A Heart of a Shepherd is not for the faint at heart, nor is it for crybabies. (I happen to be both and I wish someone would have warned me first!) I don't usually grab books on a whim without reading about them first, but something drew me to this one. After reading the first few pages while sitting on the floor of the library I was completely absorbed. My library surroundings soon faded and I was transported to a ranch in Oregon, where heartache, adventure, and the beauty of nature surround me.
Roseanne Parry weaves a fascinating tale about Brother (his real name is Ignatius), a young boy who lives on a ranch with his grandparents, father, and four brothers.
After his father leaves for Iraq and his brothers all go away to school, the job of tending the livestock and managing the ranch falls in Brother's hands. This becomes quite a job for an 11-year-old, but Brother is determined to work hard and prove to his older brothers that he can do it with only the help of his grandfather, who is slowly failing in health, and one lone hired man.
There are some intense scenes where Brother learns how to stitch up the wound in his brother's head, births a cow (yes, this was gross but also amazing!), and helps to heal a sick animal. When I try to remember what I was capable of at eleven years old (lemonade stands and friendship bracelets--definitely not birthing cows!) Brother becomes even more of a hero in my mind.
If you love animals, realistic fiction, or are just looking to transport yourself to a completely new
and wonderful setting, this book is for you. But like I said, keep a box of tissues nearby.
Stories with animals and grandpas always get me...
Recipe to Read By: Molasses Cookies
Brother's grandma always keeps a jar of these spicy cookies on the counter.
Word to the wise--don't stick your finger in the molasses jar and then lick it. It definitely DOES NOT taste like darkened honey.
3/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup white sugar
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour.
2.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
3.Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Cool on wire racks.
4. Put on a cowboy hat, lasso your dog, and pretend you're heading into town to buy some horseshoes and goat feed.
*Recipe courtesy of http://www.allrecipes.com/
Watch the book trailer here or by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ0EZdiX164