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Perry English Teacher Rachele Alpine on 3 New Novels

Rachele Alpine [Photo by Tess Smith]

Rachele Alpine is having a great year for publishing books. The Perry High School English teacher and Mentor resident has three new novels out this year for teens and preteens. And another book is in the works for next year.

Her books all feature female leads, and she likes to write about families and empowering young women.

“You Throw Like a Girl” is inspired by her own desire to play hockey growing up but not having an opportunity to join a team. The main character, Gabby, pretends to be a boy in order to play on a baseball team when there isn’t a softball team to join. It’s a middle-grade (ages 8-12) novel, published in February by Simon & Schuster. She said it really resonated with her students.

“A lot of my students are connecting with that idea of maybe being told you can’t do something and then proving everybody wrong,” she said.

Alpine shares her publishing experiences with her students, including notes for revisions.  

“I think that it really helps them to see that,” she said. “You need to go back, you need to revise and you need to keep working on what you’re doing until you get it right.”

Alpine said she has enjoyed reading young adult books ever since she discovered Judy Blume. Her own young adult novels cover serious topics. The latest, “A Void the Size of the World,” released in July, tackles what happens when a teen disappears from a small, Ohio town.

After her first young adult book was published in 2013, Alpine found writing for middle-grade readers (ages 8-12) is a fun and lighthearted reprieve from heavy topics.

Her third book out this year, “Best. Night. Ever.,” is a modern-day experiment in writing. She and six other authors from across the country wrote the book together over the internet. It’s about a middle school dance told from seven points of view.

The 10 th grade English teacher is also a wife and mom of a two-year-old. She said she “steals” time to write whenever she can.

“I’m always carrying a notebook around and really just write stuff down when I can,” she said.


Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.