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LORAL COUNTY TIMES: Return to Echo Woods is the introductory tale of people, animals, and adventures in fictional Loral County in Missouri. This rural area is a place where normal activities are not exactly as they appear because of a clever elf named Sam, who has hidden agendas and is only visible to a select population. He is especially perplexing to newcomer Audry Merryweather, a young woman who moves to Echo Woods to take ownership of her family’s historical homestead. Here she unwittingly becomes an accomplice in Sam’s efforts to shelter and provide forever homes for animals. But, she is not alone. Sam is quite resourceful and has many allies with diverse talents—everybody from an animal control officer to a youth home coordinator and even a red-tailed hawk. Altogether, they combat bullies, overcome challenges, and provide a community where all can call home.
Woven within this tale are historical and geographical Missouri references that are hyperlinked to web resources. These offer superior supplemental reading materials for students and educators alike. Subtle humanitarian messages regarding animal welfare and culture, as well as Missouri history, make this a value-added book for young readers.