A Land Remembered: What Other Readers Say

I assigned my students to read a book, fiction or nonfiction, set in Florida. Almost half of them read one of your books. They read and enjoyed Forever Island and A Land Remembered! ~ Arlene Bounds, Cocoa, Florida
A Land Remembered is the best book I have ever read. ~ Glenda Gibson Masters

Photo Above: Dr. Mary Thompson, Business Teacher at Braden River High School, with her 4th period beginning computer students, showing what we have been reading. Students read the book and then summarized the chapters into a movie! Kids became the directors, deciding which incidents were movie-material, illustrating with photos, adding audio, and putting it all together as a multi-media project.

My fourth and fifth grade enrichment students absolutely have loved reading Vol. 1 of the student edition of ALR this school year. There has not been a single page of the book that has lost their attention. I have been a huge fan of Patrick Smith’s excellent book for several years now and recommend it to everyone that has any interest in Florida or historical fiction of any kind. The characters are very real and inspiring in their decisions and relationships. ~Cheryl Ballard Chastain

WOW! What an amazing book, A Land Remembered. I am a fourth grade teacher and decided to read your book with my students. I had not ever read it and thought I should read it prior to my students. I read it in one day and couldn’t put it down. You made the MacIveys seem as real as can be and I couldn’t wait to find out how the book ended. This novel is great to teach Florida history to my students and they are mesmerized by it. Thanks again for recreating early Florida for all of us Floridians. ~ Nicole Lindsey, Hardee County
Mr. Smith…I taught 4th grade students for many years and we used your book “A Land Remembered” as part of our Florida History lessons and Unit of teaching. I have read it to my students year after year. So many of them loved your book so much that they read it again while in Middle School. Thanks for your insight of the Cracker Life and the generations throughout a century of time. Cindi Clark- Bartow, FL
A Land Remembered is a great book for anyone to read. My whole family is from Florida and growing up I never really took time to really understand where I was from. I’m 19 and I’ve read the book 3 times and it never gets old. I think every kid should read it here in Florida. The book is also great just because some of the things that are recalled in the book my grandparents remember and I can hear more about it. Love the book, wish one day it can be a movie. ~ Brandon

Photo Above: Dr. Mary Thompson, Business Teacher at Braden River High School, with FFA students reading A Land Remembered.

You are my favorite author. I am not a real big reader except when it comes to your books. I simply can not put them down. I don’t know how you do it but you make me feel like I am there. Thank you for adding quality to my life. ~ Mark Akus

Hi my name is Summer. I am a big fan of A land remembered! I love the book. ~ Summer Pippins

Students at Braden River High School love A Land Remembered.

I have read almost all Mr. Smiths books. Mr. Smith is one of the best living authors on Florida today. My 6th grade son is now reading “A Land Remembered” and can hardly put it down. My 4th grader now wants to read it also. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Smith on a few occasions including at his home. This man is a true Gentleman. ~ Stephan J. Zawadzk

Look who who else loves reading A Land Remembered: Congressman Bill Posey!

Mike, our bright 12 year old son, is dyslexic. Our family is reading “A Land Remembered” together. Your story and the history of old florida has come alive for us to discuss. Some of the moral situtations has also helped us have an opportunity to express our views and listen to our son’s thoughts. Thank You.
~ Vinny, Mike and Susan Asciutto

Boys from the Gator Wilderness Camp School in Punta Gorda reading A Land Remembered.

“As we read this book and discuss it, the boys are sure the McIvey’s drove their herd through the remote north east Charlotte County where the school is located and each boy can share an actual spot on the property that they visualize different times while reading the book (hammocks, praire, bay head, swamp, pine island). Photo submitted by Greg Kanagy, Director

I first read A Land Remembered when I was in seventh grade and instantly fell in love with it, even at that young age. Now that I have gradually moved across the state, 7 years later I just read the book for the second time and connected to it 10 times more than the first time. As a second-generation native Floridian, it pains me to read so vividly what Florida used to be and then look around me now in Pinellas county with it’s high-rise buildings and acres of parking lots.

