As a surprise for the students he has been reading to all year, Pride along with Putnam County Foundation Director Elaine Peck arranged to have the author of the series of books he has been reading, come and meet the students.
"I thought it would be nice to bring the lady who wrote the book to meet you and for you to meet her," Pride told the two classes of fifth graders.
Book author is Vera M. Kierstead-Faber. Pride explained to the group that Kierstead-Faber was born in Bainbridge and graduated from Greencastle High School.
She explained a little of the background of the book before Pride began reading.
"Jamie is 10 years old, the same age of many of you. His mother passed away and his father was on the Lewis and Clark expedition in the west. People in his town went to Thomas Jefferson who lived nearby to ask for help finding his father," explained Kierstead-Faber.
The story revolves around Jamie being befriended by the Allen family after the death of his mother and he heads west by wagon train in search of his father.
During his two-year journey from Front Royal, Virginia, to Marietta, Ohio, and then on to St. Louis, Missouri, Jamie meets both friendly and hostile Native Americans. He nearly drowns while crossing the Potomac River, and he barely escapes being stolen and sold into servitude by two unscrupulous women.
A naturally gifted artist and musician, he learns to carve magnificent wooden animals and to play the violin. He helps to raise a log cabin and he meets the lovely Mary Beth. With the help of his beloved Grandma Nelson, a member of the Allen family, he carves an award-winning top.
While Jamie cherishes his victories and overcomes his discouraging trials, he never loses hope of finding his father.
Author Vera M. Kierstead-Farber received a bachelor's degree in music education from DePauw University and her master's degree from Villanova University. She also earned certifications from the Famous Artist School and the Institute of Children's Literature.
She retired from her career as a music teacher in the Radnor, Pennsylvania Schools and now resides back in Putnam County where she continues to enjoy music, oil painting, gardening, and working as a volunteer with her local Methodist Church. She is also active with the Council on Aging, R.S.V.P., and AARP. She is married to Dr. Robert Farber, vice president emeritus of DePauw University.
Her books are for sale on amazon.com, barginbasement.com. and at other book selling locations.