Meet author Amanda Allagree
Amanda Allagree, the author of “Homeless in Paradise,” is the kind of girl who’d make any parent proud. She’s compassionate, enthusiastic and meticulously polite. What I learned, as I worked with her on editing this story, is that she’s also a real pro, which is the highest compliment I can give a reporter.
And she’s only 16 years old.
I haven’t met her mother, Cheryl Allagree, but I can say this: She’s done an admirable job of rearing her daughter, whom she adopted as a toddler when Amanda’s birth mother, Cheryl’s sister, was unable to care for her.
In her story, Amanda mentions that her mom had a bout with Lyme disease. What she doesn’t say is that she too battled the disease and was out of school for three years, beginning in the middle of the fifth grade. Her mother is a credentialed teacher, however, and was able to home-school her during that time.
Amanda is currently attending CORE Butte Charter School, which blends classroom and non-classroom teaching designed around each student’s needs and talents. Amanda wrote the first version of this story for a Butte College English-composition class taught by Stephen Metzger, a frequent CN&R contributor. He thought so highly of it that he passed it along to us.
That’s how Amanda Allagree became the youngest author of a cover story in the 35-year history of this newsweekly.