“Kelsey Shining Bright” is the first release by 18-year-old Cailean Geary, a student at Villanova.
This middle-grade novel focuses on Kelsey, a bubbly 12-year-old girl who is Deaf and faces the struggles of making friends and joining her school’s running team as a result. Her courage, patience and pride are tested during a school year filled with new relationships, secrets, encounters with bullies, stark differences and striving for her to realize who she truly is – a girl of many colors.
“This beautifully written book captures the reader from the first vivid descriptions of the end of summer for the 12-year-old, to the awkward first steps of becoming friends with a new neighbor,” says Kathleen Zwiebel, chair of judging standards at the Columbia Scholastic Press Association of Columbia University. “It is a captivating story with the themes of family, forgiveness, friendship and acceptance seamlessly interwoven.”
Geary began writing the novel four years ago in memory of her late uncle who was Deaf. After a chance connection with her sister’s high school peer via Facebook this past fall, she submitted the manuscript to Loyola’s Apprentice House, the only student-run, campus-based publishing house in the nation.