2021 Book Reviews: Books That Take You Away

By Julie Simpson –

Welcome to Colorado Country Life’s annual book review issue. Here, you’ll find reviews of some of the many books we read over the past year that have taken us away to new places for new adventures.

It was no surprise that many of the books pulled us into Colorado’s famed Rocky Mountains with stories of mystery and intrigue. Other authors imagined monsters and darkness lurking beneath the beauty of our majestic mile-high surroundings. And, several writers in this year’s selection focused on memory and the idea that memory is identity, that the future is powerfully shaped by the past, that the secrets of your hometown will always come back to haunt you.

To the Mountain

By Erik Raschke

The world looks different for 11-year-old Marshall. For one, he currently lives at a juvenile correction facility, where he is tormented by the other boys and dreams of a life he remembers with a mother and a father and a home. And his brain is different, full of rage and panic that threaten to take him outside himself beyond all control.

A well-meaning staff member takes Marshall for a car ride outside the facility, but they crash on the snowy mountainside during a blizzard. The driver is found near the van, but Marshall disappeared. Marshall’s father, Jace, knows that the boy will try to make it to the top of the mountain he once heard stories about. Jace must grapple not only against the elements and time as he searches for Marshall, but also his demons of guilt and grief when it comes to his choices as a father.

A short, well-written story about the bond between a father and son, To the Mountain also thoughtfully addresses the fierce, unconditional and often painful love of a parent for a violent special needs child. For a beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring read, find this book online or at your local retailer.

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Go Find

By Susan Purvis

Susan Purvis was searching for something: a home, a place, a family, a dream. She found Tasha the puppy, and she learned about avalanche fatalities in Colorado. Together, Susan and Tasha embark on a mission to become the best canine search team in the Rockies.

The road isn’t easy, however. Training a willful puppy presents its own difficulties, in addition to the political hoops to jump through, certifications to receive and rules to follow in order to be called in for searches. But Susan refuses to give up, spurred on by her desire to save lives. In the complexities of searches and life, Susan and Tasha get lost occasionally, but they always have each other to help them “go find.”

A beautifully moving and often humorous true story about the pursuit of a passion and the bond between a working dog and her human, Go Find offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of mountain search and rescue. Go find this great read online or at your local retailer.

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Hanging Falls

By Margaret Mizushima

Timber Creek, Colorado, police officer Mattie Cobb thinks taking a hike up to Hanging Falls with her K-9 partner Robo will be a great way to unwind. But, they find a body floating in the water and Mattie is again in the middle of a dangerous murder investigation right when she is supposed to be reconnecting with her long-lost family.

Mattie and Cole, her boyfriend and local veterinarian, identify the victim by his unique clothing as a member of a strict religious community living on the outskirts of town. While the group seems friendly, Mattie senses more beneath the surface. She and Robo have to use all their combined skills to solve this murder … and prevent another. But how can Mattie focus on this case when the details of her own childhood abduction are coming to the surface?

Part of the Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries by Colorado author Margaret Mizushima, Hanging Falls provides an entertaining whodunnit storyline with the promise of more Mattie Cobb stories to come. Find it online or at local retailers.

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The Last Hurrah: A Phoebe Korneal Mystery

By Julilee Butler and GaGa Gabardi

This fun, quirky mystery story is set in Oresville, a high mountain community in Colorado. Phoebe Korneal, Green County’s newest deputy and detective (well, only detective) is leaving heartbreak and disillusionment behind and starting over close to childhood friends.

Then, one morning Old Al, the mining community’s resident gold prospector, is found dead. But why? Did he die just because he was old or was it murder?

Follow Phoebe and a town full of interesting characters as they work to solve Old Al’s mysterious death.

This is the first book in a three-book series for a couple of Colorado grandmas who spent last year’s quarantine time writing. The book was a finalist in the Colorado Author League awards. Find The Last Hurrah online or at your local bookstore.

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Monsters, Movies & Mayhem

Edited by Kevin J. Anderson

A zombie family watches their final movie marathon. The Toad Man sneaks up on unsuspecting theatergoers. Aliens stop by for pizza. Is this some kind of weird TV show? No, it’s Monsters, Movies & Mayhem, a short story collection curated by the creative minds of the Publishing MA students in the graduate program in creative writing at Western Colorado University in Gunnison.

