Massachusetts

Take your child on a scavenger hunt around Plum Island with this delightful children’s book that celebrates the past and present of Plum Island, Massachusetts. Each letter highlights a special part of Plum Island and includes vivid photographs and short poems. Many of the poems are “found poems” created with words and phrases located on the island: in the signs at the Hellcat Wildlife Observation Area; in the artifacts at the Burgess Museum; in the displays at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center; in a pamphlet from the Marine Fisheries Shellfish Purification Plant and more. Some words are found in old newspaper articles about the island, and you can read the full articles in the book. Peek into the diary of a Plum Island Lighthouse Keeper and his family from the year 1911!

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Bogard - Integrate Arts

Integrating the Arts Across the Content Areas

These professional resources include dynamic activities, concrete examples, and effective strategies through artistic mediums such as storytelling, music/rhythm and visual arts! With creative methods for rewarding results, your students will learn to be well-rounded, successful future learners.

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Scott Bowden ’12

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Introductory Algebra

Bowden’s publication is a low-cost alternative to an expensive traditional Algebra I book. Crafted by a high school Algebra I and II teacher who draws on the experience of teaching those courses, the text starts with a review and discussion of number sense and fluency and then dives into the wonderful ocean that is algebra. Starting with linear expressions, equations, inequalities, and graphs, this text goes through examples in a formulaic, straightforward manner. Ending with quadratic equations, factoring, and graphing, it encompasses everything one could want from an introduction to algebra.

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Sarah Carlson ’90

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The Radiance of Change

Carlson penned her collection of poems in the 12 years following the sudden death of her husband. Part of her process of healing involves an emergence of the written word and deep connections to the natural world. In this collection she blends the two through pairing each poem with digital photography of her experiences hiking and skiing the mountains, walking and biking the woods, and swimming and paddling the rivers and lakes in and around her home in Maine. This book reflects the positive changes that can happen when one chooses to explore within while recovering from and adjusting to difficulties that life inevitably contains.

Louy Castonguay ’89,’94

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My Neighbor’s Keeper — Charlie Henson Book 1

My Neighbor’s Keeper, the first in a series, is centered on retired paramedic Mrs. Charlotte Henson, aka Charlie or Mrs. H. She’s 60 years old and a widow. Her husband, a former police officer, was run down by a drunk driver three years before. Charlie befriends shy 6-year-old Bert, from next door. One evening, Bert comes to her door, dirty, tattered and crying. His mother won’t wake up and his two younger sisters, he says, are hungry. Charlie runs to the rescue, and ends up embroiled in a murder. Bert’s mother is crumpled at the foot of the cellar stairs. When Charlie realizes she’s under surveillance, she sneaks out the back door and down to the river, where her canoe is kept. She gets out on the river, at night, in a rainstorm, goes upriver and travels to a cabin hidden in the woods in order to buy time to solve the crime. Along her journey, she makes friends, and also gets help from her husband’s niece, Louise.

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Kathleen (Strange) Clemons ’79

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All About Textures

Clemons’ 60-page book contains everything you need to know to start adding textures to your photos. From finding, creating, and choosing textures, to four different ways to apply them — this book covers it all. There are also five video links included so that you can watch Clemons demonstrates the techniques covered in the book.

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Jason “Jay” Hawkins ’08

Jay Hawkins

The Greatest Heart

Jason Hawkins’ loved ones published the works in this book with the intention of promoting discussion and creating awareness about the realities of suicide, especially in young people. This collection of writings showcases the beautiful mind of a beloved young man who left us too soon.

Melissa Falcon Field ’97

What Burns Away

What Burns Away

Good wife, good mother. That’s all Claire Spruce is trying to be, but the never-ending snow in this new town and her workaholic husband are making her crazy. Even the sweet face of her toddler son can’t pull her out of the dark places in her head.

Feeling overwhelmed and alone, she reconnects with her long-lost high school boyfriend, Dean, who offers an intoxicating, reckless escape. But Dean’s reappearance is not a coincidence. He wants something from Claire-and she soon finds that the cost of repaying an old favor may lead to the destruction of her entire life.

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Tonya (Pellegrino) Leger ’04

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Saved;

Leger’s poems are enchanting. They bring you through a stage, a moment, a time in life, and have you embrace it fully. There is no way you cannot become mesmerized by her thrilling descriptions. Each phrase you may think of, Leger will take a bit further to make sure that you are put into that part of her life and you are witnessing that moment in time. You are drawn to feel her feelings, to taste her tears, to embrace her moments of happiness. Leger knows how to make a poem go from paper to life. If you take the time to read them, really read them, her poems will show you a world in which you have never been; and you will be all the better for experiencing that type of emotion.

