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The Alumni Library

All books were written by Okemos Alumni, Teachers, staff or their friends, relatives or guests.  Books are listed in order by Author.  Availability will be noted as "<Click to Read/Download>" (the free eBook) or if the book can be "</Order>" (Purchased).


~ Welcome to The Alumni Library ~

We'd like to list your book here, and if you're interested, you can donate a copy of your book(s) to the OHS Library.

 


Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams

by Anthony Ianni class of 2007 and Rob Keast 

Release date: September 7, 2021

"They don't know me. They don't know what I'm capable of." Diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, as a toddler, Anthony Ianni wasn't expected to succeed in school or participate in sports, but he had other ideas. As a child, Ianni told anybody who would listen, including head coach Tom Izzo, that he would one day play for the Michigan State Spartans.

Centered: Autism, Basketball, and One Athlete's Dreams is the firsthand account of a young man's social, academic, and athletic struggles and his determination to reach his goals. In this remarkable memoir, Ianni reflects on his experiences with both basketball and the autism spectrum. Centered, an inspirational sports story in the vein of Rudy, reveals Ianni to be unflinching in his honesty, generous in his gratitude, and gracious in his compassion.


The Sweetness of Freedom: Stories of Immigrants 

by Martha Aladjem Bloomfield and Stephen Garr Ostrander class of 1973.

 Release date: August 27, 2010

The Sweetness of Freedom presents an eclectic grouping of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigrants' narratives and the personal artifacts, historical documents, and photographs these travelers brought on their journeys to Michigan. Most of the oral histories in this volume are based on interviews conducted with the immigrants themselves. Steve Ostrander was historian at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing for 31 years.


An Irish Wife: A Novel  

by Deborah Lincoln class of 1968.

Release date: April 20, 2021

The business of coal dramatically transforms life in the bucolic Pennsylvania valley Harry Robinson’s family has called home for generations. Ambitious industrialists reap huge windfalls and Europe’s laborers flock to America’s shores to seek their fortunes. Cultures mix and clash and all too often erupt. When Harry meets Niamh, the newly arrived bride of an Irish miner, he begins to realize the extent of the prejudices that stalk the local immigrants. As he undertakes the job of tutoring her younger brother, a bond begins to grow between Harry and Niamh, and he finds himself falling in love for the first time. When Niamh shows up one day bloodied and bruised, Harry is determined to take her away, despite her religious scruples and the disapproval of his family. Still, he tells himself that love is all that matters. But a disaster in the mine changes everything, offering Harry hope and Niamh heartbreak. And both young lovers must ask themselves: Is love enough?


The Uncomfortable History of Christianity 

by Andrew Linnell class of 1968.

  • Publisher: Threefold Publishing (December 13, 2020)
  • "This book details the dramatic changes to Christian theology from Early Christianity into the Renaissance. Once, Art, Science, and Religion were one. But, by the time of the Renaissance, they had split apart. When Christianity began, the door to experiencing the spiritual world had shut. Materialism ruled. Even dreams no longer provided sound spiritual guidance. The mystery centers themselves, were no longer able to bring students to full initiation. When we look at the Golden Age of Greece, before Rome and Christianity had entered the stage of history, we find that humanity believed that they were guided by inspirations attained through their ancient mystery centers. Such centers were found everywhere in the ancient world. This book traces this history, through the time when Christianity essentially became the religion of the Roman Empire to well after Rome fell and when the Church drifted deep into corruption. We explore the multiple Christianities and the brutality that many faced who had not become part of the Orthodox and later the Roman Catholic Church. It is indeed an uncomfortable history for what is called Christianity."

Ready, Set, Go!

by John O. Grettenberger class of 1955

* Princess Di & Presidents

* Champions & Movie Stars

* Heads of State & Heads of Industry

* Flying Concords to Birthday Parties!

* The Amazing Story of Hometown Hero...The Legend…The Autobiography


Alumni Authors and Teacher Authors - Their Books on display

by OHS Librarian Sandy Fields

Several Alumni Authors visited the High School 2017-2018. 

Their books are on display outside of the OHS Library.

* Several Teachers at the High School are Authors and Editors

* The Okemos High School Librarian is Mrs. Sandy Fields

* Donate your books to the OHS Library and list them on the OAA Website!

 


Elizabeth Ann Atkins class of 1985

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Atkins Greenspan class of 1986

 

 

 

 

 

 


Historical books below are from the desk of our OAA Historian,

~ Sherrie Paty Barber class of 1966 ~

 

 

 

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Okemos Consolidated School

by Sherrie Paty Barber class of 1966

Read all about the Grettenberger/Benjamin boardroom fight!  "STRONG WORDS HURLED...conflagration...fracas!"  Meridian Twp Board of Public Instruction, Nov. 6, 1919  

<Click the book to Read//Download>

"...ours (pupils) have to walk as far as two miles through all kinds of weather...contracted with Mrs. Dormer ($400 a year) to transport seven children, the three and a half miles between their homes and the schools...(by) team and wagon!" 

