From John Farrell
June 2008
Greetings Friends,

As another school year rapidly winds down I find myself asking that same old question -- “Where does the time go?” The last newsletter I sent was in December, 2007, over 5 months ago. That doesn’t seem possible but it’s true. I hope you and your loved ones are well. I will give a brief news summary of what’s been happening since I last wrote to you.

Stargazer’s Alphabet Named IRA 2008 Notable Book for Children and Young Adults

The International Reading Association has chosen my book
Stargazer’s Alphabet to be on the IRA Children's and Young Adults' Book Award 2008 Notable Books List in the Primary/Non-Fiction category. Stargazer’s Alphabet is 1 of 4 books in this category. There are a total of 30 books on the Notables list. The finalists/notables list will be printed in an upcoming issue of READING TODAY, a bimonthly publication of the IRA, which goes to more than 85,000 IRA members worldwide. I am grateful to everyone at Boyds Mills Press for making this book possible, especially Kent Brown Jr. and Andy Boyles.

Stargazer’s Alphabet, the book, is based on the song of the same title. The song is featured on “All Around Us,” my newest CD, which also includes “There’s a Bear Over There,” “What’s So Great About the Great White Shark?” “I Am an Amphibian,” “Volcano,” “The Paleontologist Song,” and more. If you would like to order the book and CD together please email [email protected] or call Mary Jain at 607-965-8983. Mention this newsletter and MJ will send the book and CD for $28, shipping included. You’ll save $7 off the regular pricing and shipping. As always, I sincerely appreciate all orders and thank you for your support.

Bridges of Peace and Hope European Tour and “These Are Our Hopes” Quilt Project

In early May I spent two weeks visiting schools in Europe, doing concerts and working with “Bridges of Peace and Hope” classes doing songwriting and videotaping. I visited the American School of Barcelona in Spain, The American International School of Budapest in Hungary, Pechersk School International in Kiev, Ukraine, and The International School of Brussels in Belgium. Students, teachers and artists in each of these schools are joining with students from Africa, India, South America, the UK, and the U.S. to create writing and artwork that will be featured on the “These Are Our Hopes” quilt project and on the “Bridges of Peace and Hope” web site which will be developed by the business media center at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee. We expect to have hundreds of pieces of student art and writing on the new web site by this fall. I’ll keep you informed. The address is In spite of my best intentions I have not kept the “bridges” blog current. Our intention is to have the website be newsy and frequently updated.

Farrell Family News

Colleen will attend SUNY Geneseo in the fall. She has done wonderful things in her two years at Taconic Hills HS, our new school. She is really emerging as a singer and performed with the terrific Taconic Hills Jazz Band. Patrick will be a senior next year and the only child left living at home. He too has done well at T Hills, doing great in school, being active as a volunteer fireman, and participating in Soccer and Track. Maggie will be a junior at SUNY New Paltz. She has decided to major in Elementary Ed, following in Ann Marie’s footsteps. She had another good basketball season this year. Jack will be a senior at SUNY Albany after he spends six weeks studying in Ireland and traveling this summer. Katie will be home for the summer before beginning her 27 month Peace Corps assignment in Cameroon, Africa. She spent this school year working towards a Peace Corps Masters Degree in International Public Health at the University of Washington in Seattle. Ann Marie will be going to first grade with her current kindergarten class in September as she explores “looping.” She is delighted that gardening season is here and spends many hours tending her flowers and vegetables. It’s a real joy and passion for her. I’m happy that it’s bicycling weather and hope to do at least one 100 mile ride this summer. I’m also learning to play the piano and doing a couple of recording projects with Jeff Miller. Ann Marie and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in May and look forward to the next 25.

Mary Jain continues to do a masterful job running the office and handling orders. My friend and music teacher extraordinaire, Lorraine Cich, is busy doing piano and guitar arrangements for two songbooks of my songs. We hope to have the songbooks available during the coming school year. Rich Copley continues to do a great job managing our web site. My thanks to everyone that helps me.

I wish you peace and good health this summer and always. Thanks for being my friend. Hope to see you somewhere along the way.

All the Best,

2008 Hope River Music
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