Christian-themed novel for kids delivers mischief with message
Couch potato Raymond “Beamer” Boxby, 11, wants to spend his summer vacation reading comic books and eating chips. In Bash and the Pirate Pig, a rollicking Christian-themed novel for middle readers by Warren Tribune columnist Burton Cole, Beamer learns there is more to life than video games.
Beamer’s parents have decided to send him to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle on their Northeast Ohio farm. Beamer is outraged, not least because it will involve being with his cousin, Sebastian “Bash” Hinglehobb. Remembering a previous visit in which Bash tried to ride his bicycle off the barn roof with a bedsheet parachute, Beamer shudders at the prospect, and his worst fears are realized when Bash instigates a trip to the drive-thru custard stand using cows as transportation.
There is plenty more raucous fun on the farm, and Beamer participates reluctantly, not willing to admit he’s beginning to enjoy the good-spirited mayhem.
The story eases into a gentle Christian message when the boys get lost in the woods on a campout and ask God for help, and continues when they attend Sunday School. Readers will appreciate that Bash’s irrepressible nature extends to taking his turn teaching the story of David and Goliath, complete with slingshot and rocks, and Beamer as an unwilling Goliath. The boys pray when a newborn calf isn’t doing well.
Churchgoing parents who want to encourage faith in their children will be glad to see their young readers laughing along with Bash’s crazy adventures while they identify with Beamer’s spiritual growth.
Bash and the Pirate Pig (210 pages, hardcover) costs $12.99 from B&H Kids and is recommended for readers ages 8 to 12. A second book in the series, Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, is scheduled for 2014. Cole will sign his book from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Village Bookstore in Garrettsville.
‘Kitty Tails & Horses Hooves’
Linda Lehmann Masek remembers the name of every animal she helped during the time she covers in Kitty Tails & Horses Hooves: A Spiritual Journey. They were all that important to her, as she rescued them from roadsides, accepted dropped-off kittens from strangers and cared for newborns at the stables where she rode. Her book recounts the outcome of each, some sad, as Lehmann worked to find homes for them, sometimes paying for their medical care or adopting them herself.
In addition to cats, Lehmann’s benevolence extends to a raccoon and a squirrel. Kitty Tails and Horses Hooves (171 pages, softcover) costs $12.95 from online retailers.
Lehmann, a former English teacher, also has written several novels, including Soul Dance, about a widowed pianist who is rescued after an Alaskan plane crash by an oil millionaire, whom she marries despite his mysterious background. It has echoes of the classic Rebecca.
Ohio Theatre (Playhouse Square, 1511 Euclid Ave., Cleveland) — Historian and biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals) begins the 2013-2014 Town Hall Speaker Series, 6 p.m. Monday. $45; series of seven is $280. Call 216-241-1919.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Tallmadge branch, 90 Community Drive) — Stow author Les Roberts, who has 17 volumes in his Milan Jacovich detective series, talks about his latest (with Dan S. Kennedy), Win, Place, or Die, 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Scott Longert, author of The Best They Could Be: How the Cleveland Indians Became the Kings of Baseball 1916-1920, appears from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Hudson Library & Historical Society (96 Library St.) — Richard Beeman, whose Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution won the 2010 George Washington Book Prize, begins the library’s new American Heritage lecture series. He will talk about The Founding Fathers of 1787: Lessons in Political Leadership and sign his new book Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor, 7 p.m. Wednesday. Registration required; call 330-653-6658.
Dover Public Library (525 N. Walnut St.) — Jin Stearns signs his memoir Lost Seoul, about his struggle to find his family after being lost in a train station as a child, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Registration requested; call 330-343-6123.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Richfield branch, 3761 Grant St.) — Bob Grau, author of Five Million Steps on a Journey of Hope, talks about hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011 and shows photos, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (North Royalton branch, 14600 State Road) — Dan Ruminski, author (with Alan Dutka) of Cleveland in the Gilded Age, presents Cleveland’s Millionaire’s Row, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Cleveland native Kelly Grealis signs The Search, second book in the Descendant Vampire series, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Barnes & Noble (4015 Medina Road, Bath Township) — A local author exhibition features Ryan P. Ruiz (The Black Cadillac), Jenean Atwood Baynes and John H. Atwood (Blue Spots! Yellow Spots!), Melissa Staehli (I Love You to the Moon), Marianne Marullo (The House Where the Robin Sings), D.L. Given (Vital Perception), Susan Rau Stocker (The Many Faces of Anxiety), Mary L. McClure (High Bridge Glens of Cuyahoga Falls), Chris Rodell (Use All the Crayons!), R.J. Theiss (Surprise Surprise), Robert Sberna (House of Horrors), Maryanne Shaw (The 9 Week Miracle) and Patricia Averbach (Painting Bridges). 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Hometown Toys (202 W. Third St., Dover) — Wooster native Annie Tipton signs Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story, the debut of a new children’s series, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Akron-Summit County Public Library (Maple Valley branch, 1187 Copley Road) — Donald Leathers talks about his rehabilitation from drug addiction and his days as an Akron pimp in Hollywood: The True Story of Donald Leathers, 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.