The contentious beginnings of Okemos Consolidated School..."Before the conflagration was extinguished, Dormer and William Grettenberger ceased to be members of the board.."!

~~~~~

A Circle of Friends: Thirteen Okemos graduates from the 1890s 

Okemos, Michigan 1951   

by Sherrie Paty Barber class of 1966

Inspired by a 1951 newspaper notice of a gathering, Sherrie, links biographies of 3rd generation families to the pioneers of Okemos.

<Click the Book to Read/Download>

** The Okemos Alumni Association would like to print this book for all the area libraries.  Please send a donation if you would like to help.   Rod Ellis '65      

~~~~~

The History of Chief Okemos  

by Sherrie Paty Barber class of 1966

"...was made chief...not by heritage, but by virture of his judgement, bravery and qualities of leadership."

 -The Complete story-  

<Click the Book to Read/Download>

~ The Okemos Alumni Association would like to print this book for all the area libraries.  Please send a donation if you would like to help.   Rod Ellis '65       

~~~~~

The Bath School Explosion of 1927    

by Sherrie Paty Barber class of 1966

Known as the "deadliest act of school violence in U.S. history". "The blast was planned and set off by a crazed farmer who had worked out a scheme to destroy the entire community.  His name was Andrew P. Kehoe.The tragedy took 46 lives and injured 58 others.  There were 38 children among the victims along with the school superintendent and two teachers."

"Miss Hazel Weatherby, 22, of Howard City, a teacher in the Bath school went to her tragic death Wednesday morning trying to save the lives of two of her pupils, it was shown when her body..."the happy voices of little children were turned to screams of pain and death when a terrific explosion destroyed a large portion of the Bath Consolidated school".

Sherrie retells the horrific story that froze the nation.  Her gripping account is retold through eye witness' and survivors of that holocaust.  As we have learned through her hundreds of biographies and obituaries on the Okemos Alumni website, Sherrie is the consummate biographer and historian.  This book is a must read for every Okemos connected person and their children and grandchildren...Thankyou, Sherrie, for this most important document.                                                             <click the book to Read/Download>

~ The Okemos Alumni Association would like to print this book for all the area libraries.  Please send a donation if you would like to help.   Rod Ellis '65


by Parney Jean Bassett '50


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Giants in Their Realms: Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind

by Kerry Byrnes class of 1963  

Kerry is a world traveler who worked in Agricultural Development over the past 40+ years in 37 countries of the developing world. Along the way Kerry encountered a lot of interesting people: world leaders, sports figures, writers, thinkers, entertainers, and celebrities...from the famous to the infamous, among others. Kerry reflects on those encounters and their impact, large or small, on his professional and personal life. I found this voluminous memoir interesting in the people I was not familiar with, intriguing with the familiar figures, and fascinating with the characters I thought I knew!  I recommend you download the book and read about familiar personalities first (order is not important). The more vignettes you read, the greater insight you will have to Kerry's personality of (dry) humor, intelligence, and integrity...Rod Ellis '65

CLICK EACH VOLUME TO READ/DOWNLOAD:   Vol. 1    Vol. 2    Vol. 3    Vol. 4    Vol. 5    Vol. 6 


On Assignment with Kerry:  Memorable Moments from 40+ Years of Travel to the Developing World 

by Kerry Byrnes, Class of 1963

When I started this project, my goal was not to reach an audience looking for a travel guide to the Third World. Nor did I set out to suggest places that you, as a tourist, might want to see or things you might enjoy doing in the Third World. That was not my goal.  Rather I sought to reach an audience that would find it interesting to read personal anecdotes about things I saw or did, or that happened to me, during the 40+ years I traveled to and carried out short-term assignments in the developing countries.  KJB

 


Hooked on Gigabytes

by Kerry Byrnes, Class of 1963

If you grew up between 1958 and 1970, this will really take you back. If before '58 or after '70, I'm guessing you will have no idea what Kerry is talking about!  Kerry grew up in the golden age of technology and innovation...Hi-Fi (not Wi-Fi!), quality sound was everything...cool. Launching (anything) into space was unbelievable and landing on the moon, much less launching "apps" from a smart phone...far out!  A few years after the moon, we started hearing about computers that worked with disks instead of punch cards. Well, get ready for one of those "I had one of those" moments followed by "hey, what ever happened to my..." moments. A fun read. From one gadget guy to another, thanks for the ride, Kerry! (Rod Ellis '65)

 


Kerry Byrnes (in town) Class of 1963      His latest book is about the Okemos basketball players that played varsity basketball at Michigan State.  Doing research, he interviewed Kristen Rasmussen, class of 1996 and former WNBA player.   Kristen is also the new womens basketball coach at Okemos!  Rod Ellis was taking pictures when Kristen's daughter, Aria offered to save me the effort by drawing a perfect picture of mommie, complete with tiara.   