I first read Forever Island when I was about 10 years old and I fell in love with Mr.Smith’s books. I was very fortunate, my mother being a 6th generation Floridian, loved his books and had just about all of them. Now I am 40 with children of my own and I have been able to pass my family’s love of these books on to another generation. As a 7th generation Floridan I can truly say Mr. Smith has captured alot of Florida’s history for people who love and cherish their heritage. ~ Brent Ballington

Mr. Smith, your book truly touched me and reconnected me with my own Florida heritage and culture. Thank you for writing such a vivid account of our beautiful state the way it was intended to be. I only wish more people would read it and have a greater awareness of the creation around us. ~ Kathleen

A friend of mine, who is a history teacher here in Melbourne, recommended this book to me and it has since become my favorite book! I cannot take a trip across the state now without thinking about these character’s lives. I don’t look at cattle (or mosquitoes) the same way anymore! Thank you! ~ Denise Kaiser

A Land Remembered is an amazing book. I am in 10th grade and we ad to read it for a project and I just love it. I am looking forward to reading more of your books. I love how your wording can paint an actual image in my mind about what is going on in every chapter. Hope everything goes well and you continue the good work. ~ Samantha Kight Bell

A Land Remembered is the greatest book I have ever read in my life. It has given me more pride about my state than ever before and has inspired me to devote my life to trying my best to preserve Fflorida habitat. I’m 18 years old, and this book was not a school assignment. It is probably the only book that will keep me on my front porch reading myself to sleep instead of going out with friends and partying . I am almost disappointed that the book has an ending to it. I could read on forever! ~ Jordan Heymann

My teacher is reading to us this book it is awesome! I am laughing and I am sad at the same time. I am really interested in it. My class is loving it. 4th grade is awesome. Since we learn alot about Florida we are reading it. My class is on the 2nd book. I get happy when my teacher says come gather on the floor in front of the rocking chair. I know it is time to find out what is next! ~ 4th Grader

Dear Mr. Smith,

I writing to you today, just finishing your “A Land Remembered.” I must say, it’s one of the first books to ever make me cry to the point of sadness for the loses of the characters in your book. All of the elements of life and truth were expressed in your book. I am a student at the Universtiy of Florida, and when my roommate told me that your book was one of the requirements for her class, I was happy to know such a wonderful book was being given, and as I mean given, required to read for a grade, to students. I reassured my roommate she would be reading an epic tale of OLD FLORIDA living. I, being from the Winter Haven, and living often by the Kissimmee River in Lake Wales, Fl, I too knew the description of the oak hammock and old Florida scrub. The sounds of the river and the way a FL storm feels outside your window! I appreciate your words given to the millions of people, not mentioning, the thousands of Floridians that take great pride in your words and your descriptions! Thank you so much. From the people of Camp Mack, FL and Winter Haven, FL THANK YOU!
Thanks ~ Jenny Lee Langa

I LOVE A LAND REMEMBERED! Me and my best friend are currently doing a book report on it. BEST BOOK EVER! ~ Molly

I am a middle school librarian and previous language arts teacher of 15 years. A Land Remembered was recommended to me by my nephew many years ago. As soon as I read it, I knew I had to share it with my students. We have been reading it as a class novel ever since. ~ Laura Kutz

Hello Mr. Patrick D. Smith, We are currently reading this book in our class. I am enjoying it alot. There is a lot of bad times and good. Whenever a character dies I can’t help but to cry because of how detailed you make it. I really love the character “Sol,” in Volume 2!!!! He’s awesome and has gone through a lot and taking it all very well. I would probably have a nervous breakdown…lol!!! well c ya ~ Morgan

I heard about A Land Remembered years ago… I heard of teachers reading it to their students but I never wanted to tackle a book of that magnitude. This past week I bought the student editions and could not put them down. I’m not much of a fan of reading for “me” but I just let the laundry pile up and the dishes stack up so I could finish them. I became involved with the characters; finding myself wondering what would happen next and what could have been done to prevent obstacles. Now, I am reading the original version to compare. I love the characters so much that I have ordered copies for all my fourth grade teachers to read as a read aloud this year. Well done Mr. Smith! ~ Kim Yoder

