Reaching for a New Leaf

Stories of Teachers Dancing with Fate

by Karen Ferguson Tauber

5.5 x 8.5, 164 pg, soft cover

ISBN 978-0-9785654-1-1

Price $17.95

In Reaching for A New Leaf: Stories of Teachers Dancing With Fate, Karen Ferguson Tauber’s second short story collection, the teacher-protagonists seize upon various opportunities in hopes of creating new beginnings. In some instances, their risk-taking behaviors lead the characters to dance to wonderfully new life tunes. Other times, the characters must step back, reflect, and reframe, because they experience the harsh collision between their previously held expectations and the ensuing realities.
When characters hit the wall, they are compelled to retrace their steps and learn to dance to old tunes in new ways. Throughout these eleven stories, readers gain an awareness of how new life experiences help us to grow whether the chances we take yield the results we long for or, instead, lead us back to the familiarity of tried and true dances.

Karen Ferguson Tauber has a Masters of Science in social science education and reading education from Syracuse University. She has taught for many years in public schools in Upstate New York and Arizona. Former students have selected Karen as an honoree in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. In 2006, Karen completed All Pretty and Bright: Stories of Courage and Hope for the Teaching Life. Recently, she finished this, her second book.

For nearly two years, Karen and her husband, Michael, and their loyal black lab, Emma, lived in South Jersey. It’s with great enthusiasm they return to Tucson and the Sonoran Desert.

Karen's previous book has earned wonderful reviews, as noted below. You can find more details on the availability of that book on its own page in the gallery. We hope you will enjoy both of them.


All Pretty and Bright, an anthology of fifteen, heartfelt stories focuses on the lives of seemingly ordinary individuals, women, public school teachers, who confront extraordinary circumstances and, frequently, make critical choices. In some instances, the protagonists embrace the challenges and continue teaching. Whereas, others decide the time has come to move on to a new set of endeavors. All these characters are presented in the fullness of their humanity with all their passions, fears, predispositions, and obsessions. Whether these characters move the reader to laughter, tears, or both, they will leave an indelible impression on the soul as they speak to the experience of what it means to be a public school teacher.


Praise for All Pretty and Bright

“Karen Tauber writes about teaching with unflinching honesty and a generous heart.”
Sara Lewis–author of TheBest of Good: A Novel, Second Draft of My Life, and The Answer is Yes

“That’s so like what happened to me,” readers will say. In her anthology, the author pulls us successfully into the absolute reality of a teacher’s life in today’s world.”
Penny Porter–author, teacher, mentor, and past president of The Society of Southwestern Authors

“These engaging stories will resonate with teachers and anyone who has experience in the public school system.”
Jeff Panneck–Tucson Educator

“Ms. Tauber’s writing, while well grounded in reality, is inspirational and refreshing. This book is a wellspring of common sense and provides a respite for the busy professional and should be required reading for all aspiring teachers.”
Sharon Broderick–Early Childhood Special Education

“As a 30 year plus veteran of teaching, I see myself and my students in the stories Karen Tauber has written. I remember why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place.”
Barbara Cavellier–retired middle school teacher

“I highly recommend this book. Karen Tauber has a gift for language and gets the reader involved in each story. All Pretty and Bright provides an accurate description of the teaching life portrayed with sensitivity and a love of children.”
Donna Mead–retired health educator

“Karen’s book is encouraging and hopeful. New teachers will enjoy the imagery, and veterans will appreciate the practical solutions to daily pressures.”
Margaret Bly–teacher with 8 years experience

“This collection takes the reader through the process of an educator’s life—the balancing act of meeting the challenges and experiencing the joys.”
Karen Board Moran–retired teacher of 32 years

“Mrs. Tauber’s stories speak to the teacher’s heart. Her words invoke relationship, rekindle passion, and renew pride.”
Chris Potter–Staff Development Literacy Specialist, 25 years in public education

“Anyone who reads All Pretty and Bright will gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the teaching life. These stories will resonate with classroom teachers. Yet they possess universal appeal as all of us experience the lessons of life.”
Aveeya Dinkin–Health Educator for over 30 years

“In this collection of short fiction, Karen Tauber envisions a world in which helping even one student find himself or herself and succeed in the midst of chaos makes the teaching professional’s struggle worth the enormous effort. She asks us to recognize the struggle and grant teachers the professional respect they earn in service of all our children.”
Amanda Ritchie, Ph. D.


Karen's books are, or will soon be, available at Borders Books, University of Arizona Bookstore, Jonathan's Educational Resources, Antigone Books,, Google and Barnes and, and directly from the author.

For more information, or to order copies of the book, please contact the author at


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