Congratulations to MBS Assistant Librarian Renee Kenny, who recently released a science fiction novella, The Ox-Boy, which was published by Panormi Books.
Renee’s book takes place in the year 2031 when it is the Ox-Boy’s first day of school and the world has changed. Pure-humans have made genetically engineered blends of animals and people, and they rule the planet through their all-seeing World Council. War in the Middle East has destroyed earth’s supply of fossil fuels, so the rulers ration out electricity from the sole fusion reactor in Switzerland. When the fusion reactor overheats, the dog blends revolt and call to kill the pure-humans, but the Ox-Boy’s mother is one and he rushes home to save her. What is the purpose of political systems? What are the limits of power? The Ox-Boy questions everything we take for granted in our society.
Renee said she wrote the dystopian book as a reaction to “the state of the world and fears about where we are headed. It deals with topics such as overuse of fossil fuels, cloning, and international relations. While many of the themes are adult in nature, the book is suited to middle and upper school students in terms of readability and interest.”
The cover of the book was designed by Axelle Girard, a former student of Renee’s when she taught ESL at Felician University. “She was from Paris and was a quiet student who always did a lot of doodling. She was very gifted – especially when it came to drawing anime and superheroes,” Renee recalled. “We kept in touch after she graduated and she’s now studying graphic design in France. It’s been a lot of fun working with her over email. She’d send me drafts of her ideas and was always very patient with me.”
Last year, Renee published her first novel – the medieval fantasy book The Tales of Northborough. This September, she enjoyed leading two MBS Middle School summer reading discussion groups about her novel. “I was very impressed with all of the questions and the students’ deep understanding of the characters,” she said.
Renee Kenny has served as Assistant Librarian at Morristown-Beard School since 2012. She is the advisor for the Chess Club and the Global Affairs Club, and regularly teaches independent study courses in Investment Analysis and Entrepreneurship. Renee earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago as well as certifications in teaching history and elementary education. She has served as an assistant teacher in a school for children with special needs.
Renee’s first venture as an author was “King James and the Peasant Lad,” a story published in the children’s magazine Highlights for Children. Her poem “No Angel” was published in Working Document, a literary magazine of the University of Chicago. She also recently published two short stories, “Saturday Swim” and “A Farmer’s Life for Me,” in the University of Chicago’s literary magazine Sliced Bread.
The Ox-Boy is currently available on Amazon and Goodreads.