Book recommendation, “Duck Dreams”

Today it’s possible for a person to self-publish a book in an hour, it seems, and many people will never know the difference—unless they are librarians within the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh or reviewers for the likes of Kirkus or School Library Journal. Neither the library system nor the national reviewers will review a self-published work, and for good reason. Most are simply terrible books.
But one exception is a book entitled Duck Dreams by the writer Dr. Elizabeth Segel. Elizabeth, belovedly called Betty, has an English PhD, has published several books with trade publishers, edited two wonderful volumes, and co-founded the extraordinary organization called “Beginning with Books.”
Duck Dreams underwent professional scrutiny by various editors and members of a bi-monthly writing group. Editors of large publishing houses were impressed enough with her book to take the time to give rare explanations for their eventual rejections. Betty took those comments completely to heart.
The result: a historical novel about a Jewish boy moving with his family out of the city to the suburbs where he begins to hone his skills as a farmer. Based on family stories from Betty’s husband, the Duck Dreams protagonist, Simon, struggles and succeeds and, above all, learns from his efforts. Simon’s adventures in this lovely novel give an amusing and poignant read.


About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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