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Worth reading: Cimarron Sunrise

Brenda Turner, fourth grade teacher at Jenks East Elementary School, is also a novelist. Her first children’s book, “Cimarron Sunrise” is in print. After raising two daughters and teaching for 11 years, Turner has revealed her inner passion for writing. Such a passion resides in many, but never blooms.

Not so in Turner. Her first attempt, similar in tone to “Little House on the Prairie,” is a delightfully readable story about the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run. She was inspired by years of teaching the subject. Reciprocally, she learned over the years what goes into a telling a good story to 9-year-olds. For the last two years she has read early drafts of “Cimarron Sunrise” in class.

Her short novel is about the adventure of nine-year-old Maddy and her fearless mother and younger brother who leave Independence, Missouri, in a covered wagon to compete in the Indian Territory Run. They encounter a flooded river crossing, a really nasty fellow named Poker and separation. Did they stake a claim? You’ll have to read to find out.

Precious little is written about the Oklahoma land runs. The vacuum was the impetus for Turner’s literary plunge. She is busy on her next book, “Diamond Girl,” set in Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds.

Turner, a native Oklahoman, graduated from Oral Roberts University and is a National Board Certified Teacher, an arduous three-year program that few attain. She has written a teacher’s guide as a companion to “Cimarron Sunrise.”