Fans of the Popular Television Series "Little House on the Prairie" Will Be Captivated by the New Book "Child of the South Dakota Frontier"

Brown Books Publishing Group Logo

DALLAS, May 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fans of "Little House on the Prairie" or the pioneer lifestyle made popular through "The Pioneer Woman" and PBS's "Pioneer House" will be captivated by the new book "Child of the South Dakota Frontier" (Brown Books Publishing Group). Based on the personal recollections of Lenna Kolash, a child of homesteaders in the early 1900s, this book has been published as a tribute by the author's daughter B.J. Farmer.

Born in Wisconsin to Dora and Joseph O'Neill, Lenna's family moved to South Dakota in 1915 where her father was to study for the ministry and to improve his health. They ironically became neighbors of the Ingalls family, made famous in "Little House on the Prairie."

Lenna, who was seven at the time, quickly found her first love—the South Dakota prairie—and discovered best friends in her pony, Duke, and her collie, Fanny. Eventually the hard times of drought and the depressed economy drove the family back to live in a town, but she never forgot the wonders of a child on the South Dakota prairie.

Now through the lens of time and distance, Lenna invites readers to join her as she reflects back on life to a time that would become unknowingly the happiest yet hardest years of her existence. A journey she hopes readers will find as fulfilling for them, as living it was for her.

Lenna's daughter recalls, "My mother worked on this book for thirty years, chronicling her life on the South Dakota prairie, in the basement of our house. I remember hearing her bang away on her Remington typewriter, which I still have. My mother is no longer living, but I made a promise to her that I would do my best to share her story with the world. This is my gift to her."

"Child of the South Dakota Frontier" opens with Lenna's return to the homestead years later with her husband, William Kolash, and her two daughters, Betty Jo (B.J.) and Susan. The lone tree remaining by a dilapidated front gate, planted by Lenna and her father decades before, recalls voices echoing from the past and memories that rolled away the years.

Well-told stories accompanied by vivid descriptions makes this book hard to put down. "I am home again, a child of the South Dakota frontier. No more would I ride swift as the wind astride Duke to find a missing cow and her newborn prairie baby; no more would we plod home in the comforting glow of the sunset to bring in the cows for milking; there would be no more trips up the coulies and draws to gather wild plums and chokeberries for jelly and jam for winter; no more would I see prairie chickens, sage hens, jack rabbits, coyotes, horned toads, buffalo grass and sage brush of our land. Would I ever hear the songs of the meadowlark and red-winged blackbird again? I would be losing all these for a lesser world; we would be living in town again."

"My mother adored her parents and wanted to convey to my sister and me, and now to readers, that life on the homestead was a joyful but tough life for everyone," says B.J. Farmer. "Yes, it was a bit rough to be a child and have to help with the many indoor and outdoor chores, but my mother and her sister really felt lucky to have parents who were very loving and understanding of their situations."

"Child of the South Dakota Frontier" is a page-turner that will find readers yearning for more long after the last page has been read. When asked how she would like her mother to be remembered, Farmer replies, by quoting a poem her best friend wrote and gave to me after her death in 1993. "She embraced beauty wherever she found it, stretched for perfection in all things. She possessed the strength of slender steel wire, the fragility of precious glass, the ring of pure crystal. She faced each day with determination, listened to the inner voice and drew nourishment from strong deep roots."

To learn more, visit:

Books are available online and in bookstores.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Cindy Birne Director of Public Relations Brown Books Publishing Group 972-381-0009

Source:Brown Books Publishing Group