Riding the Neighbors’ Horses. This is the novel I knew I would write someday. It’s done! I can still hardly believe it. My sincere desire is that this coming-of-age story, set in rural Minnesota in the 1920s, will delight both adults and children. It’s about girls who love horses. It’s about childhood. It’s about farms and nature and Minnesota. I loved writing this story. I hope you’ll love reading it.

When twelve-year-old Susan Abbot befriends Nan and Ralph Whiting, the children of the horse trainer down the road, she has the chance to ride some of the best horses in Minnesota. But her desire to ride conflicts with her father’s distrust of horses – and the next-door neighbors who own them. In a golden 1920s summer, Susan reaches for independence, and finds she must weigh her relationships alongside her dreams.

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Embracing the Sky. My older brother wrote this book of poetry before he even started college. This collection offers a window into one young man’s experience with autism. He doesn’t shy away from acknowledging despair, yet at the same time he eagerly draws upon beauty and hope where he can find it. Teachers have used this book in their classrooms, from elementary school to college. At a time when autism is more common than ever, books like this one provide the opportunity for acceptance, understanding, and encouragement for those diagnosed with the disorder, and those who share life with them.

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