Rebecca Garner presents her book, “Why Won't My Boobs Grow... and Other Annoyances,” at the Chicago Ridge Public Library, 10400 S. Oxford. (Photos by Kelly White)

Rebecca Garner presents her book, “Why Won't My Boobs Grow... and Other Annoyances,” at the Chicago Ridge Public Library, 10400 S. Oxford. (Photos by Kelly White)

Chicago Ridge inspires local author’s storytelling

Spread the love

By Kelly White

Growing up in the Chicago Ridge, Rebecca Garner, found lots of inspiration in her hometown. She used that inspiration to help write novel, “Why Won’t My Boobs Grow… and Other Annoyances.”

“I think that for adults, this book is a fun trip down memory lane,” Garner, 33, now of Oak Lawn, said. “For teenagers, I think it’s an opportunity to see themselves on the page. Emma (the main character) is your average teenager, no special powers, no wild adventures, just the ups and downs of everyday life. I hope it helps them feel less alone, and reminds them that even if there are moments it feels like your life is over, everything is going to turn out OK.”

Garner, who attended Our Lady of the Ridge School and Richards High School, presented her book at the Chicago Ridge Public Library, 10400 S. Oxford, Chicago Ridge, on Monday, June 20.

2 3

Local author, Rebecca Garner, was inspired by her hometown, Chicago Ridge.

“Rebecca and I actually went to the same grammar and high school,” Lori Lysik-Forney, Adult Programming Coordinator at the Chicago Ridge Public Library, said. “I saw that she was coming out with a new book and I thought that a perfect place for her to promote her new book would be her childhood library. By local libraries creating a space for local authors to feature their books, it gives them the opportunity to put their name out there and attract potential readers.”

“Why Won’t My Boobs Grow… and Other Annoyances” was published on May 31, 2022 through New Degree Press, a hybrid publishing company.

It is about a 14-year-old girl named Emma, who’s just trying to make it through eighth grade. She’s dealing with zits, boys, friends, and, of course, wondering if her boobs are going to grow. It’s a funny and realistic look at trying to navigate being a teenager and figure out who she is.

“The best way I can describe this book is a blast from the past,” Lysik-Forney said. “This really brought me back to eighth-grade and had me reliving feelings that I completely forgot about as an adult. In the end I felt like this is a story for the girls who had a hard time in grade school but can say that “hey I made it alive and everything’s going to be OK.”

The book, Garner said, was inspired by none other than her teenage self.

“I would have loved to have found this book on the shelf when I was a teenager,” Garner said. “I wrote this book because I wanted teenage girls to not only see themselves in Emma but to also feel seen and heard and understood.”

Not only with school though, there are other settings throughout the book from around the Chicago Ridge area that Garner used in her book.

“Emma and her best friend Ruby often walk to school, which is the same route my best friend and I took walking down 110th street to Oxford (in Chicago Ridge),” Garner said. “There’s also a pretty major scene that takes place at a park, which I envisioned as the park on Oak Avenue — We always called it Oak Park, but I don’t think that’s the official name.”

Garner went on to attend DePaul University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with middle school endorsements in both English Language Arts and Social Sciences. From there, she earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with the ESL Endorsement through American College of Education.

Even with her extensive background, Garner said Chicago Ridge will always be home.

“I think one of the highlights of every year growing up in Chicago Ridge was going to Ridge Fest over the summer,” she said. “Everyone would be there, and we would run around all day going on rides, eating funnel cakes, and of course, talking to boys. On a more regular basis though, I have a lot of memories of just walking around the neighborhood with my friends and hanging out at the parks.”

When Garner was teaching middle school, people would gasp and say, ‘Ugh, why? Teenagers are horrible?’. This left her wanting to dig more into teenage mind.

“Yeah, they can be horrible, but I also love teenagers because they are so full of emotion and passion, on the cusp of not being a kid anymore, trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world,” Garner said. “I loved getting back into the head of a teenager and letting my thoughts and emotions run wild. I’d put on some 90s or 2000s throwback music and try to transport myself back to that time. How was I feeling? What was important to me? How would I react? It was really fun.”

Garner’s book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org and copies are also available at the Chicago Ridge Public Library.

Local News

Hon. Koula Fornier

Fournier resigns from TTO to become judge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Lyons Township Trustees of Schools is accepting applications for a vacancy on their board, after Trustee Koula A. Fournier resigned earlier this month after being sworn-in as a Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Fournier was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Maloney vacancy of…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Hoops Wrap | Curie, Rice and Marist among area regional champs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The original March Madness got underway last week across Illinois, and several area teams were crowned regional champions. Teams still alive in Class 4A are Marist and Curie, and in Class 3A are Brother Rice, De La Salle, Evergreen Park and Mount Carmel.   CLASS 4A Marist (29-4) cruised…

Evergreen Park senior Tre Dowdell crosses over a Hillcrest defender during the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional championship game on Feb. 23. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Playoffs | Evergreen Park tops Hillcrest for first regional title since 1974

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Some Evergreen Park players have deep roots in the community, but it was a newcomer that carried the Mustangs to a monumental win. Senior guard Tre Dowdell put up a game-high 30 points and Mustangs rolled to a 74-50 win over Hillcrest in the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional…

SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview could be the site for Northwestern football games in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Football | Northwestern football may play at SeatGeek

