New Novels Feature Foster-Care Youth as Heroes

Greensburg, PA – Dr. Lee McClain, professor of English and director of Seton Hill’s master of arts in writing popular fiction program, has written a new series of teen novels beginning with “My Alternate Life,” recently released from Dorchester Books. The series features a magic computer game that shows adopted and foster-care teens what their lives would have been like with their birth families.

The series grew out of McClain’s curiosity about her own adopted daughter’s birth family, about whom no information is available. “Teens in foster care often struggle with identity issues,” says McClain, “and they dream about living other lives. ‘My Alternate Life’ addresses various issues important to today’s teens, like fitting in at a new school, adjusting to a new family, racial prejudice and how girls can say no, mean it, and make it stick.”

“My Alternate Life” tells the story of Trinity B. Jones, a tough foster teen trying to survive life in a snobbish suburb and hoping to find a way to reunite with her birth mom. “Trinity stands up and lives on the page: gutsy, vulnerable, street-smart, people-smart – okay, just plain smart, a survivor with a heart,” says award-winning author Nancy Springer.

McClain is active in local adoption organizations, writes for teen and adoption magazines, and volunteers with Beginning with Books, a family literacy organization that encourages disadvantaged kids to love books. The second book in her new series, “My Abnormal Life,” is scheduled for release in March 2005.

Additional information on McClain’s new series, including discussion questions for teen reading groups, is available on the author’s web site, or by contacting Dr. McClain directly, at 724-830-1040 or

Seton Hill, chartered in 1918, is a coeducational Catholic liberal arts university with more than 30 undergraduate programs and 8 graduate programs, including an MBA. Seton Hill brings the world to its students through its distinguished lecturers and nationally and internationally renowned centers. For more information on Seton Hill please visit or call 1-800-826-6234.