Whether you’re in to movies, the horror genre or just love a good story, this collection has everything it needs to make you laugh, cry and scream, sometimes all within the same piece. All the stories handpicked by the students relate to movies and monsters but, like all good literature, are really about what makes us human … even if we’re undead. For a great creepy read, find this Colorado Book Award winner at a local or online retailer.

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Gone to Darkness

By Barbara Nickless

After all the publicity of her previous solved cases, Sydney Parnell is promoted from railroad cop to star detective of the Denver Police Department. But the elevation of her circumstances also put a target on her back, both from other detectives looking for a mistake and from criminal elements looking to make her an example. All that has to be put aside, however, when a horribly mutilated body turns up in a refrigerated train car. As Sydney and her K-9 partner Clyde follow the trail, they find themselves in a world of darkness they never knew existed. Will the strength of their partnership be enough to help them find their way back out into the light again?

Another graphic, page-turning Parnell story from Colorado author Barbara Nickless, Gone to Darkness is hard to put down until you’ve reached the terrifying conclusion. Pick up this and other books in the series at your local retailer or online.

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Memories in the Drift

By Melissa Payne

Claire Hines lost her baby girl and her shortterm memory 10 years ago … at least, that’s what her notebooks tell her. She knows some things about her “before” life, like how she lives in the remote town of Whittier, Alaska, with her father; that her mother Alice is an alcoholic who left her as a child; that her high school boyfriend Tate broke her heart.

But when the details of her notebooks don’t seem to explain things that are happening — like her dad’s absence, or her mother’s return — Claire’s control of her fragile reconstructed world begins to slip. What if there were things she left out of her own notes so she wouldn’t have to remember? And how much can she trust the people around her to fill in the blanks?

A beautifully crafted story about forgiveness and community, this novel by Colorado author Melissa Payne expertly weaves believable characters and their pieced-together storylines into a unique and moving book. Find this wonderful story online or at local retailers.

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Winter Counts

By David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Virgil Wounded Horse is the enforcer at the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When the local authorities fail to enact justice, which happens often, Virgil brings the justice with his fists … and occasionally a baseball bat.

But when heroin comes to the reservation and almost takes his own nephew, Virgil might be over his head in his search for those responsible. From the rez to Denver cartels and back to the rez, the conspiracy of the drug running goes deeper than even his desire for revenge might be able to go. In order to save his nephew, Virgil will need more than bloody knuckles. He has to search deep within himself for the strength of his ancestors in order to win this fight for his family and his people.

A beautifully raw book, Winter Counts manages to weave together a story of identity, culture and crime-fighting — a difficult feat to accomplish. Colorado author David Heska Wanbli Weiden addresses a difficult conversation about what it means to be Native American in these modern times. Find this well-crafted, award-winning read through local or online retailers.

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By Amy Rivers

Kate Medina still remembers discovering the burned body of the girl in a riverbed with her best friend Roman years ago. Now a forensic psychologist and back in her hometown, Kate feels compelled to investigate when another girl disappears and another terrified silence seems to gag the entire town.

How many horrible secrets can one small town in New Mexico hide? Kate must reunite with the estranged Roman, now a police officer, to struggle against the powerful forces trying to keep the past and the present buried. But how far is Kate willing to go to protect people she doesn’t really know, especially when her search puts the people she loves at risk?

A haunting story of power, secrets and exploitation, Complicit is the first installment of a series by Colorado author Amy Rivers. For a nail-biter of a thriller with an inspiring message of courage and perseverance, find this novel online or at local retailers.

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Site Fidelity

By Claire Boyles

Against the fading backdrop of a dying world, women endure. A nun decides to sabotage a fracking site in order to protect the children of her town. An ornithologist must decide between the legacy of her rancher father and an endangered grouse. A farmer hides her chicken flock from federal agents during the bird flu. Women give birth to children and new definitions of themselves. Can they make the world new again, too?

A masterfully crafted and engaging collection of short stories by Colorado author Claire Boyles, Site Fidelity weaves the lives of women and the life of Earth through time and space, casting new light on an ancient narrative. For a wonderfully written and perspective-shifting read, find this book at online or local retailers.

