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Maria Juanas Gift
Book II in the American Teachers Series
by T. Lloyd Winetsky
A series with backstories that reveal bitter cynicism
and uplifting idealism in American education.
Set during America's Bicentennial in 1976, Maria Juana's Gift tells the story of Jake and Tina,
a young teaching couple fighting for the survival of their infant daughter born on the
Arizona-Mexico border. The baby appears healthy to Jake and the unconcerned staff at the small
hospital, but Tina and a custodian/nurse's helper from Mexico named Maria believe the child is
ill. Maria's lowly status and lack of English cause the medical staff to dismiss her concerns.
After the women convince Jake that something is wrong, he begins a frantic effort to secure
medical attention for the baby.
How far will they go to fight the system in order to save their daughter? Although Maria Juana's Gift
is a fictional account of preventable human medical error, the novel draws its passion from
real events. Its theme approaches the very core of inhumanity but also celebrates the gratitude
that the young couple has for the "gift" they believe will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Praise for Maria Juana's Gift
In Maria Juana's Gift , Winetsky gracefully shifts gears from heartwarming to heart wrenching—a great job.
~ John Fannin, Daily Sun News
In his second stellar novel, Maria Juana's Gift , Winetsky weaves a poignant tale of love and sorrow.
~ Carl Kleinschmitt, Emmy-nominated writer for The Odd Couple, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and M*A*S*H.
In Maria Juana's Gift the author introduces us not only to the characters Jake and Tina but to a
series of circumstances and disappointments that so many of us can relate to. The author uses his
background as an educator to teach us alot about the world through the characters and even about ourselves.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Terry Winetsky has been an educator for more than four decades.
After a stint in the Peace Corps, his first teaching post was in South-Central L.A.—six
classes of low-income seventh-graders. It was the spring of 1968, when Martin Luther King was
assassinated. Those experiences were germane to both the setting and conflicts of his historical
novel, Los Angeles, 1968, Happy Ranch to Watts, which is Book III in the American Teachers Series.
(2014- Pen-L publishing).
After returning to college for his certification, Winetsky taught English and Spanish to students
of all ages in the Southwest and Northwest. Before retiring in 1998, he was a Bilingual/Migrant
Education specialist in Yakima, Washington, where he is now a part-time volunteer for La Casa
Hogar, tutoring adult farmworkers.
Pen-L has also republished his previous stand-alone novels, Grey Pine and María Juana's Gift,
which are now the first two books in the American Teachers Series. More information on those novels
can be found at Winetsky's website below.
Winetsky's fourth novel, Belagana-Belazana (Book IV in the American Teachers Series), published by
Pen-L in January of 2017, takes place in the Navajo Nation, where he and his spouse taught for five years.
Terry lives near Yakima with his wife of forty-seven years, Kathleen, an Early Childhood Special Education teacher.
Learn more about him at www.TLWinetsky.com.
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