By Kathryn Rice
Irene Alexander, Barnard, has authored her sixth book, “The New Student – El Alumno Nuevo,” and it is in English and Spanish.
Alexander, the South Nodaway Spanish teacher, explains that the story is about a Hispanic boy who goes to a new school. The book is dedicated to the people of Mercedes, TX, where Alexander began her teaching career.
This book joins Alexander’s other titles, “The Boy who had Nine Cats,” “Harry the Horse and the Five Fleas,” “Real Stories,” “Carrie’s Catch” and “True Heart,” which are all for sale at the Nodaway News Leader.
Alexander describes her books as read-aloud stories for parents and children. Alexander credits her love of writing to her elementary school teacher, Helen Dixon, who encouraged her to write down ideas.
“This made an impression on me that my ideas were worthwhile,” Alexander said.
In each of her books, Alexander tells a story with a life lesson. “Carrie’s Catch” is about a girl dealing with her grandfather’s death. “The New Student” is about acceptance and different cultures.
“It’s kind of fun to incorporate things into the stories, as well as little things that family and friends may know about,” she said. “Hopefully, people will find something in my books that might be helpful.”
Alexander’s friend, retired Albany art teacher Ann S. Hogue, illustrates all of Alexander’s books.
Alexander is working on her seventh book about her cat, Mama B. Although the cat had only three legs, it wouldn’t accept this as a handicap.
After Mama B’s book, Alexander may gather her series of columns, Young at Heart, into a book. She has written the column, about life before 1980, for six years for the St. Joseph News Press.
“I’m thankful for my editor, Julie Casey, who publishes local authors,” she said.
Alexander showed Casey her first book manuscript at a Maryville Writer’s Guild meeting. Casey referred it to Amazing Things Press which has published all six of Alexander’s works.