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Award winning middle grade novel!
One Elm Books
an imprint of Red Chair Press

A Calf Named Brian Higgins 

An Adventure in Rural Kenya

Young teen Hannah Higgins is convinced her summer is ruined when she is forced to travel to Africa and work in a remote village with her mom and uncle. Never having been to a developing country, she finds the food gross and the community filthy. She has to live without electricity or running water. Then she is told she must attend school.

Just when she thinks nothing could make this trip any worse, she learns people there are dying of hunger and preventable disease. Hannah becomes frustrated and wants to help, but when poverty threatens the lives of people she loves, all she wants to do is go home. This story is an adventure of discovery.


Praise for A Calf Named Brian Higgins

“A coming-of-age story that engages readers in Hannah’s adventures while educating them about the stark conditions in much of the developing world.”

—Publishers Weekly

“Readers will likely find Hannah a relatable character – no saint, but good-hearted, willing to learn, and poised to grow.

[This is] a vivid account through American eyes of sub-Saharan poverty and sustainable ways to help.”

—Kirkus Reviews


“The author has done it all: weaving a captivating story,

describing extreme poverty, and most impressively,

conveying the reality of progress across Africa.”

—Jeffrey D. Sachs, senior advisor to the Secretary General of the UN

“I was raised in a small rural school in Uganda. This is a heartwarming story that is a true reflection of life in a village but a great reminder

that it takes commitment, love, and kindness to make a change in lives. We need to take care of each other.”

—Beatrice Biira, Community Engagement Coordinator,

Heifer International

"Everything about this story is strong and charming."

Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times best selling author

“Every day, we are focused on ensuring a better future for our children. Stories like this help shine a light on the issues of global poverty and inequality.”

Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children

“Today, more than anything, the world needs lessons of empathy, action,

and hope. A Calf Named Brian Higgins provides all these in an engaging and thought-provoking story that causes one to ask,

What should I do? What can I do?”

Tom Stewart, Co-founder, Coalition 2030, and

Director of Program, Indian Mountain School, CT

“Kristen celebrates and embraces differences in her adventure to Kenya. At the same time her book is very real and describes peoples’ lives in rural Kenya.  is is a must read for all, especially young people, to become aware of the stark realities... away from home.”

Radhika Iyengar, Ph.D. Director of Education,

Center on Globalization and Sustainable Development,

The Earth Institute, Columbia University

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