Mandabach, Brian 1962(?)-

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Mandabach, Brian 1962(?)-


Born c. 1962, in IL; married; children: one daughter, one son. Education: Colorado College, B.A. (English), M.A.T. Hobbies and other interests: Fishing.


Home—Colorado Springs, CO. E-mail—[email protected]


Educator and writer. Teacher of English at Jenkins Middle School, Colorado Springs, CO; teacher at alternative high school. Producer of radio program Lay of the Land.


… Or Not?, Flux (Woodbury, MN), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Colorado Springs Independent.


Brian Mandabach teaches English and literature in Colorado, where he has worked with students in middle school as well as in high school. His first young-adult novel, … Or Not?, came about after a teenaged girl living nearby Mandabach's home committed suicide, and he began to think about what would prompt someone so young to end their life before it actually began. In … Or Not? Cassie Sullivan is fourteen years old and starting the eighth grade when her world changes. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, cause everyone to rethink their assumptions and to feel less secure in middle America. The idealistic and reflective Cassie is inspired to act out in accordance with the anti-establishment, vegan, hippie philosophy she has embraced. Her refusal to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance and her outspoken attitude against the U.S. military results in Cassie's ostracism by her fellow students. Ultimately, the teen seeks refuge in her writing and ultimately finds an accepting community in a writers group.

Calling Cassie "interesting and likable," Booklist critic Heather Booth predicted of … Or Not? that "introspective teens will … empathize with her struggles." In Kliatt Claire Rosser recommended Mandabach's novel for "precocious early teens" who are "facing similar alienation, depression, and bullying issues."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 15, 2007, Heather Booth, review of … Or Not?, p. 60.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2007, review of … Or Not?

Kliatt, September, 2007, Claire Rosser, review of … Or Not?, p. 15.

School Library Journal, March, 2008, Jeffrey Hastings, review of … Or Not?, p. 206.

Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 2008, Amanda MacGeorge, review of … Or Not?, p. 527.


Brian Mandabach Home Page, (January 15, 2009).

Colorado Springs Independent Online, (May 29, 2008), Jill Thomas, "To Be, or Not" (profile).