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Way to Go: Mary Zabransky, Elwood

Mary Zabransky, a sophomore at Elwood-John H. Glenn

Mary Zabransky, a sophomore at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School, has published a book of reflections on gender roles. Photo Credit: xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

An Elwood teenager has written and published her first book after exploring the topics of stereotypes and gender barriers.

Mary Zabransky, a sophomore at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School, completed the 84-page book, titled “I Understand,” over the summer after writing daily in a journal given to her by a former teacher.

She was inspired by analysis of Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House” in an English class last school year and what she read about Tasmanian artist Sonia Singh, who is known to give “make-unders” to Bratz dolls in an effort to encourage positive body images.

Zabransky, 15, gave “make-unders” to 33 dolls by removing their makeup and fancy clothing and giving them to classmates. Her book further explores the themes through poetry, short stories and her interpretations of various motivational quotes.

“I was inspired to compile a collection of concentrated thoughts in hopes to present the reader with something much more than simply reading about or possessing a doll,” Zabransky said of her book. “All people have the ability to do amazing things. Just be yourself and everyone will benefit.”

Zabransky is captain of her school’s varsity cheerleading team and a member of the track team. She studies tae kwon do in her free time.

Her book is available via the California-based self-publishing platform

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