Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

Heart of a ShepherdWhat a wonderful book.

Not a very original statement, I know, but when considering this book I’m unable to speak in anything but superlatives.

11-year-old Ignatius “Brother” Alderman is the only one (along with his grandparents and a hired man) left on the family ranch after his father’s reserve unit ships out to Iraq, and his brothers go back to school. Almost every able-bodied man and woman in the county is in the reserve unit, so everyone, not just the Aldermans, is spread thin.

The best way to describe this book is a coming-of-age story, but it’s without the specifically adolescent experiences that the tag usually implies. Over the course of the year, Brother learns a lot about his family, his father, his grandfather and himself, but even though the book ends with a firm decision about his future plans, adolescence and the teen years are still unthought-of.

The book does deal with some weighty themes, but it’s also hiliarious, charming, sweet, and thoughtful by turns. In spite of the serious subject matter, this book would appeal to 5th and 6th graders–and anyone who likes a moving book.  Even if you don’t think you like this sort of story, you owe it to yourself to try this one out. Highly recommended.

Posted by: Sarah


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Thanks for reading my book, Sarah! I don’t usually comment because it seems weirdly self-important, but I couldn’t resist because I was born in Oak Park. If you have a library book club, I’d be happy to Skype visit in my old neighborhood.

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