Rachel, the sequel to A Sign of the Times, COMING SOON.

emil cicogna


Written to accompany A Sign of the Times, this set of lesson plans provides a useful teaching tool. The plans go through individual chapters and include: a list of objectives, suggestions for historical curriculum, lesson prompts, student research prompts, characterizations, themes, key vocabulary words, and critical thinking questions.

“I believe ignorance in the long run will prove far more expensive.” Newly arrived school teacher, Leanna Pallas, is committed to bringing education to a rural Pennsylvania town in 1885. Not everyone there values education as much as Miss Pallas. The Collier family have been blacksmiths for generations. Now they must decide if they should send their teenage son Joshua to school, or train him to work in the family business. Threatened with impending poverty, the family must realize that the world they knew has changed, and so must their plans for the future.

 “If you all wish for the same thing at the same time your wish will come true.”
   “How do you know it will come true?”
   “God told me, and He told me to tell you.”

Eight-year-old Veronica tells her grandmother to make a wish that she and her friends can share. Grandma Sarah tells her friends about Veronica’s message from God and against all hope and better judgment, the four old women attend church that evening and make a wish to be young once more. Twenty-one years old for twenty-four hours. When their wish is granted they set out to have more than just another party—they embark on a twenty-four hour odyssey to find redemption from the haunting memories all of them have come to feel they were too old to escape.

Emil Cicogna began teaching in the New York City Public Schools in 1987, and is still involved in education today as an online and classroom instructor at Grand Canyon University in the College of Education, Phoenix, Arizona. Emil works with many student- teachers to help them develop strategies to reach their struggling students in every level of K-12 education. A Sign of the Times, a historical fiction novel, was originally used to help his high school students who were reading below grade level and had never before finished a book. Their enthusiastic response inspired him to become a published author. 

Follow Emil on Facebook and on his website: