Recommenders of The Heart of Applebutter Hill from the Fields of Education, Rehabilitation and the Arts

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Note to screen reader users: Each recommendation starts with a new heading (level 2), so you may find it easier to use “h” to navigate rather than the following “same-page” links.

Education Professor Dr. Patricia Gross Calls The Heart of Applebutter Hill“a Gem”Texas Arts-in-Education Advocate & Recording Artist Sara Hickman Praises The Heart of Applebutter HillSinger-songwriters & Recording Artists Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen call The Heart of Applebutter Hill “Captivating”Editor of International publication for parents and educators of blind children Deborah Kent Stein Recommends The Heart of Applebutter HillProfessor & Author Dr. Brian Wentz Recommends The Heart of Applebutter Hill as Classroom ResourceLouisiana Novelist & Braille Instructor Jerry Whittle Applauds The Heart of Applebutter HillAuthor Richard Singer Praises Imagery & Humor in The Heart of Applebutter HillPresident of National Writers’ Group Robert Leslie Newman Lauds Hill’s Storytelling in The Heart of Applebutter HillPlaywright, Storyteller & Songwriter Uke Jackson Endorses The Heart of Applebutter Hill Doctor of Education, Gloria Reece calls Hill’s novel “Intriguing”Optometrist Karen Squier Recommends Hill’s’s Novel to EducatorsPurchase The Heart of Applebutter Hill & Help Blind StudentsAccessible Versions for Readers with Print DisabilitiesA Request from DonnaAccessibility Issues for People Using Screen Readers  

Education Professor Dr. Patricia Gross Calls The Heart of Applebutter Hill “a Gem”

Education Professor Dr. Pat Gross (on left in  center w camera) at Donna W. Hill presentation at U. of Scranton: by Rich Hill

“Hill is a wonderful writer. The Heart of Applebutter Hill grabbed and held my interest throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed the flow of words, images, plots and subplots. I particularly savored the poetry and songs that underlay the action. Hill has written a fantasy in a realistic manner, while clearly explicating some of the joys and issues of limited sight —both physically and psychologically —in the multiple reactions and perspectives of others. I believe Hill has a gem here and only wish I could be influential in bringing this work to publication.”
— Dr. Patricia Gross, Associate Professor of Education, University of Scranton, emeritus.
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Texas Arts-in-Education Advocate & Recording Artist Sara Hickman Praises The Heart of Applebutter Hill

2010 Texas State Musician & Arts-in-Education Advocate Sara Hickman has several recordings including Amazing Faith & Shine: photo courtesy of Sara Hickman.

“A shy young blind singer-songwriter, Abigail —along with her guide dog, Curly Connor —engaged me from page one. What starts out as a sunny room that describes the state of Abigail’s vision, quickly turns into stardust and secrets. There are varying curves and unseen twists that will help girls know that those who can’t see are on the same journey of understanding life as those who can. In a fantasy world with a mysterious heart shaped stone that must not be stolen, a best friend named Baggy, and an immense amount of supporting characters and situations, Ms. Hill gives us reason to indulge ourselves in the fact that a heroine is a heroine, divulging why Abigail is a person to love and admire just for being herself.”
— Sara Hickman, 2010 Texas State Musician, “arts in education” advocate, singer-songwriter and recording artist. Sara’s songs have been covered by many artists including Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin, and Robert Earl Keen. Her latest album Shine was released in July, 2013: http://Sarahickman.com/
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Singer-songwriters & Recording Artists Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen

Singer-songwriters Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen Playing Guitar and Concertina: photo by Irene Young

“Initially, I was thinking that the songwriting aspect of this novel would be a good jumping off place for our response, but really the whole creation is captivating and so fluid and seamless. Cindy and I thoroughly enjoyed The Heart of Applebutter Hill, and give it a very positive recommendation.” — Steve’s songs have been recorded by Nancy Griffith, John Denver, Anne Murray, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers, and many others. He is the author of Songwriting and the creative process. Steve & Cindy have been performing and recording since they married in 1989. http://www.compassrosemusic.com/

Editor of International publication for parents and educators of blind children Deborah Kent Stein Recommends The Heart of Applebutter Hill

Future Reflections magazine editor & young adult novelist Deborah Kent Stein: photo courtesy of Deborah Kent Stein

“Danger is afoot. The Heartstone of Arden-Goth must not fall into the hands of the enemy. But what is the Heartstone of Arden-Goth, and who is scheming to seize it? In The Heart of Applebutter Hill, Donna W. Hill spins a tale of magic and mystery, blended with the struggles and joys of a fourteen-year-old protagonist who is feisty, smart, and blind. With the help of her guide dog, Curly Connor, and her pal, Baggy Brichaz, Abigail Goongleheimer Jones sets out to uncover the plot that is simmering at her school, a plot whose implications resonate across the land of Lodahg and into worlds beyond. This is a book full of twists and surprises that will capture the imagination of readers who love fantasy.”
— Deborah Kent Stein, editor of Future Reflections magazine (National Organization of Parents of Blind Children) and author of over 100 fiction & nonfiction books for teens & young adults, including Belonging and the Why Me? series: http://www.nfb.org/parents-and-teachers
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Professor & Author Dr. Brian Wentz Recommends The Heart of Applebutter Hill as Classroom Resource

Web Accessibility Champion & Shippensburg Professor Dr. Brian Wentz: photo courtesy of Brian Wentz

“This novel provides an intriguing tool for educators interested in introducing and familiarizing their students with the reality of blindness. Throughout the story, Hill’s subtlety unveils the prevalent social stigma of blindness as well as the prejudice which is often fueled by ignorance. The Heart of Applebutter Hill is an interesting book filled with twists and turns that will engage the reader. In addition, the author skillfully manages to provide intertwined insights on the everyday, realistic experiences facing blind people in a way that will leave a lasting impression on the reader.”
— Dr. Brian Wentz, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, Shippensburg University; published accessibility expert: http://bwentz.com/
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Louisiana Novelist & Braille Instructor Jerry Whittle Applauds The Heart of Applebutter Hill

Slingshot & Standing with Better Angels author Jerry Whittle (Louisiana) & his wife Merilynn: photo courtesy of Jerry Whittle.

“In Donna W. Hill’s lively novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill, Abigail Jones, a young visually impaired girl of 14, encounters many different friends with intriguing names like Rutherford and Yuki. She also manages with skill to introduce her guide dog, Curly Connor, into the swirling world of school and a resource room. Miss Hill presents what it is like to be a young blind girl in the microcosm of a special needs class, and her intimate knowledge of guide dogs and their relationship with their blind masters is evident. The novel takes many twists, but Miss Hill manages to weave a steady current of what it is like to be blind and the resources one needs to survive. This novel will be an excellent read for any parent of a blind child or for any visually impaired teenager who might glean valuable information about the true nature of blindness.

With a very colorful and lively style, Miss Hill compacts great energy and verve into all of her interesting characters, and she does a masterful job of presenting human friendship and animal companionship into every page. Possessing elements of fantasy and reality, Miss Hill blends these elements into the swirling and descriptive world of adolescence.”
— Jerry Whittle, playwright, Braille instructor & rehabilitation professional, Louisiana Center for the Blind (retired) and author of the novels Slingshot: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/slingshot-jerry-whittle/1114979769?ean=2940016574073
and Standing with Better Angels http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/standing-with-better-angels-jerry-whittle/1114985006?ean=2940016631325
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Author Richard Singer Praises Imagery & Humor in The Heart of Applebutter Hill

The Heart of Applebutter Hill is a masterpiece of fiction, which blends reality and fantasy in a compelling and seamlessly constructed story, brimming with fully-fleshed characters, rich in imagery, interwoven subplots and humor. Hill draws from nature, literature, history, science and world belief systems to create an exciting and transformative adventure of the human spirit. She has an uncommon ability to capture and hold the reader’s interest. You won’t want this one to end.”
— Richard A. Singer, Jr. author of Now, Embracing the Present Moment, Eastern Wisdom for your Soul and Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds; licensed psychotherapist. http://www.embracingthepresent.com
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President of National Writers’ Group Robert Leslie Newman Lauds Hill’s Storytelling in The Heart of Applebutter Hill

National Federation of the Blind Writers' Division President Robert Leslie Newman worked for 30 years as a Nebraska rehabilitation counselor & chairs the NFB's Communications Committee: photo by Bonnie Newman.

The Heart of Applebutter Hill is both entertaining and educational. Abigail, a visually impaired, likeable fourteen-year-old, is written into a fast paced, multi-layered adventure. The true beauty of this book is Hill’s skill in storytelling and her matter-of-fact ability to weave detailed use of blindness skills into an exciting story. The interplay between characters, the development of the plot and the way Abigail functions as a non-visual participant in life engage the reader. The real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight; it’s misunderstanding and lack of information. Viewing the actions of a blind character performing normal, everyday tasks competently is one of the best methods of demystifying blindness and creating commonality with the sighted world. This novel depicts the true human ability to successfully, functionally live with blindness.”
— Robert Leslie Newman, president of the nonprofit National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Writers’ Division, Chair, NFB Communications Committee, 2008 Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award Recipient, writer and retired rehabilitation counselor: http//www.thoughtprovoker.info

NFB Writers’ Division: http://writers.nfb.org/
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Playwright, Storyteller & Songwriter Uke Jackson Endorses The Heart of Applebutter Hill

Songwriter, story-teller and conservationist Uke Jacksons surrounded by his plastic ukulele collection: photo courtesy of Uke Jackson.

