Santa Clara University

Hit the books

Bedtime stories inspire author to write for children

"[Clorinda’s] auditions and fateful, lumbering jeté into her partner’s arms are a hoot."
Child magazine
Clorinda by Robert Kinerk

Clorinda (Simon and Schuster, 2003, $15.95) is the story of a cow with big dreams: She wants to be a ballerina. This charming children's book, written by Robert Kinerk '62, was named one of the best books for 2003 for ages 6-8 by Child magazine. "Her auditions and fateful, lumbering jeté into her partner's arms are a hoot, both visually and textually," wrote the editors.

Kinerk says his interest in children's stories began when he was reading bedtime stories to his two children. "I liked the playfulness of the things I read," he explains. "I'd always had an interest in related kinds of writing-in song lyrics and light verse. It seemed natural to add rhymed children's stories."

A writer since his days at SCU, Kinerk says a short story of his was published in the Owl (the precursor to the Santa Clara Review, the literary magazine at SCU). He adds that his SCU experience had many long-lasting effects on him as a writer. "I came away from my obligatory theology classes with a belief that grace is something we can't earn and which nobody deserves but which is bestowed on us by God out of the abundance of His love," he says. "To a writer, whose stock in trade is inspiration, which is unmerited and mysterious, freely given but erratic, and always surprising, that idea reverberates."

Kinerk is also the author of Slim and Miss Prim, which won the 1999 Storyteller Award from Western Writers of America. His next book, Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks, is due in May 2005.

Sin Against the Innocents by Thomas Plante

Essays explore the clergy abuse scandal

Sin Against the Innocents: Sexual Abuse by Priests and the Role of the Catholic Church (2004, Greenwood Press, $39.95), edited by Thomas Plante, professor of psychology at SCU, is a collection of essays by experts from many fields about the sex abuse scandal and how the Church plays a role. "Thomas Plante has edited the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the clergy sexual abuse scandal to date. The authors make an important contribution to our understanding of the causes, dynamics, and clerical systems that both spawned and sustained this sin against the innocents," wrote Donald Cozzens, author of Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church. Note: The Bannan Center for Jesuit Education sponsored a conference in May on the topic; look for details in the August issue of Santa Clara Magazine.

From Promise to Providence by Mark Thomas

Book traces 92 years of law school history

From Promise to Prominence: The School of Law at Santa Clara University (2004, Santa Clara University, $24.95) by Mark Thomas J.D. '56, a retired judge of the superior court, tells the story of the law school, from its founding in 1912, through the installation of the current dean, Donald Polden. "A highlight of working on this project was the opportunity to meet so many fascinating and gracious people," says Thomas. The book is available from the Law Alumni Center. Call John Baldwin at 408-554-5467 or e-mail him at for more information.
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