As a young girl in Michigan, Bella Colquhoun knows she’ll be a writer. It’s not easy for a woman in the 1920s to have a career of her own. She decides to never marry, but Ray promises to support her dreams. No one could have anticipated the railroad accident that would claim his life, teaching Bella things she never wanted to know about investigative journalism.
She moves to New York to attend Columbia University, but she never loses touch with the families back in Michigan, brought together by a nephew given Ray’s name. She eventually researches the family tree and decides to record the interrelated stories of extraordinary women who never quite became who they thought they would be. Across four generations, Bella traces the stories of women confronted by societal challenges as they struggle toward more than ordinary lives.
Bella’s family saga begins with European immigration to the Midwest and moves with the younger generations across 20th century America into the Pacific and even Africa. From women’s suffrage to civil rights, the Titanic to the Great Depression, these women face conflict with spouses and family members related to gender roles, childbearing, politics, and education. Yet, they find the strength to be someone, driven to rise above the challenges of a work-in-progress America.
Reviews of Bella’s Legacy by Luanna Meyer
“Luanna Meyer’s engaging novel Bella’s Legacy, exploring four generations of a family, focuses on women struggling to find their place in the world despite limitations of social convention, familial duties and economic circumstances…. Meyer’s well-research work artfully provides context with interesting historical details about the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, anti-Vietnam protests, and more…. a creative, character-driven story. It will challenge readers to reflect on women’s place in society, now and yesteryear.” —BlueInk Review
“Teen pregnancy, marital strife, racial tensions, and ambitious husbands are among the problems the characters face…. Historical tidbits appear throughout the narrative, and the work strives to tell some of the lesser-known aspects of American history…. A sprawling novel that provides a satisfying exploration of women’s experiences across generations.” –Kirkus Review
“Young widowhood, lost babies, triumph and regret, conflict and reconciliation, dreams taken up and dreams deferred—these are some of life’s turning points that Bella’s Legacy explores…. The book’s historical context is meticulously researched, and the characters are vividly brought to life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!” –Christine Sleeter, author of White Bread and The Inheritance
“This is a very important book—it’s a family saga about several generations of women, some in poverty, all dependent on their historical context to get by in the world…. I cheered for the triumphs of these women facing educational challenges, financial worries, health problems, drinking husbands, and parents who could dictate what a daughter’s life would encompass. This is a beautifully written and insightful story of what it means to be a woman for the past 130 years of American history. I wholly recommend this book.” –Cherri Randall, author of The Memory of Orchids
“Meyer…has a great command of the emotions associated with her characters and their personal struggles, without bogging her style down with them. So often the historical aspects of a story that takes place in the past suffer when it comes to balancing those overarching, set-in-stone details with individual stories and their issues…. Bella’s Legacy is a beautiful work that I think has great potential as a more involved novel depicting the many struggles of women in the 1990s.” –Judge’s Commentary, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards December 2019.
“Bella’s Legacy…provides insights into what factors, good and bad, affected the lives of each generation of women….. This is an excellent read, and it is probably of more interest to female readers but shouldn’t be ignored by the men either. I would highly recommend it to both genders.” –Mike Monte, Pioneer Express, December 2019
Build a positive, accountable classroom environment with restorative discipline!
With restorative discipline, schools move beyond punitive approaches to shared expectations for learning and behavior. Used together with The School Leader” Guide to Restorative Discipline, this teacher’s guide shows how to create a welcoming and responsible community within your classroom, contributing to a consistent, schoolwide approach to discipline. Authors Luanna Meyer and Ian Evans offer field-tested strategies that transform classroom dynamics. This comprehensive guide helps teachers introduce and sustain a proven approach to discipline, preparing students for achievement in school and life. Topics include:
- A step-by-step approach to introducing restorative discipline in your classroom
- Developing peer support and group problem-solving among students, including preventing and stopping bullying
- Collaborating with administrators and colleagues on schoolwide behavior expectations
- Partnering with families and neighborhood organizations to support positive student conduct
- Managing effective individual interventions with students, including four key principles for success
Meyer, L.H., & Evans, I.M. (2012). The Teacher’s Guide to Restorative Classroom Discipline. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. www.corwin.com/books/Book236775
[Also reviewed in PsycCRITIQUES http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029820 ]
A positive model for restorative discipline
If you would like a more effective way to deal with discipline issues than “old school” punishment, this book is for you. The authors provide a research-based and field-tested model that gives school leaders more productive alternatives to reprimands, exclusion, and out-of-school suspension. This positive program helps improve behavior and keep students in school. This guide’s model covers school-wide prevention, restoration, and intervention needs for students with emotional, behavioral, and conduct disorders (such as bullying) as well as developmental disabilities and autism. This program has high social validity and utility for schools and classrooms. In addition to content learning, students need to learn appropriate behavior and social skills to succeed in school and in life. This book offers a solid, proven, and humane program to benefit students and keep the focus where it should be–on learning. Key topics include:
- The latest research on the effectiveness of restorative discipline
- How to implement a comprehensive, school-wide discipline plan
- Ways to support and sustain the plan with teacher teams
- Networking with community services such as child protection, child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health professionals
Meyer, L.H., & Evans, I.M. (2012). The School Leader’s Guide to Restorative School Discipline. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. www.corwin.com/books/Book236774
[Also reviewed in PsycCRITIQUES http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0029820 ]