“Hill has done a superb job conveying the impact of going blind, as her heroine finds refuge in music and fantasy. Strong well-drawn characters and deft storytelling open up the world of blind girls and the endless challenges they face. Kudos!”
— Uke Jackson (aka Stephen DiLauro) is a Playwright, storyteller, songwriter, author, musician and founder of the New York Ukulele Ensemble and the NY Uke Fest: http://www.ukejackson.com
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Doctor of Education, Gloria Reece calls Hill’s novel “Intriguing”

Educator-Artist Dr Gloria Reece - enhanced self portrait: courtesy of Gloria Reece

“In a carriage house in Applebutter Hill, young Abigail has a recurring dream, as she works to make sense of the mystery surrounding the Heartstone of Arden-Goth. Abigail’s escapades will intrigue you as the story unfolds and she solves the secret of the heart-shaped sapphire. What is life like for a young girl who is not fully sighted but not totally blind either? Learn how she compensates for her vision loss and the challenges that she faces in society.”
— Gloria Reece, Ed.D. Evaluator, Smart Phone Project, University of Memphis;
The Expert Knowledge Network; Society for Technical Communication Fellow 2010: http://www.linkedin.com/in/drglo
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Optometrist Karen Squier Recommends Hill’s’s Novel to Educators

The Heart of Applebutter Hill is an exciting and fascinating story that follows 14-year-old Abigail through her journey in her new community. She has dual adventures, one as a refugee with visual impairment in a main stream school and another as she and her best friends try to solve a mystery that develops throughout the novel. It’s an interesting tale for everyone, whether visually impaired or normally sighted. Abigail’s adventures in and out of school are at times a whirlwind, but entertaining and inspiring all the while!”
— Karen Squier, O.D., excerpted from her Introduction for Educators: https://donnawhill.com/intro-to-the-heart-of-applebutter-hill-for-educators/

Optometrist Dr. Squier is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Southern College of Optometry (Memphis, Tennessee (. Formerly a Clinical Professor at Illinois College of Optometry and an optometrist at the Chicago Lighthouse, she is one of only 45 optometrists worldwide to earn the highest level of certification in low-vision care offered by the American Academy of Optometry (AAO): http://chicagolighthouse.org/news/news/lighthouse-congratulates-dr-karen-squier-low-vision-diplomate-appointment-american-academy.
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Purchase The Heart of Applebutter Hill & Help Blind Students

The Heart of Applebutter Hill book cover shows cave scene: stalactites reflected in an underground lake, while a hand holds the Heartstone of Arden-Goth, a blue, heart-shaped sapphire

Print

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/1483948226
CreateSpace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/4000964

eBook versions can be purchased at these and other outlets

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNG6DDM
eBook Universe: http://www.philipsmith.eu/indie-author/donna-w-hill
Nook Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-heart-of-applebutter-hill-donna-w-hill/1115426305?ean=2940016415000&itm=1&usri=2940016415000
Apple iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-heart-of-applebutter-hill/id651693834?mt=11
Smashwords (7 eBook formats, including .epub, .mobi, .pdf and .rtf): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/313071?ref=DonnaWHill

Outside the US

Amazon Canada (print & Kindle): http://www.amazon.ca/The-Heart-Applebutter-Hill-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM
Amazon UK (print& Kindle) http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Heart-Applebutter-Hill-Donna-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

Accessible Versions for Readers with Print Disabilities

Learning Ally: the world’s largest provider of volunteer-narrated audio textbooks and literature for people Who Read & Learn Differently

JPeg of the article “Meshoppen Author’s Novel Goes Audio” published by the WyoPress Examiner (9/23/15), announces Learning Ally’s publication of a human-narrated version for readers with print disabilities.

Formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Learning Ally now carries The Heart of Applebutter Hill. In the VOICEtext format, highlighted synchronized text accompanies the human narration. Listen and follow the printed word at the same time! http://www.learningally.org/BookDetails.aspx?BookID=KV589

Bookshare: an Accessible Online Library for Readers with Print Disabilities

Digital DAISY text, audio & refreshable Braille versions of The Heart of Applebutter Hill are available at: http://www.bookshare.org/browse/book/639304

A Request from Donna

After you’ve read The Heart of Applebutter Hill, please rate it and leave a review on the site where you purchased the book. Thank you for your interest and support.

Accessibility Issues for People Using Screen Readers

Screen reader users, there are issues with Word Press’s “Leave a Reply” form – which is labeled on this site “So, What Do You Think?”Here’s a “temporary” solution. Every page and post now has a link labeled “Accessible Comment Form for Screen Reader Users.” It will be sent to me, and I will post it on your behalf. The URL is: https://donnawhill.com/accessible-comment-form-for-screen-reader-users-3 top

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