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Mercy Creek

By M.E. Browning

A little girl mysteriously disappears on her way home from the county fair, and Detective Jo Wyatt is determined to find her before it’s too late. But in the small town of Echo Valley, Colorado, investigations are complicated by the fact that everyone knows everyone — and this case hits closer to home for Jo than most.

Can Jo wade through the mess of family drama, high school memories, old wounds and a web of lies in order to get to the bottom of the girl’s disappearance, or will she be forced to abandon the case because of grudges and department politics? Find this newest Jo Wyatt crime thriller online or at your local retailer.

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All the Days Past, All the Days to Come

By Mildred D. Taylor

The award-winning Colorado author of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry has produced yet another moving novel with All the Days Past, All the Days to Come. The story follows the Logan family across the United States and through several decades, beginning in 1944 and concluding with the fight for racial equality in the 1960s.

The feisty heroine, Cassie Logan, sees her brothers go to and return from war, only to continue to be disrespected in Mississippi for being Black. Though she and her brothers seek better opportunities in Toledo, Ohio, the prejudices are the same. Can the Logan family find respect and happiness in the midst of these tumultuous times, or will they be beaten back like so many others who dared to speak up?

Another important and insightful story from Mildred D. Taylor, this book is both emotionally moving and historically informative. Find it online or at a local retailer.

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Wild Times & True Tales from the High Plains

By Matt Vincent

Army engagements, outrageous personalities, fatal misunderstandings — all are a part of Colorado author Matt Vincent’s new collection of historically-inspired short stories. Ride into battle alongside some of the last great Native American warriors. Hunker down against a surprise attack alongside other young soldiers. Chase a raiding party across the endless high plains. Whatever your Western adventure, you can find it by looking up this book at local stores or online retailers.

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Undercover Outlaw

By Gini Rifkin

Trinity didn’t think things could get much worse than her domestic enslavement back East. But just when she thinks she’s reached freedom in the wilds of Colorado, she’s kidnapped by a handsome rogue and brought to the attention of the gang that runs the town of Prairie Ridge.

The man who takes her off the stagecoach at gunpoint is only playing the part of a coldhearted ruffian, however. Jesse is working undercover within the gang in order to find the man who shot and killed his only brother. Even when he finds himself drawn to the beautiful Trinity, he has to stay in character, for his sake and hers. If anyone finds out who they really are, they’ll both be dead.

Can the budding love between Jesse and Trinity help them work together to free the town, or will it be their undoing? Find out by getting Undercover Outlaw, the latest from Colorado author Gini Rifkin, online or from your local retailer.

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Fleeing the Past

By Christopher LaGrone

Layne Sheppard feels stuck in a dead-end life. With few prospects on the horizon, he hangs his hopes on his admission to the Border Patrol Academy. But with shadows from the past continuing to follow him into the present, will he be able to pass the background check? And when the stress of the academy hits, will he be able to resist the temptation of bad habits?

Fleeing the Past is the first book in The Delta Tango Trilogy written by the late Christopher LaGrone and published posthumously by his mother, Sherryl LaGrone of Grand Lake. Handling difficult issues such as racism, the border conflict and alcoholism, the series presents a tragic story of an ambitious life haunted by addiction. Find this book and the rest of the trilogy online or at local retailers.

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Forever Wild, Forever Home

By Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger

Most people probably aren’t aware that Colorado is home to one of the world’s premier captive wild animal sanctuaries. Right outside Keenesburg on the eastern plains, Pat Craig and his team have built The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Colorado, now home to more than 500 rescued tigers, lions, bears, cougars, leopards, wolves, and many other wild species.

Authors Melanie and Mark Shellenbarger fell in love with the sanctuary and its mission the first time they visited, and they dedicated to themselves to write this book to tell others about the great work being done in Colorado to rescue animals from horrendous conditions all over the world. From its humble beginnings with one leopard cub on a family farm to the international operation it is today, the sanctuary continues to fight for wild animals suffering in the exotic pet trade, roadside zoos, and cub petting operations.

To learn more about and support this very special local organization, pick up this book in the gift shop when you go to visit The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

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Spurred West

By Ian Neligh

Author of one of our previously acclaimed books, Gold!, Colorado journalist Ian Neligh has once again crafted his extensive research into a book that is both informative and entertaining with Spurred West. A fascinating and factual window to the past, it details the stories of some of the rogues, treasure seekers, bounty hunters and other “colorful characters” who shaped the identity of the Wild West.

