At Home on the Kazakh Steppe

by Janet Givens

Janet Givens, formerly of Hudson, published her experiences about her time in Kazakhstan with her husband, leaving behind a promising career, her home, two new grand babies and her beloved dog. Feeling the stresses of a difficult new language, surprising cultural differences and unexpected changes in her husband, Givens questions the loss of all she's given up. Will it be worth it?

Givens lived in Hudson and raised both of her sons here. They graduated from Hudson High in 1991 and 1994. She received her bachelor degree from NYU and her masters degree from Kent State University. In addition to her work with the Peace Corps and as a writer, she was the first Development Director for the Akron Symphony, Director of Development at the Akron Art Museum, and Finance Director for the Tom Sawyer's Campaign Committee.

Cuyahoga's Child: Growing Up in the Valley of the Crooked River

by Jeffrey Knowles or

Former Northfield resident Jeffrey Knowles recently published his memoir, "Cuyahoga's Child: Growing Up in the Valley of the Crooked River."

He writes of an Ohio ghost town, Jaite, a tiny little backwater town with only 2 streets and odd dorm-like houses. Freight trains rumbled through the nearly empty village, past the dead paper mill and vacant company housing. Just to the east of the river lay the faint impression of the Ohio & Erie

Canal. Now upwards of three million visitors visit what has become the Cuyahoga Valley National Park each year, a treasure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Knowles retired in 2004 after a thirty-year research career in criminal justice and his written two other books, "What of the Night? A Journal Through Depression and Anxiety" and "Integrity with Two Eyes: An Insider's Slant on the Moral Climate of Government".

The Truth Is...Confessions and Tips from an Elementary School Teacher

by Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas pened her experiences as a teacher in "The Truth Is...Confessions and Tips from an Elementary School Teacher." The book reveals the changes in the schools over time and the overload of regulations, requirements and paperwork elementary teachers have to deal with while trying to teach.

Thomas grew up in Boston Heights and attended Hudson schools from 1958-71. She was a member of the Hudson Players and played Eliza Doolittle in 1972 in "My Fair Lady", and continued doing theatre at Brigham Young University, where she received a Bachelor's of Science degree with a minor in music.

She taught elementary education for 28 years in the public schools and received various awards for creativity in the classroom

One Penny on Top of Another: A Korean Immigrant's Journey from Poverty to Wealth

by Ruth Kim

Ruth Kim, a Hudson business woman, wrote a memoir, "One Penny on Top of Another: A Korean Immigrant's Journey from Poverty to Wealth." Her book is the story of how she was able to create the life of her dreams by stacking one penny on top of another. She believes that most people have two main concerns: Money and health. She tells how she was able to save money, make her house a home and maintain it efficiently and beautifully.

Kim was born in South Korea, and attended fashion school in Chicago on a student visa, eventually designing clothes for models. She moved to Hudson 35 years ago and started her own formal dress-making and alterations business.


by Julie Frey

Earlier this year, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens announces the release of the first two books in a series about the Estate. Now available for purchase are. Written by Stan Hywet curator Julie Frey, the books are available at Molly's Shop at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 North Portage Path in Akron.

The Seiberling Family is a look at three generations of the Seiberlings, and is a companion piece augmenting this year's exhibit, Our Family, in the Manor House, which features stories of the Seiberlings through family photos, letters and memorabilia. New information and photos, part of ongoing research about the Seiberling family, is featured in this book.

The Gate Lodge tells the story of the founding place of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 at Stan Hywet's Gate Lodge, with cover art of the Gate Lodge by local artist Mary White.

The Kindness Badge

by Sarah Paczak Chappell and Lorraine Paczak, with illustrations by Julia Kershaw

Media Release

The Kindness Badge


The Kindness Badge helps teach children to feel the intrinsic joy that comes from selfless acts of kindness. It is a conversation starter intended to allow young minds to explore how they might spread kindness; learning that kindness is where one finds true happiness.

Sarah Paczak Chappell°of Twinsburg is a board certified music therapist who works with a variety of populations- from adults in hospice care to children and teens with cognitive disabilities. She believes children learn best when they are allowed to think creatively and make inferences independently, which fosters an increased sense of self-confidence.

Lorraine Paczak of Reminderville (Co-author)°holds a bachelors degree in special education and elementary education and has her masters in curriculum and instruction. °After 35 years of teaching in the public schools, Lorraine is enjoying retirement and is blessed to spend her time pursuing unexplored passions. Having always wanted to write a children's book, Lorraine was encouraged to fulfill this dream with help from her daughter. ° °

Julia Kershaw obtained her bachelors degree in graphic design from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and currently resides in Findlay, Ohio as a marketing and business analyst. °