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Independent-Scout columnist writes childrens book

Special reading at Soldiers Grove library

POSTED March 1, 2017 2:37 p.m.

Crawford County Independent columnist Jane Schmidt has done it again!

Many readers love Jane’s stories about her animal friends in her column ‘Jane’s World’ and her book ‘Not A Perfect Fit, stories from Jane’s World.’ Now, the younger set can enjoy a story by Jane, ‘Finnegan’s Superior Adventure.’

The story follows Jane’s Jack Russell terrier mix, Finnegan, who accompanies his ‘Grandma Riley’, on a hiking adventure on the Superior Hiking Trail.

“I wrote this book two years ago after we took the trip, but it was around the same time as my other book ‘Not a Perfect Fit’ was coming out so I put it aside,” Jane told the Crawford County Independent recently.

Finnegan was a new dog in Jane’s life at the time, following the passing of a special dog she adopted from Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

“I always promised Gambo that I would take him on a backpacking trip,” Jane said. “Unfortunately, I had to have him euthanized. So when Finn came along, I decided to pass the trip on to him.”

The trip wasn’t on a whim however, Jane explained. Like any good hiker, Finn trained with his mom Jane, every day at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve in LaFarge.

“We worked very hard on stream crossing because there is a lot of that on the Superior Hiking Trail, and he did really well!” Jane said.

From there, Jane introduced Finn to his backpack, in which he carried his food and special deer antler. The duo took off for the trail in May of 2015.

“It was major mud season!” Jane recalled. “But, he did really, really great!”

The book is written from the perspective of Finnegan who is accompanied by his ‘Grandma Riley.’

“I used to have a dog named Riley, so that was how my grandkids would identify me,” Jane explained. “When Riley passed away I had another dog named Moses, and I didn’t want to be Grandma Moses-so Grandma Riley just stuck.”

In the book, Finnegan shares his adventures with readers.

“The story starts out with Finn saying goodbye to the cast of characters at the farm,” Jane said. “I don’t want to give away the whole book, but he has a good time!”

Many will enjoy the interactive style of the book, a feature Jane worked hard to include.

“I tried to make it so that if parents were reading it to their kids, they could have a conversation,” she said.

Jane also had some help along the way.

“I have a four-year-old neighbor, Xan, who helped with it,” Jane said light heartedly. “I would send rough drafts to his parents and he would tell them what he liked.”

Jane hopes that the book will also inspire youth and their families to get outside and enjoy the great out doors.

“I am all about getting people outside,” Jane noted. “So, I think when kids read about Finnegan going on an adventure they will want to go out too.”

Readers can listen to Jane share Finnegan’s Superior Adventure, with a special guest appearance by the star himself, Finnegan during upcoming readings, including:

•Saturday March 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the Soldiers Grove Public Library

• Tuesday, March 7 at the LaFarge School at 1:30 p.m.

• Saturday March 11 at the Driftless Humane Society (formerly Vernon County Humane Society) from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

• Saturday, March 18 at the Viroqua Public Library from 11 a.m. to noon

‘Finnegan’s Superior Adventure’ will be available for sale at the readings and at the Viroqua Food Co-op, Johnson’s One-Stop in Seneca or by mail.

You can also email Jane to get a copy at Jane@janesfitnesschoices.com. The cost is $10 per copy with $3 shipping and handling.

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