Former Elmont resident, author Michelina Pagano, who wrote Grace of the Clouds and The Magic Paint Box returned to her alma mater, Sewanhaka High School, on Tuesday Oct. 21 to help celebrate "Teen Read Week" [Oct. 19-Oct. 15] at the school. She has been invited by school librarian Nili Resnick, who, with reading club director, Dr. Linda Opyr, has asked the novelist to meet with Sewanhaka's Reading Club to discuss her most recent book, Grace of the Clouds.
Pagano, an award winning advertising art and creative director who now lives in Manhattan, graduated with honors from Sewanhaka in 1981. She grew up in Elmont, and her family still lives in the Valley Stream and Franklin Square areas.
Grace of the Clouds, recently issued by PublishAmerica, is a novel set in the old Southwest at the turn of the 20th century. A tapestry of Mexican folklore and Indian legends, it was inspired by her father's tales of his adventurous life in Mexico as a young man living there and working odd jobs before settling in the United States and her own experiences on a Navajo Reservation in the mid 1990s.
While Grace of Clouds is fiction, it was inspired by Pagano's experiences on a Navajo Reservation, where she was witness to some age-old ceremonies rarely seen by outsiders, and by her father's stories of his life in Mexico.
Pagano is also an award-winning advertising art and creative director, short-film director, and screenwriter. She is the author of a children's book, The Magic Paint Box [Golden Books, 1991], and a second novel, The Road To Jude scheduled for release in Spring 2004 [TrebleHeart Books]. She and her husband, Tony are also working on a nonfiction book about unusual weddings. She currently lives in Manhattan.