Beck Center Alum Rachele Alpine to Host Book Release, 7/30

By: Jul. 22, 2015

Beck Center for the Arts is pleased to welcome alum Rachele Alpine as she hosts the release of her middle school novel, Operation Pucker Up, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 30 beginning with a Reader's Theater with chapters from the book in the Studio Theater. A reception, book signing, prize giveaways, and refreshments will immediately follow. The event is free and open to the public, and books will be available for purchase through Barnes and Noble.

Published by Simon & Schuster's Aladdin Mix, Operation Pucker Up is the story of Grace Shaw and her very first kiss. Grace is thrilled to pieces when she wins the coveted lead role in her school play. That is, until she realizes she'll have to kiss Prince Charming. And not only is Prince Charming-a.k.a James Lowe-the most popular boy in school, but Grace has never, ever been kissed. To help, Grace's two best friends create Operation Pucker Up-a plan for Grace to score a kiss before opening night so she doesn't make total fool of herself in front of a live audience. But with Operation Pucker Up spinning out of control, and opening night fast approaching, will Grace manage to get her happily ever after?

Alpine, a Northeast Ohio native, was part of Beck Center's Youth Theater program in the late 1990s. Operation Pucker Up is not only dedicated to Beck Center, it is inspired by her Beck experiences. "I love writing for middle school because that is the time when you start trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in," remarked Alpine. "When I was in middle school, Beck Center was the place where I felt like I belonged, so I am excited to be celebrating the launch of my book there." This book is ideal for readers in grades 4 through 8, or "for anyone who likes funny books about the middle school years."

Alpine's first novel, Canary, follows an assaulted teen as she struggles between reporting the incident or keeping it a secret to protect her family's reputation. This high school level novel garnered Alpine the Silver Medal for the IPBA Ben Franklin Award for Teen Fiction (13-18 years). As an English teacher, Alpine has made Common Core aligned teacher guides for Canary and Operation Pucker Up available. She is also offering a Book Club for reading groups of Operation Pucker Up where they receive book-related items and a free Skype or FaceTime chat with her. Information and guides are available on her website:

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