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by Jenni Giesey
Two Wonderful Reads for the Family this Summer
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By Jenni Giesey
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June 3, 2014 11:20 a.m.

My oldest first cousin on my mom’s side of the family, John Seither,  has a very talented wife.  Marci Seither, besides being a great wife and mom to 6 kids-3 who are grown and 3 still at home-has found for herself quite a niche as a writer.  She began writing feature articles, op/ed pieces, and human-interest articles and as her writing career expanded, she entered the realm of book writing.  In 2013 and this  year, she has written and published 2 books!
The first book, The Adventures of Pearley Monroe, was the book that was inspired on a homeschooling field trip with her kids.  Marci is a native Californian and stories about the early pioneer families who came to live in California have always fascinated her.  Several years ago while on a field trip with some of her children to Sutter’s Mill,  they saw many buildings and one in particular caught Marci’s eye: a simple, white, clapboard building.  She asked about it and was told that it belonged to the Monroe family.  Peter and Nancy Monroe had been brought to California in 1849, slaves from Missouri.  They had been forced to leave their son, Andrew, behind in Missouri.  In 1850, California entered the Union as a free state and that released the Monroes from slavery.  Nancy then spent 21 years trying to reunite with their son, Andrew, and it finally did happen.  Marci was moved by the Monroe family’s story and told one of the docents at Sutter’s Mill that this family’s story needed to be told.  The docent agreed and told Marci that since no living descendents existed for the Monroe family that getting their story down would be a wonderful thing to happen.  Marci informed the docent that she only wrote feature articles for magazines and newspapers but he told her that if she was serious about writing down the Monroe’s story in a book, he could give her all of the information he had collected and saved for many years and get her access to the archive library for research purposes.  With the docent’s plea and challenge, this book was born.
Pearly Monroe is a 12 year old boy growing up in Coloma, California in the 1880s, growing up in Gold Rush country.  There are many adventures along his path and they add to his learning that in life, hard choices need to be made and wisdom needs to be sought after.
Recently, Marci got the neat opportunity to visit teacher Michael La Marr’s 4th grade class at Del Paso Manor Elementary School in Sacramento.  The class had read Marci’s book and loved it, so their teacher made a plan for Marci to do a surprise author visit with his students and it was captured on local television station KCRA-3.
This is a fun read, aimed at children ages 9-12 but it would also make a great family read aloud book, and it would also be a great supplement to a homeschool unit study on California or the Gold Rush, or both!
Marci’s second book, my husband and I had a bit part to play in it.  Empty Nest: Strategies To Help Your Kids Take Flight.  With lots of humor, godly wisdom, and common sense advice, Marci writes about her experiences in releasing 3 of her children to the world, ready to live their own lives as adults.   There are 13 chapters in the book, dealing with children leaving for college, for the military(that’s the chapter my husband and I gave part of our voices to), helping the siblings stay connected to the one who has left, parenting solo and saying good-bye, what if the child comes back, coping as a couple with no more children to raise, and many more important topics to read about.  There is also a reflection section at the end of each chapter, in order to think and ponder on the chapter and good ideas are also listed at each chapter’s end, to help one cope with this new stage in the family dynamic.
For Summer 2014, when life slows down a bit, take some time to look for these books and grab your nearest hammock, shady spot, glass of lemonade in hand, and read!
Filed under: Book Review Tagged: California Gold Rush, Coloma California, Empty Nest, John Sutter, The Monroe House

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