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Brian K. Nash was born in 1961 and grew up on a farm in Kansas. Blind from birth, he enjoyed the loving support of his parents and five siblings, who kept him active exploring the woods and riding horses. The many stories they told him and read to him fostered his love of fiction. He began composing his own fiction for children when his daughter Evelyn was small.
He edited the school newspaper at the Kansas School for the Blind. Later on, he received computer training and became an adaptive technician, teaching other blind people to use a computer. He has extensive public speaking experience, especially to groups of school children, seeking to educate others regarding blindness and the capabilities of the blind.
Henrietta of Valley View Farm is the first of Brian's several books for children that are being published by Smashwords. His lively, entertaining stories are set in a fictional place that has a lot in common with the locales he knew and loved as a child. The animals - chickens, cats, dogs, horses, birds, frogs, and many more - can talk to each other, and are among the most vivid of the many characters. They often have much to teach their human friends as they work together to overcome whatever challenges are thrown at them. Adventure abounds, and friendship always triumphs in the end.
on Dec. 09, 2010 :
Warm Rural Themed Christmas Adventure Feels Just Right
This is the third book in a series about Valley View farm and the animals that live there, but the books all stand alone. This book is for children or adults 8 and older. At it's most basic it's about Daniel who needs to recover his mysteriously stolen cat Midnight, but there's a ghost train, animals that can communicate with Daniel and each other, loving families and teachers and friends, lessons learned, consequences, forgiveness, persistence, and resurrection. This could have been a lot to pack into a children's book, but it was so fun to read! The flights of fancy here are only taken to make the story feel that much more real.
For adults it will bring back a sense of life in America 50 or more years ago when things were much simpler. Like a great story told to friends next to a crackling fire over several nights, this book will stay with you long after you finish it. Many of the colloquialisms used by older people in the story will make kids laugh. There's so much atmosphere, and a lot of subtle humor. I found myself smiling a lot! The ending is wonderful. I would have never found this author if not for Smashwords. Give it a chance.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Leonore H. Dvorkin
on Nov. 13, 2010 :
The author says that this book is for kids from 9-12, but I'll bet that their older siblings, parents and grandparents will love it, too. Just as in the previous two Valley View Farm books, the wonderful animal characters are true to their species, as well as to each other and their human friends. The disgusting villain in this book, Marshall Mims, is so real you can practically smell him. You can definitely feel the combined courage and nervousness of 11-year-old Daniel Riggs as he sets out to rescue his cat friend, Midnight. The last part of the book, in which Daniel meets a vicious panther, "the Boss," and then rides the 717 Express ghost train, will give you chills and thrills for sure. All aboard, folks, for a fabulous literary ride! The cover is perfect as well.
(reviewed the day of purchase)