New Release: Your Story Starts Here from Jim Zervanos & Vine Leaves Press


Congratulations to Jim Zervanos and Vine Leaves Press on the release of Your Story Starts Here: A Year on the Brink with Generation Z, a memoir from a high school English teacher who sees that today's youth are thrust into a tumultuous world and simultaneously burdened with saving it.

★★★★★ “Packed with empathy as well as literary lessons, we have a front row seat to watch the world fall apart as these kids come of age. This book is insightful, heartfelt, and authentic." ~Kelly Simmons, author of Not My Boy

Your Story Starts Here

NEW RELEASE: March 12, 2024
Genre: Memoir
Paperback: $17.99
Ebook: From $6.49  

Jim Zervanos, a seasoned high-school English teacher and father of two, embarks on a mission at the cusp of a new school year. He realizes that today's youth are thrust into a tumultuous world and burdened with saving it. To chronicle this extraordinary period in America, he assigns himself a unique task: keeping a journal.
Within its pages, we witness “his kids” grappling with pressing issues like identity politics, gun violence, and political uncertainty. A sophomore prodigy wrestles his demons onto the pages of his fiction before entering a psychiatric hospital. An estranged junior posts ominous threats on Snapchat, while a principal sabotages a student walkout. Meanwhile, in his classroom, Jim prepares a hiding space for an active shooter event and, back home, finds solace in the eulogy of his young sons’ pet fish, sent on its final journey with a flush.
By year's end, Jim, unwavering in his determination to inspire hope in his students, discovers that it's the youth who inspire hope in him. Their creativity and ideals paint a vivid portrait of an evolving America, seen through the kaleidoscope of Generation Z. Your Story Starts Here: A Year on the Brink with Generation Z is an intimate exploration of the challenges, resilience, and unwavering hope of today's youth in a turbulent world.

Praise for Your Story Starts Here
★★★★★ “Watching Zervanos stay steady in unsteady waters, with good humor and strength, is the central pleasure of this moving, engaging book.” ~Debra Spark, author of Discipline

★★★★★ “This book is as rich in humor and compassion as it is in dismay at the reality of school shootings and children ushered, sometimes forcefully and prematurely, into adulthood.” ~Peter Turchi, author of Maps of the Imagination

★★★★★ “Masterfully paced and wonderfully rendered... a book that should be required reading for parents, for teachers, for artists…for anyone who’s wondered what it means to be human in a world that daily challenges our humanity.” ~Scott Gould, author of The Hammerhead Chronicles and Idiot Men

★★★★★ “The world needs more teachers, and more writers, like Jim Zervanos.” ~Kelly Simmons, author of Not My Boy

About the Author
Jim Zervanos is the author of the memoir That Time I Got Cancer: A Love Story and the novel LOVE Park. His award-winning essays and short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. He is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and Bucknell University, where he won the William Bucknell Prize for English and was an Academic All-American baseball player. He teaches at a high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where he lives with his wife and two sons, and has risen in the baseball pantheon as coach of two Little League teams. Learn more at
About the Publisher
Vine Leaves Press likes to blur the line between commercial and experimental works. They publish book-length vignette collections, writing reference books, short story collections, memoir/autobiography, and character-driven novels with a literary bent.​ Subscribe to the Vine Leaves Press newsletter to receive FREE advanced review copies of upcoming new releases, news about their authors and subscribers, and/or to read the monthly opinion column, SPILL IT! or a daily dose of 50-word stories. Learn more at

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