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LITERARY LOCALS | Kathleen Murray, PhD., Naperville; Rob Johnson, Hinsdale; Mandy Levy, Chicago/Burr Ridge

December 1, 2015


Kathleen Murray, PhD., Naperville
Her first published book is in honor
of her son Christian, who has Down syndrome, autism and a congenital heart defect.  Her goal is to motivate and encourage readers to seek a life of contentment and hope in the daily interactions with a person who has special needs. Launched in August 2015, the inspirational book is based on her testimony of actively seeking joy and beauty in the midst of challenging situations. “Raising a child with special needs heartens me to grow in personal fortitude, pursue family unity, and find true inner peace and gratitude daily,” said Kathleen. Available at WestBow Press, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  





Rob Johnson, Hinsdale

Published in October 2015, this is the first book for the CBS-2 News Anchor and Hinsdale dad who’s passion for writing it came from his love of hockey. “I am a huge hockey fan and have been a concussion awareness advocate for several years, so the opportunity to share this message with children was very important to me.” Timothy Trainor:Head in the Game combines fast-paced hockey action, great interaction with Timothy's family and friends, and an important message about concussions and playing the game the right way. 
Rob is working on his next project, a second Timothy Trainor book that will be based on a different hockey experience, and will incorporate some important social messages for children. Available at,,, or A Book Above in



Mandy Levy, Chicago/Burr Ridge

Five years ago Mandy designed her own weight loss plan and journaled about her experience daily. Before she knew it, she was skinny AND had a book’s worth of documentation, self-motivation, findings and tips– all written with an air of self-deprecation and irreverence: she’d created the only hilarious diet book ever!
Published in April 2015, Mandy’s book is much different than the others that are as interesting as a rice cake. This is the coffee table book of diet books! A technicolor dream: fun and funny, visual and vibrant, cool and creative. It’s perfect for LOLing those LBs away, keeping good on those New Year’s resolutions. In addition to hosting and performance projects, Mandy has a collection of humorous short stories cookin’ for book #2. Available in stores (Barnes & Noble), online (Amazon), or at

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