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent It appears that Chicago’s Big Ten team will be Bridgeview’s Big Ten team for at least one day. Maybe more. Northwestern has released its 2024 football schedule, but where the Wildcats will play their seven home games is unknown. Their home stadium, Ryan Field in Evanston, is undergoing a…

Nazareth senior Amalia Dray fight through a Kenwood defender during the Roadrunners’ 50-37 win in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional title game. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Sakalas, Dray lead Nazareth over Kenwood for sectional crown

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Nazareth head coach Ed Stritzel has built his Roadrunners powerhouse program on a defense-first philosophy that is carrying the reigning Class 3A state champions through another postseason run. “We are the definition of a team,” Stritzel said after Nazareth defeated Kenwood, 50-37, in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional…

Mount Carmel's wrestling team celebrates a Class 3A championship. Photo courtesy of Mount Carmel High School

Postseason Roundup | Mount Carmel wrestling wins fifth state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent During the regular season, only one wrestling team from Illinois beat Mount Carmel in a dual meet. Joliet Catholic got the better of the Caravan with a 38-27 victory on Jan. 18. That came two days after Mount Carmel lost to Crown Point (Indiana). The Caravan will be unable…

St. Laurence's Kathleen Martin gets off a shot against Hinsdale South in the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22 in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | St. Laurence girls hoops has benchmark season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The St. Laurence girls basketball team’s historic season came to a close with a 42-29 loss to Hinsdale South at the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22, but the Vikings hit some milestone’s in former Marist and Saint Xavier star Claire Austin’s first year as coach. The…

Ray Hanania

Greed flies high at airlines

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Ray Hanania . I happened to be flipping through TV stations when I caught the hosts on ABC’s Good Morning America talking about two people who got into a fight on an airplane. There have actually been a lot of stories about passengers quarreling and fighting for a lot of reasons,…

CRRNH_CheesiesLogo_022824

Cheesie’s coming to Garfield Ridge

Spread the love

Spread the love. Popular ‘pub & grub’ coming to Archer/Nashville .  By Tim Hadac A business strip in need of a shot of adrenaline is about get a bit of zing next month. Cheesie’s Pub & Grub, a well known favorite on the North Side, is bringing its casual dining fun to the vacant Lindy’s/Gertie’s…

Rich Miller

Media ignoring black, Hispanic Dems

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Rich Miller . Two press conferences held after Gov. JB Pritzker’s recent budget address didn’t receive much news media attention. As the saying goes, coverage follows conflict, and the two pressers were far more subtle and polite in their criticisms of the governor’s plan than those held by Republicans, so they…

Neighbors

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

With budget proposal and fiery address, Pritzker paints himself as progressive pragmatist

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – In delivering his annual State of the State and budget address on Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker cast his administration as both progressive and pragmatic – a balance he’s worked to strike as his national profile has grown. Some elements of the governor’s proposed spending plan, like…

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

Budget reaction: Retailers, municipalities critical of Pritzker’s proposed tax changes

By ALEX ABBEDUTO, COLE LONGCOR  & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The annual process of negotiating the state budget kicked off Wednesday with Gov. JB Pritzker proposing a $52.7 billion spending plan that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in new spending and tax increases, particularly for businesses.  The governor’s proposal to…

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes over $2B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by over $2 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

Pritzker proposes $1.8B in spending growth, backed by tax increases for corporations, sportsbooks

By JERRY NOWICKI  Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Editor’s note: This story will be updated with more information on the budget and reaction from lawmakers.  SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday proposed growing state spending by about $1.8 billion in the upcoming fiscal year while making a handful of corporate, sports wagering and other tax…

Customers pay for utilities' lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

Customers pay for utilities’ lawyers and corporate donations. Advocates want to change that.

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com Illinoisans pay tens of millions of dollars each year to utilities to cover costs they accrue for lawyers, belonging to trade groups, making charitable contributions and purchasing advertisements meant to boost utilities’ public image.  Consumer advocates are pushing for a change to state law that would bar utilities…

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

Pritzker to call for health insurance reforms in State of the State address

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker plans to take on the state’s health insurance industry this year by calling for legislation to curb many of the standard practices they use to hold down costs and boost profits. He plans to outline those reforms in his State of the State…

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

Judge denies McCann’s request for home confinement, orders him held in custody

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – After suddenly pleading guilty as his federal corruption trial was wrapping up this week, former state Sen. Sam McCann won’t be released to await sentencing, U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless ruled Friday. McCann has been held at Macon County Jail since last Friday, when Lawless ordered…

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

Transmission line monopoly back on agenda at Statehouse after Pritzker’s veto

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com A controversial proposal that would grant electric utilities more control over the construction of transmission lines is being revived in Springfield.  Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood, who chairs the Public Utilities Committee in the Illinois House, was behind a push last year that would have granted a temporary “right…

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

Ahead of Pritzker’s budget address, pressures that mounted last year intensify

BY JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Republicans in the Illinois Senate indicated Tuesday that their sticking point for budget negotiations this year will be the same as it was last year – state spending on programs for noncitizens and recent arrivals from the country’s southern border.  In what’s been a rarity over the past…

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

Pritzker to mull tightening fiscal landscape in budget address this week

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois jnowicki@capitolnewsillinois.com Gov. JB Pritzker will give his sixth state budget address this week, laying out his plan for a fiscal year that government forecasters in November predicted is on pace for a near-$900 million deficit unless corrective action is taken.  Those same fiscal forecasters in the Governor’s Office of…