Billy Oliver by Charles Peters is universally appealing; this truly inspirational book was written for readers who enjoy reminiscing about the good old days, or wonder what life was like without cell phones, computers, and television. Whatever their age, it's guaranteed readers will become so engrossed in this heartfelt story, they will find it impossible to put this book down until they reach the very last page. The story takes place in the late 1940s in northwest Iowa, and ...
Billy Oliver by Charles Peters is universally appealing; this truly inspirational book was written for readers who enjoy reminiscing about the good old days, or wonder what life was like without cell phones, computers, and television. Whatever their age, it's guaranteed readers will become so engrossed in this heartfelt story, they will find it impossible to put this book down until they reach the very last page.
The story takes place in the late 1940s in northwest Iowa, and reveals how a youngster's life is transformed when he finally leaves his meager existence behind to live at a new place that promises the opportunity of a bright future. When his mother becomes terminally ill, Billy, one of thirteen children, picks wild flowers every day to cheer her up. "Remember telling me how they tell a story?" he asks her. "Mama, look at them. The stems are straight and strong, just like you said we are to live our lives. See how green and lush the leaves are, representing life's experiences? See all the beautiful blossoms representing love?" After placing a white rosebud on her chest, he reminds her that she told him that thorns tell us to protect ourselves, and that unopened white buds symbolize purity and innocence, and bring the promise of a new day. When his mother dies, Billy is only nine years old, and he wonders what will happen next. Where will he sleep and eat? Will Papa abandon him now, too? When he and his siblings are sent to stay with their Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jacob, he wonders if he will ever see all the neat things he had found and stored in the barn again, or his thousand-piece horse puzzle. Three weeks later, Billy's grandma instructs the children to write their names on pieces of paper and put them into a hat, and this is how she, their father, Aunt Sarah, and Billy's eldest brother Lee decide where each of them will live. Billy subsequently moves to his grandparents' house, where he plays cards every night, listens to The Great Gildersleeve on the radio, and learns how to crochet, earn money parking cars, can vegetables, and make tomato juice. Tragically, some time after Uncle Jacob is hit by a train and killed, Grandma suffers from a brain aneurism, and Grandpa is unable to take care of both her and Billy. When Billy's father arranges for his son to be taken a hundred miles away to a home for boys and girls, "Maybe you will get adopted," he says. From then on, how Billy handles repeated rejection and encourages other children at the orphanage to stay positive is outstanding, and something that is sure to touch every reader's heart. The day he is chosen for adoption at eleven years old, "I am thrilled," he says. "I can feel my heart pounding in my chest like no other time before, I was very excited." When it's finally time for Billy to leave his colorful past behind, "Thank you, Mama," he whispers, "for teaching me good values to live by." At last, he has a new Mom and Dad, and is about to start a new life on a farm. Written in memory of his biological mother, "an amazing woman," the author says Billy's childhood experiences were inspired by many of his own. Without doubt, the feelings and emotion expressed in this book could only come from a person who has lived the story. With its happy ending, Billy Oliver is definitely a book readers will want to keep and treasure forever.
Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)
Meet the Author
Born near Hartley, Iowa, Charles Peters spent some time in an orphanage before being adopted at age eleven by foster parents who lived on a farm. After graduating from the Lytton Consolidated School, he worked in the dairy industry, and later for a hydraulic manufacturer. Author of Billy Oliver: Holding On To Memories, Peters is now retired and living with his wife of more than forty-seven years in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where he enjoys seeing wild animals in his backyard such as deer, raccoon, fox, and coyote, and wild birds such as turkeys, ducks, geese, and barn owls. Believing the works of nature can be both thrilling and soothing at the same time, he says Billy's childhood experiences parallel with many of his own. He felt Billy's story had to be told before it was forgotten forever.