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Local Author Henry Webb’s Novel, “With the Children”

July 23, 2015



Henry Webb’s With the Children, ISBN 978-1-4787-4659-1, is now available in paperback from, and by order from your local book store. It is also available as an e-book for your Nook or Kindle.


This is a novel about Neil Riley, a young man who takes a job teaching 6th grade in a South Harlem school to avoid the Vietnam era draft. Clearly he’s not a dedicated middle-class white teacher who wants to give life lessons to a bunch of scruffy black and Hispanic kids with bad attitudes. He’s a white draft-dodger with a bad attitude and the life lessons come from a group of lively black and Hispanic eleven-year-olds living on the edge of disaster.


Riley has made it a code of conduct to remain detached from involvements and to avoid as much as possible subordinating himself to anyone. Yet in his desperate need to understand why he cares so intensely about those children he is drawn deeper and deeper into an affair with CC Harp, a woman who comes dancing (literally) into his life, and he finds himself treasuring the tutelage of Gloria Robin, a master teacher who sees his potential even when he doesn’t.

But it is the children, smart, talented, damaged, alive who teach him to become fully engaged.

With the Children places the reader within the world of a remarkable group of children and the wider world that is forming them. Watching them unfold and grow as individuals as they respond to the caring adult who is with them leads us through humor and pathos to experience the wonder of human potential. It is a work rich in observation and deep in the exploration of both hope and concern about those who must make their way at the fringes of the American dream.” Jane D’Arista, author of The Overgrown Copse & Other Poems.

The novel is With the Children. Give it a try.


Henry Webb received his B.A. from Bard College, an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop and an M.A. in Counseling from the U. of Iowa Department of Education. Then, because needs bring changes, he undertook a long, satisfying career as an investigator with the U.S. Department of Labor. Now retired, he lives with his wife in a small community in New York’s Hudson Valley and is writing again.

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