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Reviews and Back Cover Endorsements

Product Review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2015



"Jude's Gentle Giants," by Les Graham, is a wonderful tale about faith, love, life, and growing up. The book follows Jude, a Minnesota farm boy, as he fulfills his dream of owning a pair of Percheron draft horses. In learning to train and raise the colts, Jude finds that he is developing a deeper understanding of patience, discipline, and what it means to be a man of strength and character. The book is a slice of small town country life portraying strong family values and good role models for teens, especially for young men. Graham explores the different ways our families, friends, and even animals influence and shape our lives. In taking the reader through Jude's life, Graham reveals a path of integrity, honesty, faith and trust which prevails, despite the various challenges Jude faces. Ultimately, the book is about love. There are strong Christian themes as God's love is reflected in the love between Jude and his family, friends, and horses, Pete and Joe. The story is a heartwarming journey of youthful adventure, laughs, danger, and the unpredictable twists and turns of life. This book is ideal for young men, who will undoubtedly enjoy Jude's rat hunting, hocking playing, and horse rearing, however it appeals to a wide audience ranging from children to adults. There truly is something for everyone in this enjoyable and touching novel.

April Kummrow
NL-S High School Success Coordinator


"Les Graham writes a delightful story that will easily capture the attention of all readers, especially young readers. Jude, his main character, is a mid-teen Christian boy with a love for Draft horses and commitment to following Jesus Christ. Being nurtured in his faith by his parents, he navigates the challenges of adolescent relationships as well as the responsibilities of raising and training Precheron draft horses. This is an excellent book that brings the reader into the life and family of a young man who seeks to live life with a God directed purpose and meaning.

Merrill Kindall - Covenant Pastor


"Any child or young adult who is captivated by horses will love this story of a
teen boy's experience raising and training Percheron draft horses. With this story
comes life lessons on faith and character. A double win!"

Jeff Siemon - Former Minnesota Viking/
Minnesota Search Ministries Director


"Finally, a true-to-life story that I can feel confident recommending to both
youth and adults. Graham does a wonderful job using the teenage character and
life of Jude to teach lessons of work ethic, responsibility, forgiveness and family
relationships. A wholesome and compelling return to reading for the sake of pure
enjoyment! With adventure,humor, intrique and romance, this story has it all."

Paula Holmen - Childrens Church Director/Home School Cooperative


Jude's Gentle Giants is the first in a two-book series by Les Graham. It's written for the Young Adult audience, and has a Christian theme, but anyone who enjoys horses or coming-of-age stories will love it.

The story follows several years in the life of Jude Bonner, a teenage boy who lives on a farm in rural Minnesota. He is in love with a pregnant Percheron mare his neighbor owns, and visits her every day while dreaming of someday owning such a beautiful animal. The neighbor tells him that if Jude does chores for him all winter long, he can have the colt when it's born. What follows is a wonderful story of a boy whose dream comes true (twice!).

This book is full of examples of values we don't see much of today - values like respecting teachers and parents, helping older neighbors, accepting personal responsibility (chores and horse care), being a good moral example for others, working and saving for a coveted item, and leaning on faith and prayers to get through hard times.

It's obvious the author knows a lot about horses by the way he writes, and in fact the story is loosely based on two horses he currently owns. I was charmed by the story and the beautiful black-and-white drawings from the first page, and enjoyed "watching" Jude's colts grow into huge, well-trained horses. I'm going to look for the second book when it's released, to read the next chapters in the life of Jude and his Percherons.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. I wasn't asked or expected to leave a positive review - but I am proud to give this book five stars. It's rare to find a young adult book that doesn't have lots of sex, booze or curse words. This is a book I'd feel good about giving to any young person I know.

Lisa Kearns - Customer Review Amazon

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