Then next day, we were off to interview Gus Ganakas, MSU basketball coach about two Okemos players, Joe Shackelton and Greg Lott.  Gus' daughter Gail took this picture so that I could stand next to possibly the most gratious and humble ledgendary coach I have ever met!

Click Here to Read "The Chieftain Fourteen"!



A History of Okemos Methodist/Community Church

by Dr. David S. Evans with Lyle Blackledge class of 1950

A wonderful history of the church, congregation and area with added material by Ruth Stillman, Thelma Lamb and Mary Roney.  This historical project was underwritten by the Breckenfeld family as a dedication to their parents, Helen and Dr. I.J. (Breck) Breckenfeld.

<click to read/download>


The Everafter

by Amy Huntley   Okemos english teacher 

Release date: September 16, 2009

Madison Stanton doesn't know where she is or how she got there. But she does know this—she is dead. And alone, in a vast, dark space. The only company she has in this place are luminescent objects that turn out to be all the things Maddy lost while she was alive. And soon she discovers that with these artifacts, she can reexperience—and sometimes even change —moments from her life. Her first kiss. A trip to Disney World. Her sister's wedding. A disastrous sleepover. In reliving these moments, Maddy learns illuminating and sometimes frightening truths about her life—and death.

This is a haunting and ultimately hopeful novel about the beauty of even the most insignificant moments—and the strength of true love even beyond death.

From the same author:

Christmas Lites VI - Release date: December 11, 2016

Christmas Lites VII - Release date: December 22, 2017

 

 

 

 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


How To Cook For Your Pet

by Amy (Huxtable) Cousino, DVM class of 1971

HOW TO COOK FOR YOUR PET is a cookbook written for all pet owners who love their pets. You can cook simple easy meals for your pet using these well-written recipes. Only basic cooking skills are needed. Kids 12 and up can make these meals with the supervision of an adult. All recipes are nutritionally sound for pets, not complex recipes more suited for human tastes. Many foods commonly eaten by people are unsafe for pets to eat. These recipes contain only foods safe for feeding pets. This cookbook has detailed information about foods unsafe for pets, so that the home cook can avoid them.
The recent pet food recall gives us an urgent reason to home cook our pet's food. Many thousands of pets have died or have been sickened by commercially made pet foods. Now you, the pet owner, can control the quality and wholesomeness of your pet's food. Home made real foods prepared with care at home are more nutritious & digestible, not toxic, and taste better.


 

Janet Kalush Moore  class of 1961

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Agnes Canon’s War

by Debbie Lincoln class of 1969 

Release Date: October 1, 2014

* WINNER:  Chanticleer 2013 Laramie Awards, Best in Category

* WILLA Silver Award: Women Writing the West, 2015 Willa Award for Historical Fiction

"I published my first novel (thank you, Mrs. Filkin!) on October 1 of last year. AGNES CANON’S WAR is the story of Agnes Canon and Jabez Robinson, my, great great grandparents, and their lives from crumbling about them in turbulent, pre-civil war Missouri. Published by Blank Slate Press of St. Louis and available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Capitol Area District Library (Ingham County) (thanks to Sky Tribell) and the Minneapolis Library (thanks to John Whitmore). If you’re interested in the Civil War and/or historical fiction, give it a try."   Debbie


 The Dance of the Elves  and   From the Forest to the Sea

by Andrew Linnell class of 1968

Delightful childrens books that emerged from Andrew's creative imagination as a response to an "on demand" bedtime story while camping with his three year-old son.  From the courageous elf finding the many wonders of nature, to adventure off the ocean beach, "this story intends to stimulate a child's interest and love for Nature and Her elemantal beings."

 

 

 

 

 


 

Katie Silvensky  class of 2003  The Countdown Conspiracy

 

Katie, a scientist with the Museum of Science in Boston, shared her path to becoming a writer with OHS students in a special writers’ workshop on 9/28/17. She also visited with students at both Kinawa and Hiawatha (where she attended elementary school) and did a community outreach event at Schuler Books in Okemos. Pictured here is Katie with her book (right), along with OHS English teacher Amy Huntley, whom the author credits with challenging her to improve her writing.

 

 

 

 

 



Class of 1957 History

by Betty (Liz Price) Reinertsen class of 1957

Published: August 2007

...a wonderful history of Chief Okemos, Okemos High School and the Class of 1957.

<Click to read/download>

 

 


Images of America: Meridian Township

by Jane Rose, Meridian Township Historian 

<Click here to Order the book>

<Click the Book to view the Okemos section>

Annotation and highlights by William "Bill" Breckenfeld '65

 


 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 


How Okemos Began: A Short History

by Ruth Stillman, Okemo Historian

Published: 1956, Revised and re-issued in 1972 and 1980 

Courtesy of the Capital Area Distric Library

<click to view/download>