Step into the kinder, gentler good ol’ days gone by, where you might not have two nickels to rub together, but family, faith, and hard work mean everything.

“He’ll be back before you know it,” my older brother Orin said. But when you’re in seventh grade, even one day without your best friend is too long.

Sean Merry’s family of eight is used to the normal hardships all farmers in their rural Kentucky community of Shady Meadows face. But now Sean must embrace a challenge tougher than any crop he’s ever raised. His best friend, Ian, has to return with his mother to Harlan County, Kentucky, to attend a trial about Ian’s father’s death in the coal mines. Days turn into weeks, and weeks turn into months. Will Ian ever return? The waiting will take every shred of patience, trust, and hope Sean has.

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About The Author

Jarrod E. Stephens is a middle-school teacher who enjoys educating the next generation. He grew up on a small family farm in Eastern Kentucky, and his books are born from his love for the simple farming life. Jarrod still farms and hopes that his sons will continue tilling the soil just as their family has done for so many years.

Books by Jarrod E. Stephens