Trying Times in Iran

We are again hearing chants of "Death to America." History repeating--though the circumstances are different this time around. My book, Cloud of Witnesses, portrays the growing relationship between two outsiders: Roland the hillbilly and Hassan the foreign kid, both new to Athens Middle School. When I began writing this book (years ago, I must confess)... Continue Reading →

Children’s Book Title Suddenly Relevant

There has been an uptick of interest in southeast Ohio because of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow’s viral speech. In his acceptance speech he mentioned his hometown and the poverty affecting that part of Ohio, where, as he mentioned, students often go to bed hungry. Cloud of Witnesses recently released by Golden Alley Press is... Continue Reading →

Can the U.S. and Iran be friends?

A few months ago I wrote about the 40-year anniversary of the Iranian Revolution where the US Embassy in Tehran was overrun and hostages were taken. This was a bad point in Iran-America relations, and they have not improved much since then. On both sides there is great distrust. In my novel, Cloud of Witnesses,... Continue Reading →

Your Summer Reading List

Does reading make us smarter? Brain science proves that it helps us in cognitive reasoning. For example the sequential elements of a story helps us to plot our thoughts. But what about becoming a better person? Studies are drawing correlations between reading and empathy. From a recent BBC article: Dutch researchers arranged for students to... Continue Reading →

Art Exhibit by my friend from Iran

  I first met Azarakhsh Farahani when he came to Chicago to promote Malaria at the 2016 Chicago International Film Festival. He contacted me on the online hospitality website Couchsurfing saying he needed a place to stay for about 15 days. That was a lot longer than I normally host--but, hey, why not! I learned as... Continue Reading →

Sorrow Estate=Welcome Laura

About a year ago, as serendipitously can happen, I met Laura Johnson of Sorrow Estate at Calvin College during the Festival of Faith & Writing. But it was even more coincidental than that. About 4 years ago I couchsurfed with a great (grand) couple in Grand Rapids and when I contacted them last year they... Continue Reading →

How to invite me to your school

Author Jane Hertenstein is available for FREE Skype School Visits *She wants to make her books and literacy a key part of young reader’s experience *She wants to make rural schools and especially Appalachia a key region for her visits *Though she would love to come to you in person, finances and winter driving in... Continue Reading →

40 Years Ago

February 1, 2019 marks the 40th year of Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran from exile. What does this mean to the rest of the world? Many leaders in the Middle East placated the West by calling for democracy and modernization—while at the same time maintaining a regime of suppression and human right abuse. Today we... Continue Reading →

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