Thursday, August 31, 2017

Alumna Barbara Carney-Coston publishes young reader’s novel set in Michigan’s Copper Country


Barbara Carney-Coston (AB ’73, TeachCert ’73, AM ’76) published To The Copper Country: Mihaela’s Journey, which is available through Wayne State University Press. This story is set in 1886, and it features 11-year-old Mihaela, a girl who immigrates from Croatia to Michigan’s Copper Country with her mother and brothers.

The novel is based on Carney-Coston’s own ancestors who immigrated from Croatia to Michigan. Like many immigrants, they had to make sacrifices and assimilate into a new culture. Carney-Coston, herself, spent many summers in northern Michigan before moving to Washington, DC. She currently works as a media producer, writer, and educator. 

To the Copper Country contains a narrative as well as recipes, a pronunciation guide, and a bibliography. Readers can also learn the ways in which Mihaela’s family’s experience parallels that of modern-day immigrants. In this way, Carney-Coston’s book teaches both history and empathy. Reviewers call this book “engaging,” “relevant,” “meticulously researched,” and “believable.”

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