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Katie Marshall ’13

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The Blackbird’s Song

After his mother’s death, Brian suffers severe trauma from his abusive father. When the abuse becomes too much, his mind splits into multiple personalities and starts him down a path of murder and destruction. Lizzie’s life is turned upside down when she is tortured by a serial killer. Now she has to learn to cope with a new school, new friends, and a new life with a sister that she didn’t meet until recently. As Lizzie struggles to discover the identity of the man who ruined her life, people think she’s crazy and suffering from delusions. But when Lizzie finally discovers that Brian was her attacker, the two collide in a battle of survival…

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Katie Marshall-2

A System of the Chaotic Mind

Marshall’s series of short stories tell of everyday people placed in overwhelming situations and beating odds to find more of themselves. They might make you laugh, cry, and think — but regardless of the emotion, they will make you feel.

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Tears Against the Windowpane

Marshall’s collection of poems is dedicated to the struggle of life and the will to continue, regardless of the obstacles. There are poems about life, love, and discovering one’s self in a collection that will leave tears on your pillow and hope in your hearts.

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The Writer

This selection of poems tells of the muse of a writer — and how inspiration can come from the most simple of places.

*Jennifer McGee ’86

Nine Minutes - McGee

Nine Minutes and Counting

Every year Lizzie and her family travel to their favorite spot, Beaver Brook Campground. In the year of this storytelling, Lizzie is nearly 12, entering middle school, and has been temporarily charged with babysitting her 2-year-old brother. Distracted by the allure of the campground, she turns her attention away from her little brother who wanders into the woods, resulting in a tragic series of events. All of this happens in the span of nine minutes. Nine Minutes and Counting brings the reader into Lizzie’s journey as she navigates middle school, her classes, her friendships, and her unraveling home life, all while coping with intense feelings of grief and guilt. The reader experiences this difficult and emotionally raw journey through Lizzie as she encounters a very special teacher and interacts with other middle schoolers who have experienced loss. Middle school students, young adults, parents, teachers, coaches, administrators, and school counselors will come away from the book with insights and tools for coping with their own tragedy, or for helping someone else mired in guilt and grief. Although the story has moments that are dark and gritty, the overall tone is one of hope. Lizzie models strength and resiliency, and the reader will experience her steady march from darkness into the light.

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*R. David Philbrook ’70

Philbrook Short Stories

Sharing Some Short Stories — Eight Science Fiction Adventures

This anthology comprising eight short science fictions stories includes tales of space ghosts that attempt to trap a ship and its crew, mutant beetles that create electrical short circuits aboard a space station, gold-stealing space pirates that put a planet to sleep, telepathic sand crawlers that control a village of farmers, a young village girl setting out to find her kidnapped brother, a hapless spider trapped in a sink, a space culture composed completely of automated entities, and a mind game within the mind.

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Aleena and Elliss

The Adventures of Aleena and Elliss: Book 1, The Protectorate Manipulation

Aleena’s search for her abducted brother, Elliss, and their adventures form the narrative arc of this novel. Space ghosts, telepathic plant-animals, and insulation-eating beetles test their resolve to survive as they deal with the space raiding ViNarians.

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Little Prince and Gargoyle

The Little Prince and the Gargoyle

In a small village there is much sadness. Many of the children are missing and have been carried away by a mean gargoyle that lives in the nearby forest. The king’s son is determined to find the children and return them to the village. He thinks he can trick the gargoyle but he is only a little boy and must be very brave and resourceful.

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*Emily (Coye) Smith ’10

Thumbs Up - Smith

Thumbs Up For All

Everyone deserves a thumbs up! This story, based on a Maine lobster, will bring children on a journey through the eyes of a creature unlike the rest. This lobster will always has a thumbs up, thereby sharing his positive outlook on life everywhere he goes. Throughout this story he learns to embrace difference by finding his inner courage, while teaching others to do the same.

Jan Elizabeth Watson ’97

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Asta in the Wings

Asta in the Wings is a poignant and often darkly funny story narrated by Asta Hewitt, a resourceful 7-year-old growing up in an isolated house in Bond Brook, Maine. Shut off from the outside world and restricted to the company of a delusional mother and a bookish older brother, Asta is content to be part of a “society of three,” constructing fanciful, theatrical worlds of their own. When circumstances push her into a strange outside world— with all of its discontents — Asta must find a way to assimilate while remaining true to herself and her fractured family.

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what has become of you

What Has Become of You

What Has Become of You follows Vera Lundy, an aspiring crime writer and master of self-deprecation who, like many adults, has survived adolescence but hasn’t entirely overcome it. When she agrees to fill in for a private school English teacher on maternity leave, teaching The Catcher in the Rye to privileged girls, Vera feels in over her head. The students are on edge, too, due to the recent murder of a local girl close to their age.

Enter Jensen Willard. At 15 she’s already a gifted writer but also self-destructive and eerily reminiscent of Vera’s younger self. As the two outcasts forge a tentative bond, a sense of menace enfolds their small New England town. When another student, new to the country, is imperiled by her beliefs, Vera finds herself in the vortex of danger — and suspicion.

With the threat of a killer at large, the disappearance of her increasingly worrisome pupil, and her own professional reputation at stake, Vera must thread her way among what is right by the law, by her students, and by herself. In this poignant page-turner, populated with beguiling characters and sharp social insights, coming-of-age can happen no matter how old you are.

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