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#WritersRecommend: Karla Manternach


Recommended reading

GileadOne of my favorite re-reads is GILEAD by Marilynne Robinson. It is the fictional memoir of Reverend John Ames, written as a letter to his young son. Ames is at the end of his life, savoring his remaining time. In spite of the losses and the long, lonely days that comprised most of his life, his letter is a sustained reflection on the wondrous beauty and unfathomable mysteries of this world. Gentle, poignant, and full of aching awareness, GILEAD is a love letter to life itself, weighty with its narrator’s awe and gratitude for having been here at all.





Words of wisdom

What has helped me most during this strange time is trying to balance work and play. If my day is too structured, I end up feeling trapped, but if it’s too open-ended, I feel lost. My best days are when I put in time at my desk and get to a few household tasks but also go outside, spend time with my family, and do something just for myself.


About Karla Manternach

MeenaI grew up in small-town Iowa, a grubby kid in tube socks who once stopped an entire parade by running in front of a fire truck for candy. Today, I live with my family in small-town Wisconsin where I create books for young readers and work as a freelance writer. I’m the author of two middle grade novels with Simon & Schuster: MEENA MEETS HER MATCH and NEVER FEAR, MEENA’S HERE!

My new children’s novel (NEVER FEAR, MEENA’S HERE!) came out right in the middle of the national shutdown, but I think it’s actually a good fit for the times we’re living in. It’s fun and funny, and I think we need that now more than ever–kids especially. It’s about bravely facing difficulties we did not choose. It also celebrates everyday heroes, just like the people who are keeping us safe right now. I hope it helps readers see that small acts of kindness and simply doing our part to help others is what matters most. I’d love to connect with you! Find me at or on social media @mskarlam.



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