Teens and Adolescents

(Note: This interview originally aired back in September.) Our guest is the writer Jeff Hobbs, whose latest book closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. These four teens are seniors at two very different high schools in L.A. -- one in Compton, the other in Beverly Hills -- and by telling their individual, personal stories, Hobbs reveals what our nation's young people (across all socio-economic backgrounds) are now confronting at home, at school, among peers, and throughout society.

(Note: This interview first aired back in December.) Our guest is the writer Simon Han, who was born in China, grew up in Texas, and was formerly a Tulsa Artist Fellow. He joins us to discuss his novel, "Nights When Nothing Happened." As was noted of this tender, perceptive coming-of-age saga in a starred review in Kirkus: "Han expertly shifts the ground under the narrative, constantly shaking the snow globe to nudge the reader's perspective away from the familiar.... [The book's] characters are authentic, vulnerable, and utterly convincing, delivering one dynamite novel.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based writer, creative writing teacher, playwright, and performer, Michael Wright. He's had an active, far-flung career in the dual worlds of literature and theatre. The author of novels, plays, poems, and varous performance-art and spoken-word experiments, Wright was also the 2010 Playwriting Teacher of the Year for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and the winner of the Kennedy Center 2011 Milan Stitt Award for outstanding teaching and professional work in playwriting.

Velvet Brown-Watts, a locally-based advocate for Sickle Cell Awareness and Treatment, and her son, Jeremiah Watts, Jr. (Photo used by permission of the Watts family.)

November is National Caregiver Awareness Month, and in that regard, our guests on this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday are Velvet Brown-Watts and Jeremiah Watts, Sr. They are the caregivers for, and the parents of, Jeremiah Watts, Jr., who is a 16-year-old student attending Union Public Schools here in our community, and who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell as an infant. Velvet Brown-Watts and Jeremiah Watts, Sr., are also the co-founders of a nonprofit called Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, which they tell us about.

In late 2015, Zac Easter, a young man from a small town in Iowa, took his own life. The reason? According to the many journals and detailed writings that Zac left behind, this act of suicide was chosen by Zac because he was unable to continue his long-running battle against worsening traumatic brain injuries -- injuries that stemmed directly from the fact that Zac had been a football player, from third grade through high school.

Our guest is the writer Jeff Hobbs, whose new book closely follows four Los Angeles high school boys as they apply to college. These four teens are seniors at two very different high schools in L.A. -- one in Compton, the other in Beverly Hills -- and by telling their individual, personal stories, Hobbs reveals what our nation's young people (across all socio-economic backgrounds) are now confronting at home, at school, among peers, and throughout society.

(Note: This show originally aired last year.) Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. She joins us to discuss her latest book, "Lovely War: A Novel." As was noted of this work by School Library Journal: "The Greek gods relate the tale of how four young people's fates collide in a love story for the ages. Caught by Hephaestus in an compromising position with Ares, the god of War, Aphrodite is put on trial by her husband in a Manhattan hotel.

(Note: This interview first aired back in October.) Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

Our guest is our friend, Barry Friedman, the Tulsa-based writer and comic, who's also a longtime commentator for this public-radio program. His son, Paul, died a few years ago from a drug overdose -- at age 24. And while Barry was devastated by this tragedy, as any parent would be, he was not really surprised. Paul's death, as Barry notes in his new book about his son, had been foreshadowed for years. Barry joins us to discuss his moving, unsettling, and perceptive new book, which is meant not as eulogy but as an elegy. And as the writer Dave Barry has noted: "It's a wonderful book.

(Note: This show first aired back in July.) Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

Our guests are the Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and the award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers, who tell us about their jointly written new book, "Wildhood." It makes several fascinating connections between the lives and behaviors of teenage animals and those of teenage human beings. Per the Los Angeles Times: "The vivid storytelling and fascinating scientific digressions in [this book] make it a pleasurable read.

"Lovely War: A Novel"

Aug 20, 2019

Our guest is Julie Berry, the bestselling young-adult novelist. Her writing has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, the Horn Book, and elsewhere. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Lovely War: A Novel." As was noted of this work by School Library Journal: "The Greek gods relate the tale of how four young people's fates collide in a love story for the ages. Caught by Hephaestus in an compromising position with Ares, the god of War, Aphrodite is put on trial by her husband in a Manhattan hotel.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Keele Burgin, an entrepreneur, activist, author, filmmaker -- and survivor. She tells us about her new memoir, which candidly documents her incredible personal story of self-preservation, self-discovery, and self-betterment. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Read Hawthorne, a bestselling author: "Keele Burgin is a living, breathing example of the triumph of the human spirit. The story of how she overcame the extreme abuse of her childhood is nothing short of breathtaking.

