Sunday, April 30, 2017

  I hopped off my bike before it came to a complete stop and leaned it against a tree.  Then I bounded up the stairs, two at a time.  I was ten years old and at the library!

   The race to get there—dodging cars and dogs, and ignoring the blare of horns—contrasted with the deathly silence upon entering the library’s austere interior.  Safely entombed behind those heavy doors, I was guaranteed the suspicious scrutiny of elderly ladies conducting important business with all manner of index cards and rubber stamps with purple ink.  Without fail they were uniformed in floral dresses and sensible shoes.  Gray hair was wrapped in buns and occasionally the most cautious among them added the protection of a net.  These matrons were not to be messed with even if they did smell of the same talc my sweet grandmother wore.  Respectfully and with eyes averted, I made my way to the stairs. Though the steps led downward, it was my stairway to heaven.

   Jumping off the last tread, I entered that sacred area labeled ‘Children’s Section’ where stale air scented with dust and aged pages greeted me.  I headed straight for the back wall where, on the third and fourth shelves, rested adventures and lives recorded on pages with unfinished edges and hard covers of burnt orange.  My eyes quickly scanned the titles on the spines.  I saw several old friends—Davy and Daniel of course, George and Abe, Zachary Taylor and ‘Old Hickory’—but many I was still eager to get to know.  I grabbed several and lugged them to the scarred and pock marked table where my task was to select the precious three that would go home with me for two weeks.  However, I knew their stay would fall well short of the allotted fourteen days because the quests contained within those orange covers would be consumed quickly.  One likely wouldn’t last the afternoon and evening.  And no book was ever, ever late in returning because, with a dollar bill in my pocket for a recently mown lawn and a new shipment of five-cent baseball cards arriving at the corner grocery, a two-cent per day penalty simply wasn’t good financial management!

   I suppose without realizing the connection, my early exposure to reading factored in The Mysterious Miss Snoddy series.  I was a pre-television farm boy who clearly recalls listening to my mother’s evening readings from The Hills of Kentucky and The Sugar Creek Gang.  My appreciation for history also grew with the number of candles on my birthday cake.  Three of my grandchildren are the story’s main characters and they benefit from Miss Snoddy’s personal relationship with American history.  My wish is for them to learn to love reading and writing and realize the places they can go when they get between the front and back covers of a book.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It's here!  Order your copy now!  Signed copies available on request.


"Frightened by their new teacher, Ava, Ellie and Griffin are not excited about the new school year.  Their fear is replaced with curiosity about Miss Snoddy.  Every day she wears old-fashioned clothes smelling of moth balls and lace-up, black leather shoes.

The trio quickly learns their teacher knows a lot about American history.  A peek into an old journal adds to the mystery.  They discover personal notes about events such as the Boston Massacre and a friendship with Paul Revere.  Unsure of what is going on, they sneak into her house in search of more clues.  Finally, when Miss Snoddy sees them in class viewing a picture of her in a history book, she decides to tell them the secret she’s been hiding.  They are unaware of the adventures that await them!"

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It's almost here, Jim's new book!  It is the first in a 3-part series of Youth Fiction.  Will post more information on how to get your copy!

Frightened by their new teacher, Ava, Ellie and Griffin are not excited about the new school year.  Their fear is replaced with curiosity about Miss Snoddy.  Every day she wears old-fashioned clothes smelling of moth balls and lace-up, black leather shoes.
The trio quickly learns their teacher knows a lot about American history.  A peek into an old journal adds to the mystery.  They discover personal notes about events such as the Boston Massacre and a friendship with Paul Revere.  Unsure of what is going on, they sneak into her house in search of more clues.  Finally, when Miss Snoddy sees them in class viewing a picture of her in a history book, she decides to tell them the secret she’s been hiding.  They are unaware of the adventures that await them!