Report by Jonah Kemp
Heart of a Shepherd, by Rosanne Parry, is about Ignatius “Brother” Aldermen, a young Quaker rancher whose dad leaves to fight for his country. Three of Brother’s brothers go off to high school and his oldest brother goes to West Point Academy for army training and Brother is left to do all of the tedious work around the ranch with his two grandparents. At first Brother thinks there is no way the ranch can function without his brothers and dad. Brother thinks he has to be in the armed forces like the rest of his siblings.
One day the uncles of Brother’s good friends Paco and Rosita arrive with news that their parents are coming home from Iraq; sadly, they are coming home injured. A few days after this information, a wildfire breaks out near the Aldermen Ranch. Brother, Ernesto (the helper they hired to help them while everyone is away) and his grandpa ready the ranch for the oncoming fire. After this preparation, Ernesto takes the livestock up to the mountains where they can be safe.
Brother and his grandpa go and catch up with Ernesto after a little more preparation. They dig a ditch and wait out the fire but brother’s grandpa has a heart attack and dies right after the fire dies out. When they arrive home, they find that the barn is burned down and Brother’s father has come home for three days. The day before Mr. Aldermen was to be redeployed, people from congregations in Nebraska came with supplies to rebuild the barn. Before the building started to go up, the congregations and the rest of the Aldermen family gathers around…