Parry, Rosanne. 2009. HEART OF A SHEPHERD. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375848025 [Suggested Grade Levels 5- 7]
Our narrator is Brother. (If your name was Ignatius, you might prefer the nickname “Brother” too.) He comes from a line of ranchers and soldiers. Big men, strong men, manly men. Unfortunately, for Brother, his father's reserve unit has been called to Iraq. And his older brothers are all in college. So it's just him, grandpa, and grandma there on the ranch. Can he handle it? Does he have what it takes to be a rancher? Can he be responsible? Can he be a man?
Rosanne Parry’s HEART OF A SHEPHERD is a coming-of-age story that has heart and soul. As one young man ponders his future, asking big questions, he is tested by circumstances. Will his faith be enough to pull him through?
Encourage readers to discuss: How did Brother grow as a character throughout the novel? Were any of his choices surprising? How did this novel affect your thinking about war and its effects on soldiers and their families?
Other novels about faith:
Grimes, Nikki. ROAD TO PARIS. ISBN 9780142410820
Smiley, Jane. THE GEORGES AND THE JEWELS ISBN 9780375862274
Zielin, Lara. DONUT DAYS. ISBN 9780399250668
Other novels about the Iraqi war:
Holmes, Sara Lewis. OPERATION YES. ISBN 9780545107952
Keller, Julia. BACK HOME. ISBN 9781606840054
Woodson, Jacqueline. PEACE, LOCOMOTION. ISBN 9780399246555
By Becky Laney