With an interesting twist, Neligh also looks into the lives of the many interesting people in present-day Colorado and beyond who keep the spirit of the Wild West alive. History may have moved forward, but real-life rogues, bounty hunters and treasure seekers continue to find their place in our wild and wide open spaces. Find this book at your local retailer or online.

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Game 163: The Epic ’07 Wild Card Tiebreaker, and the Rockies Team that Went to the World Series

By Denny Dressman

Renowned sports writer and historian Denny Dressman does it again with this in-depth evaluation of the most dramatic Rockies baseball year in history. From the makeup of the team, discussions by coaches and management, and a play-by-play breakdown of everything that came together to create the Rockies’ historic journey to the World Series, this book gives baseball fans that insider, behind-the-scenes look at the elements of a compelling underdog victory.

If you’re a Rockies fan or know one, be sure to pick up this book at a local retailer or online.

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Shadow Ridge

By M.E. Browning

Jo Wyatt is a hard-working detective in the beautiful town of Echo Valley, Colorado. Though the scenery may be beautiful, the apparent suicide of a young videogame designer hints at the presence of a dark underbelly to the quiet community. While her colleagues want to write off the death as obvious suicide, Jo senses the possibility of something more during her interviews with the victim’s girlfriend, Quinn Kirkwood. And when a second member of the game development group dies unexpectedly, Jo knows she has a killer on the loose, one who could also be after Quinn…or Jo herself.

Shadow Ridge is a classic detective story that will keep you guessing, find this book at local or online retailers.

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Double Jeopardy

By Donna Schlachter

Becky Campbell heads West to escape her mother’s expectations and to find her absent father, only to discover that he has been murdered, leaving his mining claim up for grabs. But Becky refuses to relinquish her dream of mining with her father, so she purchases his claim and gets to work.

Zeke Graumann says that he’ll be Becky’s mine foreman to help fund his portion of the family ranch, but really he’s intrigued by this odd and inappropriate woman who has rolled into town. But when freak accidents begin to happen that threaten the lives of everyone working the mine, Zeke has to decide if the beautiful Becky is worth dying for.

Can Becky find her father’s murderer before he kills her, make the mine profitable and snare Zeke’s heart? Find out by looking up this book by Colorado author Donna Schlachter online or at a local retailer.

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Peak of Danger

By D.M. O’Byrne

Trout Fork, Colorado has become home for Ryn Lowell. She loves her job as a reporter, she’s happily in love with her handsome fiancé Garrett, and she enjoys the affection and loyalty of friends who are more like family.

But more is going on in this idyllic mountain setting than meets the eye, and the death of a young man, one of her coworkers, reveals evidence of a murderous plot. The police department may want to label it an accident, but Ryn’s investigative senses tingle at the possibility that it may be something more. Ryn follows the killer’s trail to try to prevent another death, but can she keep herself from becoming the next victim?

The latest Ryn Lowell thriller from Colorado author D.M. O’Bryne, this book is an enjoyable read in a familiar, small mountain town setting. Pick it up at your local retailer or online.

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Summer Club

By Katherine Dean Mazerov

Scandalous affairs, a big bag of cash, a fight over a water heater, a lawsuit over lights — and of course, poop in the pool. Welcome to summer at the Meadow Glen Swim and Tennis Club.

Lydia Phillips regrets taking the position of club president almost as soon as she volunteers. Everyone always seems mad at her for one reason or another, and the drama is getting out of hand. Especially when thousands of dollars are found in a bag under the club dumpster and no one shows up to claim it. Is there something criminal happening at the pool? And why does Lydia keep seeing that dark sedan everywhere? Can she make it through the summer without losing her mind…or her life?

While this novel by Colorado author and former Denver Post writer Katherine Dean Mazerov might be a bit of a slow read for some, lovers of drama and reality television should get a kick out of the wacky cast of characters who make up this story. Find it online or at a local retailer.

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The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids of Denver

By Jane Little Botkin

When it comes to the impact of labor wars in Colorado, some might know the story of the Ludlow Massacre. But very few are probably aware that another labor conflict, though less violent, was waged inside the very homes of the richest elite in Denver itself.