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who's widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who is widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

Our guest is Mitchell S. Jackson, whose new book is an autobiographical collection of essays called "Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family." As was noted by The Boston Globe, it's a "vibrant memoir of race, violence, family, and manhood.... Jackson recognizes there is too much for one conventional form, and his various storytelling methods imbue the book with an unpredictable dexterity. It is sharp and unshrinking in depictions of his life, his relatives (blood kin and otherwise), and his Pacific Northwest hometown, which serves as both inescapable character and villain....

On this encore edition of ST, we hear from the Oklahoma-based writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose latest novel is "Where the Dead Sit Talking." Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a lyrical and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning.... Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel."

Our guest is the writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose new novel, "Where the Dead Sit Talking," has just been published. Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a spare, lyrical, and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning....

Oklahoma -- sadly, and perhaps unsurprisingly -- is number two in the United States when it comes to teen pregnancy. On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about an organization working to address our state's high teen-birth rate. Our guest is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Take Control Initiative (or TCI). Per its website, the TCI "is a program aimed at reducing the high rate of unplanned and teen pregnancies in the Tulsa area.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

The small Vermont town of Norwich (population 3,000 or so) has quite possibly produced more Olympic athletes per capita than any other location in the United States. How has this community done so? What's their secret? Our guest on ST, Karen Crouse -- a sportswriter who's been on the staff of The New York Times since 2005 -- set out to answer this question.

On this installment of ST, we hear about how people living and working here in Tulsa would be affected by the cancellation of DACA, which President Trump proposed earlier this year. The DACA (or "Deferred Action on Childhood Arrival") Program is an Obama-era federal statue allowing some children who entered the U.S. illegally to stay here as long as they meet certain criteria; there are now about 800,000 DACA recipients in this country. Our guests today are two young people based in Tulsa who are both DACA recipients, and who both came to the U.S. at a young age.

On this edition of ST, we are pleased to welcome the noted book critic, editor, and retired librarian Nancy Pearl back to our show. A former Tulsan, she's also the longtime book reviewer for this program, and she can be heard talking about books from time to time on NPR's Morning Edition. Nancy has a new novel out -- it's her first, and it's called "George and Lizzie" -- and it was thus praised by Booklist (in a starred review): "Pearl dramatizes a complicated and deeply illuminating union of opposites and conducts profound inquiries into the self, family, empathy, and love.

Since 2012, the national non-profit organization Girls Who Code has taught computing and computer-programming skills to thousands of girls all across America. Our guest is the CEO and founder of that organization, Reshma Saujani, who has a new book out.

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this edition of our show, a discussion with Sue Klebold, whose 17-year-old son, Dylan, was of course one of the two teenage boys who committed suicide ­after their murderous attack on Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999. Klebold has a new book out about this incident -- and more to the point, about the behaviors that she did and did not see in her son in the months and years leading up to that terrible April day.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the Tulsa-based author Jennifer Latham back to our show. Her recently published YA novel, "Dreamland Burning," is a suspenseful narrative about the Tulsa Race Riot. As was noted of this book in an appreciative review from School Library Journal: "Latham follows up 'Scarlett Undercover' with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death.

The transition from childhood to adulthood -- the adolescent and post-adolescent years, and all that go with them -- can be difficult, of course, for a host of reasons. Whether it's finding a job, finishing school, locating a place to live, discovering what one's goals really are, deciding on a career path, and so forth -- these can be trying experiences; relying on the aid of one's family and friends in such cases is paramount. But what if you're confronting these realities and you actually have no family? Or you have no "support network" of friends, mentors, and relatives?

(Note: This program originally aired in April.) On this edition of ST, we speak with Daniel Connolly, a reporter who has, for more than a decade, covered Mexican immigration into the Southern U.S. for The Associated Press in Little Rock, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, and other outlets.

On this edition of ST, a great discussion that first aired on our show in March. At that time we spoke with Aravind Adiga, who joined us to discuss his then-new novel, "Selection Day." As was noted by The New York Times of this fine coming-of-age saga that focuses on two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised to become cricket stars: "Mr. Adiga's third novel supplies further proof that his Booker Prize...was no fluke. He is not merely a confident storyteller but also a thinker, a skeptic, a wily entertainer, a thorn in the side of orthodoxy and cant....

On this edition of ST, we speak with Daniel Connolly, a reporter who has, for more than a decade, covered Mexican immigration into the Southern U.S. for The Associated Press in Little Rock, The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal, and other outlets.

Pages