Every Maine Child Needs To Read These Awesome Books

I hope every Maine child gets to read some of Francine McEwen’s awesome books, focused on promoting kindness and acceptance in children.

Francine lives in Manchester, Maine, and is part of the “Read Across America” program. She enjoys reading to middle school children at her local grange and conducts anti-bullying workshops for kids.

One of her biggest fans was Barbara Bush whose comments are in the front of the four books I recently read and enjoyed. I can tell you the stories are very compelling along with their important messages. And Barbara made sure all of Francine’s books are available to kids in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland.

The four books I read were Bill E. Goat, In Search of Earth, Billy Big Ears and Bob the Bully, and Susan’s Suitcase. Each book is a riveting story. I intended to read one book each evening but once I read Billy Big Ears, I just had to dive into the other three books.

Thomas Block’s illustrations are very entertaining and memorable too.

In Billy Big Ears, the odd looking eyeglass-wearing boy and the school bully give us a happy ending that you will never forget. And in Susan’s Suitcase, an eight-year-old girls beloved teacher dies of cancer and her father helps her through a difficult loss with what he called the suitcase talk – another remarkable story.

In Search of Earth is a very entertaining tale of a strange creature from another planet who lands on earth and becomes friends with a young girl. And Bill E. Goat is an ugly goat that is bullied and reviled by goats on many farms until he finds the perfect place for him called the Safe Haven Sanctuary.

Please make sure the children in your family and community have access to these wonderful and important stories.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.