This historical account by Jane Little Botkin brings to light the story of the “rebel maids” of Denver and their organizer, Jane Street. Fighting centuries of class discrimination, the who’s-who of the city and sexist limitations even among labor organizations, Jane worked tirelessly to change the status quo of working conditions and wages for housemaids.

Though this book can be factually dense, the history it contains is important, relevant, and worth remembering. Learn more about the “housemaid rebellion” in Denver by finding it online or at a local retailer.

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The Bad Old Days of Colorado

By Randi Samuelson-Brown

Lots of people like to refer to “the good old days,” but they probably aren’t talking about the early days of the Wild West, at least not in Colorado. Gold booms and busts, rampant alcohol abuse and crime, and the dramas surrounding the local prostitutes were just some of the things dealt with in those first settlements. Life in old Colorado was tough and you were lucky to get out alive, much less rich.

The Bad Old Days of Colorado provides a realistic and yet still entertaining perspective on what it was actually like to live in the days of the Wild West that have been so romanticized by movies and television. For a fascinating historical glimpse into the past of our state, look up this book online or at a local retailer.

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Tales from a Mountain Town

By Eugene Buchanan

Whether you love the mountain lifestyle or long for the mountain lifestyle, reading this book will bring smiles — and outright laughter — as outdoor writer Eugene Buchanan shares a compilation of short essays and life in a mountain town, namely Steamboat Springs.

There are stories of ski and canoe trips, bicycle outings, snowstorms, concerts and other random happenings around town, including when Yampa Valley Electric Association, the local electric cooperative, comes to the rescue. And all of the stories come with enough familiar references that locals will enjoy but not so many that those who’ve never been over Rabbit Ears Pass can’t picture the foibles and fun of a mountain town. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Tragically Beautiful

By Beth Bullard

Life is unpredictable and, in a series of thought-provoking essays, writer Beth Bullard writes about coming through tragedy and dealing with loss and a changing perspective.

The Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association member lost her spouse suddenly in a motorcycle accident. These essays take readers through the heartbreaking reality that she faced in her 50th year in the aftermath of the accident as she navigates what the future will look like for her and her children.

The essays take readers from the harsh reality to moments of humor and they follow the emotional rollercoaster Bullard took on her path toward healing. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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It’s Not About the Badge

By John DiGirolamo

What is behind the badge? The news this past year has been filled with broad-stroke, not-always-complimentary, descriptions of the “police.” But who are these individuals who take the oath to serve? What are their backgrounds? What are their motivations, especially in small town USA?

Author John De Girolamo shares the real stories of real cops in a series of essays on six law enforcement officers in central, rural Colorado. This book shares their backgrounds and their motivations and allows readers to walk in their shoes for bit.

While presentation is a bit hard to follow at times, the stories are heartfelt and give a peek behind the thin blue line to begin to understand what it takes to be a good police officer. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Forgotten Colorado

By Heath A. Gay

This paperback photo book explores an often ignored and unappreciated part of the Centennial State. The photos bring attention to the eastern plains and 19 small towns, including a couple abandoned towns that still are historically significant. There are renovated historic buildings as well as long abandoned structures, ghost towns and still thriving schools in the photos. Gay also includes vignettes of the communities and their history.

If you love the eastern plains of Colorado, you’ll want this book in your collections before even more of these places and structures vanish. Get this book at your local bookstore or online.

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All-Time Favorite Recipes from Colorado Cooks

From Gooseberry Patch

There’s a feeling of comfort when you get meal ideas from your friends and neighbors, and while the cooks featured in Gooseberry Patch’s All-Time-Favorite Recipes from Colorado Cooks may not be next door, their recipe submittals bring that feeling of home. With 145 assorted recipes from all over the Centennial State, these delicious downhome ideas are bound to awaken your Colorado pride.

Find this cookbook online or at your local bookstore.

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Our Wild Tails: The Adventures of Henry & Baloo

by Cynthia Bennett

Those who love animals will smile as they look through this photo books of two friends, Henry the dog and Baloo the cat. The two animals and their humans have hiked throughout Colorado, as well as 10 other states in the Great American West.

Although Henry and Baloo are featured on both a Facebook page and a popular Instagram account, the book is filled with never before seen photos of the two of them in beautiful locations, always simpatico. Find this book at your local bookstore or online.

