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The Way It Is

Second Story Press

It’s the 1960s – the time for equal rights, peace, and love. But for Ellen Manery, it’s the time to work hard and finish high school early. She’d rather be helping out at the university’s medical lab than listening to rock and roll and hanging out with the kids at her high school. Isolated and driven, Ellen feels like she was born an outsider. And what if you live in a small town, where change is slow in coming? Tony Paul knows what it’s like to be on the outside. Living on an Indian reserve near a small town, he goes to the local high school, but his heritage and the color of his skin stand him apart. Ellen and Tony meet when Ellen’s parents decide to leave city life behind and move to the town. Right away, they are drawn to each other’s difference. Used to being on their own in high school, together they find a happiness and strength that allow them to face the sexism and prejudice around them. But can Ellen and Tony be more than friends? Are they right to think that a girl can study science and become a doctor, and that an Indian boy can go to college? Together they’ll find out.


Donalda Reid, a retired elementary school principal, spends her time traveling the world, writing, drawing, and painting. Profits from the sale of her memoir Captive, A Survival Story, the story of her experience being captured by Hutu rebels in the Congo in 1998, help support African Grandmothers affected by HIV/AIDS through the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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