I was so happy when one of my students came to me with the “kid’s” version of A Land Remembered. It gave us a chance to have a great discussion. He loved the book as much as I did! ~ Debbie Little

As you probably know, our entire school is reading the book this year.  Thank you for your contribution to the children of Florida.  Have a happy birthday.  ~ Mary Jo Hancock, Math Teacher, Fort White High School

My 10 year old step-son regularly re-reads the children’s version of A Land Remembered. Thank you for the slices of life, written from your heart. ~ Your Friend, Dick Peavy

“A Land Remembered” has had a profound impact on my family and my community. I am not only a 4th generation Florida Cracker boy, I have South Carolina roots as well, so I really connnected with the family. My 11 year old son (5th generation Floridian and avid reader) considers “A Land Remembered” his favorite book of all time. Now Fort White High School, where I am an administrator, is using the book to do a school-wide book study, which is not common in high schools. Happy Birthday from Fort White, where some of “old Florida’ still exists! ~ Ed Carter

Happy Birthday, Mr. Smith. I would like to thank you for all you have done through your amazing storytelling. I use your books regularly to teach 4th graders about Florida History. Your literature not only assists me in teaching Florida History, but excites my children to no end. Thank you again for all you do. ~ Sarah Holland

I wish you the best as you celebrate your birthday this year! I also want to thank you for writing a book that is so dear to me and my students. Every year, A Land Remembered is avidly read by my fourth grade students. They can’t put it down! We have integrated your book with our other curriculum so that from February through April our students are immersed in early pioneer life in Florida. We make our own braided rugs and soap. Then we go on a “real” cattle drive across a thousand acre ranch near our school. The students make all the food for our cattle drive. They make butter, biscuits, beef stew, beef jerky, and strawberry jelly. We pack our picnic baskets and ride a hay wagon as a local rancher drives his cattle from one end of his farm to the other end. I wish you could hear all the comments the students make as they watch the dogs working the cattle!! “There’s Nip and there’s Tuck!” “There’s Bonzo and Skillet!”

I am sure our school year would not be so exciting if you had not written your book. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Happy Birthday Mr. Smith! Happy Birthday!!

~ Mrs. Magruder, Center for Gifted and Talented Studies

I have shared these books with my children and now my grandchildren and continue to be amazed how each one reacts with awe through the book. The teachers at my school pry open eager minds to reading using your wonderful books. You are an amazing storyteller. I especially loved your DVD on Sense of Place. ~ Helen Murray

Thank you for providing me many hours of fun, enjoyment, and education about the area I live in with your books. I have used them to teach and have passed on the joy of reading to my students through them. Again, Happy Birthday and many more. ~ Debbie Little

My daughter was introduced to A Land Remembered in 4th grade and I read the novel as she read the student edition. She is now 15 and has read the novel at least 4 times. I am a 3rd generation Northeast Florida native that so appreciates your words and the story that was told. I have read all your works and your writing speaks to my Florida heart! ~ Donna Pullium

My son, who is a senior at Nease high school, had to read your book for his 7th grade english class. I bought a copy and read along with him. It is our favorite book and we have passed it along, reccomended it and talked about it all of these years. I am about to start reading it again. ~ Melissa Gibbons

My children will be reading A Land Remembered soon. I can’t wait to share it with them. Thank you! ~ Carol

The best book I have ever read… it should be a book that every student in this state should have to read before they graduate high school… ~Mark McKinney

We read “A Land Remembered” to our son when he was 9 or 10 years old (about 16 or 17 years ago.)  It made such an impression on him that his first child was born 11/29/10 and he named him Zeckeriah (spelling is different, but name chosen because of the book.) ~ Susan Flint, Defuniak Spring

I LOVE THIS BOOK my 4th grade teacher read it too me last year and it is now my favorite book ever lots of action and makes me wonder it also has inspired me to become a writer myself. ~ Leslie White


A Land Remembered has been a part of my life for the past four years and I cannot imagine life without it! I have changed the lives of so many students, with the help of Patrick Smith and his vivid descriptions of old Florida and Florida’s rich history. I will continue to share this invaluable novel with each student, every year! ~ Tammi Purdin 
 

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