Author Sabrina Fedel on her award-winning debut novel, Leaving Kent State!

Author Sabrina Fedel on her award-winning debut novel, Leaving Kent State! post thumbnail image


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RWYK Author Interview: Sabrina Fedel on her award-winning debut novel, Leaving Kent State

Today on the Reading with Your Kids podcast, we’re talking about a really difficult moment in the American history. Our guest Sabrina Fedel, author of the award-winning debut novel, Leaving Kent State joins us to talk about her research into the Kent State shootings,  about the history of the event and her writing process.

Leaving Kent State is an award-winning novel that is a searing look at what happened on May 4, 1970, on the campus of Kent State University as it became the final turning point in Americans’ tolerance for the Vietnam War. National Guardsmen opened fire on unarmed student protesters, killing four and wounding nine.

Tune in for all the wonderful insights!


Here’s more information about Sabrina Fedel

Sabrina Fedel’s award-winning debut novel, Leaving Kent State, was published by Harvard Square Editions in 2016. Sabrina holds her MFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration in Writing for Young People, from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Her poetry and prose have appeared in various journals and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net ’16, and the storySouth Million Writers Award. In addition to writing, Sabrina teaches English Literature at Robert Morris University and fights for prepositions everywhere.

You may learn more about her at


Learn more about “Leaving Kent State”

An extraordinary YA historical novel, LEAVING KENT STATE by Sabrina FedelThroughout the harsh winter of 1969-1970, Kent, Ohio, became a microcosm of the growing unrest that threatened the very nature of democracy. Told from the viewpoint of seventeen-year-old Rachel Morelli, Leaving Kent State explores themes of the day that are strikingly similar to our own: terrorism, war, racial injustice, and gender inequality. As Rachel struggles to convince her dad that she should go to Pratt Institute in New York to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, Kent slips ever further off of its axis, in step with the growing discord across the nation. Caught between her love for her next-door neighbor, Evan, a boy who has just returned from Vietnam, and her desire to escape Kent, Rachel must navigate one of the deadliest protests in U.S. History.

“While our nation has largely forgotten what happened on May 4, 1970,” says the author, “it was a defining moment for the way in which Americans consider involvement in war. While popular sentiment initially blamed the students for the massacre, it became clear in the years immediately following that something had gone terribly wrong in our democracy for American troops to have opened fire on unarmed college students. In our own protest laden present, the shootings at Kent State remain a valuable lesson in the escalation of force during peaceful citizen protests.”

To buy your copy of Leaving Kent State,



In this episode of the Reading with Your Kids podcast, You’ll find out

  • How did Sabrina come up with the idea for LEAVING KENT STATE?
  • Sabrina explains her research process for this novel and some of the interesting facts she discovered in the process
  • How does her young adult novel reveal the modern relevance of the 1970 Kent State University shootings with stunning historical accuracy?
  • What’s next for Sabrina Fedel, some fun facts about her book, her future plans and much more.


Thanks so much for talking with us, Sabrina!


If you haven’t already done so, listen to this episode & feel free to share it by using the social media buttons at the bottom of this page. We would LOVE if you could leave us a review on iTunes.

Happy listening!

Thanks for tuning in and have a wonderful day!😆

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