Adopting alyosha — a single man finds a son in Russia
Although single women have long been permitted to adopt children, adoption by unmarried men remains an uncommon experience in Western culture. However, Robert Klose, who is single, wanted a son so badly that he faced down the opposition and overcame seemingly insurmountable barriers to realize his goal. The story of his quest for a son is detailed in this intimate personal account.
This is the first book to be written by a single man adopting from abroad. The narrative of his quest serves as an instructional firsthand manual for single men wishing to adopt. It details the prospective father's heightening sense of anticipation as he untangles bureaucratic snarls and addresses cultural differences involved in adopting a foreign child.
When he arrives in Russia, he supposes the adoption will be a matter of following cut-and-dried procedures. Instead, his difficulties are only beginning. Although he meets kind and generous Russians, his encounter with the child welfare system in Moscow turns out to be both chaotic and bizarre. However, his dogged ordeal pays off more bountifully than he ever could have hoped. In the end he comes face to face with a little boy who changes his life forever.
"Klose narrates his two-and-a-half-year navigation of the painful, frustrating, up-and-down steps to single male parenthood with elegance and insight." - Library Journal
"...[M]ight be considered requisite reading for anyone planning to do what Klose did...instructive..." -- Dave Eggers, The New York Times Book Review
"A combination journal, travelogue and, above all, love story, this is a wonderful read, even for those uninvolved in adoption." -- Publisher's Weekly
"The climax of the story ...reads like a cold-war thriller." -- David Conrads, The Christian Science Monitor
small worlds: adopted sons, pet piranhas, and other mortal concerns
For twenty years, readers of The Christian Science Monitor have enjoyed the musings of a singular writer who has brought his talent to bear on a wide range of human-interest subjects. Robert Klose has attracted fans from all walks of life, and his unique insights on life are seasoned with gentle, often laugh-out-loud humor.
The cream of Klose’s columns has now been gathered in this delightful book culled largely from the more than 250 pieces written for the Monitor. Small Worlds captures his graceful prose and engaging voice in brief essays whose subjects range from the joys of small-town hardware stores and Converse sneakers to the challenges of learning a foreign language or traveling abroad.
Whether poignantly reflecting on the parent-child relationship or nostalgically recollecting the old-fashioned ice cream soda, Robert Klose is a writer whose voice rings true and is sure to appeal to fans of other humorists like Garrison Keillor or Jean Shepherd. Small Worlds is a deft blending of wisdom and whimsy, a celebration of the art of the essay that lovers of fine writing will take to their hearts.
“Robert Klose can certainly write—but more than that, he can see the world as a place where we get second chances, where we savor small things, where we reach out to each other with warmth, wit, and grace. These essays will touch and nourish any reader.”—Mary Gardner, author of Salvation Run and Boat People
SMALL WORLDS: ADOPTED SONS, PET PIRANHAS, AND OTHER MORTAL CONCERNS
Since 1986, Robert Klose has taught biology at a "small, impoverished, careworn" college in central Maine. Located on a former military base, the school was originally named the South Campus of the University of Maine, or SCUM. Now known as the Bangor Campus of the University of Maine at Augusta, it nevertheless remains an open-admissions environment at which "one never knows what's going to come in over the transom." Klose details what works in the classroom, identifies what has failed, and relates stories of the absurd, the sublime, and the unanticipated, such as one student's outburst following a lecture on evolution: "For what you have taught today you shall be damned to everlasting fires of hell!" Tempering thoughtfulness with a light touch and plenty of humor, these essays prove that teaching, an "imperfect occupation," remains a "special profession."
"I became a devoted admirer of Robert Klose years ago through his many essays in this newspaper. The Three-Legged Woman & Other Excursions in Teaching - his latest book - has intensified my admiration. Humor, compassion, and a deep understanding of human nature have all come together to make this biology teacher in Maine a brilliant writer. Treat yourself to a good read and get multiple copies to put on your shelf for gifts."--Christian Science Monitor reader
"Professor Robert Klose has produced a delightful book that will warm the hearts of all educators. The writing is crisp and entertaining and provides a refreshing personal perspective on the sadly unappreciated teaching profession." -- Eric Scerri, author of The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance
The legend of the river pumpkins
Pumpkins on the Penobscot! Russell had never seen anything like it. His mother said he couldn't carve a pumpkin for Halloween because "pumpkins had bugs and goo!" But would she allow Russell to have a RIVER pumpkin.
This version of the River Pumpkin story is a delight. Teachers will be able to use this as a mentor text for writer's craft lessons and genre lessons. Children will identify with Russell who isn't allowed to have something that might have "bugs and goo" in the house. They will wonder about the veracity of River Pumpkins (and truly there was a very healthy crop of River Pumpkins that year). They will be satisfied with the happy ending that hints of more stories to come. - Deborah White
LONG LIVE GROVER CLEVELAND
Grover Cleveland College is dying, and the shock is too much for the college’s founder and president, Cyrus Cleveland—a direct descendant of President Grover Cleveland—who begins to die in tandem with his school. In a last bid to save his beloved institution, he wills the college to his nephew Marcus Cleveland, a used car salesman in New Jersey who has never been to college, much less administered one.
Marcus heads north to see what he can do to live up to his uncle’s expectations and save the day. Facing the impending calamity with cheer, an incorrigibly sunny attitude, and ample naivete, he is totally unprepared for the stew of discontented faculty, internecine rivalries, and unforeseen events that threaten to upend his every effort to rescue the school from the threat of extinction.
“The author, a college professor, does a very nice job of keeping the tone light and of using his characters to generate the laughs. There’s even a nifty twist ending. Good fun for fans of campus satire.”
— David Pitt, Booklist
"Long Live Grover Cleveland has a good, entertaining story line that many people can enjoy—especially if they went to a small college in the '70s. Robert Klose writes in a similar style to what you might see in Dave Berry—light and whimsical."
“Long Live Grover Cleveland is a delicious farce.”
— Deb Baker, The Mindful Reader
"Long Live Grover Cleveland—quickly sweeps you into a story about academia that's an exploration of the extremes of personalities you'll find on college campuses and a story of relationships in a light, irreverent tone."
— Bangor Daily News
Well-written, Long Live Grover Cleveland is an entertaining look at academic life, filled with both subtle and laugh out loud observations on the egos and insecurities that fuel it. …An enjoyable read…particularly for anyone who has experienced college-life in any form.
— Lynne Hinkey, Underground Book Reviews