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Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
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Heart of a Shepherd (2009)

by Rosanne Parry

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One of the best books I've read. ( )
  bookwren | Aug 11, 2018 |
"Heart of a Shepherd" gets to the heart of a twelve-year old boy's struggle of needing to be a man in a boy's body. When his dad and their community of dads are called to war, and his own brothers are called away to do 'what they must do,' "Brother" must keep the ranch going. He could handle the chores, if they didn't include suffering or blood, but what ranch doesn't have animals that bleed?

An excellent read, made better by our own boys' experience of a dad gone to war. Thank you. ( )
  Sonya.Contreras | May 21, 2017 |
Brother is the youngest boy in a family with a military history. While his father is deployed to Iraq and his older brothers are away in school or the military, Brother strives to be the man he wants to be, helping his grandparents run the ranch so when his father returns everything will still be in order. Brother is a good, good boy, devoted to his family and values of hard work. On the surface this is a quiet story, but kids will identify with Brother's struggles and be intrigued by the details of ranch living. The author excellently brings to life the ambience of rugged, rural Oregon and the values of a ranching family. ( )
1 vote Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Ignatius Alderman is the youngest son in a long line of ranchers and army men. When his dad leaves for the war in Iraq, Ignatius promises to help his grandparents keep the ranch running. It is not an easy task for a 12 year old boy. ( )
  saillergirl | Jan 18, 2016 |
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book, especially since there is a religious undertone to it and I don't typically enjoy having religion be a part of what I am reading when it comes to fiction. The author did a stunning job of capturing the characters in relationship with their various beliefs (the grandparents are of different religious backgrounds) and simply making it a part of them rather than what they are made of, if that makes any sense.

The main part of this coming of age story is the deployment of the main character's father. The entire town is made up of military families and it is expected that you will join the military or become a rancher when you are old enough. The boy has lived with his father and his grandparents since his mother moved away,and with his older brothers off in school he will now be the only one left to help his grandparents care for the ranch. He tries his best to take on his father's role, but it isn't easy for him. By the end of the book all of his experiences have helped him realize who it is he was meant to be.

I imagine this is a helpful and meaningful book for any child whose parent is deployed as it deals with both the time apart and the changes that go through a soldier once they have returned to civilian life after combat. It is also an excellent look at families and relationships. ( )
1 vote mirrani | Jan 7, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375848037, Paperback)

When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe return. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch, but also reveal his true calling.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ignatius "Brother" Alderman, nearly twelve, promises to help his grandparents keep the family's Oregon ranch the same while his brothers are away and his father is deployed to Iraq, but as he comes to accept the inevitability of change, he also sees the man he is meant to be.… (more)

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