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EMIL CICOGNA

Author, Educator

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

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.

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.

RACHEL -

Book 2 in A Sign of the Times Series.

​Rachel explores the continuing story of the Collier family, moving into the 20th Century with the inclusion of the telephone and the automobile becoming part of their daily lives. In this sequel to A Sign of the Times, the lesson of teaching history through literature helps students relive the years leading up to World War I when the technology of weapons and war machines suddenly showed the world the power and terror the Industrial Revolution had created. When Rachel gets married and starts a family, she believes that her life is complete. After her husband is sent away to the Great War in Europe, her life—and the lives of millions of other people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean—becomes a test to see if she can survive this dangerous new world.

Also from Cicogna...

“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.