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Young Adult and Children’s Books

Turtle Under Ice

By Juleah del Rosario

Rowana’s sister, Ariana, is missing. Her mother is dead. Her stepmother has miscarried their baby sister. Row feels utterly alone.

But maybe this alone is what she needs to figure out how she feels, instead of distracting herself with hard work at school and soccer practice. Maybe she needs to shatter apart the armor she’s put up and be honest in order to help Ariana, and herself.

Written entirely in beautiful freeform poetry, this book is a quick but evocative read. Examining grief and loss, family and finding yourself, this young adult story is equally as engaging for adults. Look it up online or at a local retailer.

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Coming Up: A Boy’s Adventures in 1940s Colorado Springs

By Lucy Bell

With the exception of the public school system, Oliver Bell lived in a segregated community growing up in Colorado Springs. Although times were difficult for the black community, Oliver’s childhood was still a whimsical one, full of adventure, laughter and shenanigans.

Born in 1933, Oliver blossomed in his community as an athlete and eventually had a 30-year career teaching physical education the Colorado Springs School District. Author Lucy Bell was married to Oliver and knows firsthand of his experiences through the stories and pictures he shared with her. Get an accurate, historic depiction of the life of one black American through stories and historic photographs in this delightful book. Get this book at your local bookstore or online.

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I Will Dance

by Nancy Bo Flood
illustrated by Julianna Swaney

Eva is a beautiful little girl who shares the same dreams as many other little girls: a sense of belonging and to dance the day away. For Eva, however, these aspirations are more challenging. You see, little Eva has the ambition and the perfect pink tutu, but there’s one obstacle: she has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. But that won’t stop her. Eva discovers a place to make her dreams reality, where everyone is included.

I Will Dance captures the charm of little Eva and, through delightful words and illustrations, reveals the humanity of others — with all abilities — surrounding her through inclusion, laughter and dance. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Cow Boy is NOT a Cowboy

by Gregory Barrington

When Goat Girl meets Merle, a bull, she assumes she has him figured out. But Merle wants to make it clear: He’s a cow and he’s a boy, but he is NOT a cowboy. This book helps teach children that there’s more to a friendship than first impressions. For ages 4-8. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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God Gave Us Prayer

by Lisa Tawn Bergren, art by David Hohn

From the God Gave Us series comes God Gave Us Prayer. In this installment, Mama and Papa teach Little Pup the ins and outs of prayer, such as what you say to God and the importance of prayer, forgiveness, gratefulness and compassion toward others. For ages 3-8. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Max Goes to Town

by Cynthia L. Clark

Cynthia L. Clark’s debut children’s book tells a story about Max, a scruffy farm cat who goes on an adventure to town and surprises his family. Written in verse and based on a true story. For ages 2-8. Find this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Ransom of the Golden Egg

by Kathy Bury

A princess chicken and her horse seek out the wolf and coyote who stole a magical golden egg. This fun adventure also demonstrates the value of friendship, courage and love. It shows readers that it’s important to face your fears, forgive mistakes and give second chances even to those who are up to no good. Find this book at your local bookstore or online.

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Read Island: The Picture Book

by Nicole Magistro, illustrated by Alice Feagan

This rhyming picture book tells the tale of a girl and her gang of animal friends who go on a quest for Read Island, an island made of books. Along the way, the gang meets new friends and discovers the beauty of the outdoors. To get this book, head to your local bookstore or buy it online.

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Snoozapalooza, by Kimberlee Gard

illustrated by Vivian Mineker

A mouse finds the perfect naptime spot and initiates a slumber mountain of 10 animal friends. Kids will count to 10 while reveling over the sweet story and delightful illustrations this duo crafted in the making of Snoozapalooza. For ages 5-8. Get this book online or at your local bookstore.

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Hello Tree

by Ana Crespo

Hello Tree tells a story of the relationships between humans and nature, told from the unique perspective of a tree. Inspired by the 2013 Black Forest Fire, this book details what happened when a forest fire forced the animals and humans to leave but left a tree to wait it out until the flames die out. If you want this book, visit your local bookstore or go online.

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Julie Simpson grew up reading books on the Front Range of Colorado before earning her degree and becoming an English teacher deep in the heart of Texas.