Prather’s Pick: A boy who got a law changed
Some years back, when our children were small, we lived in Severance, Colorado so when I heard the town’s name mentioned on the nightly news a couple of months ago, I paid attention. The story was about a young boy who got the town’s snowball ban repealed. It turns out that a children’s book was written about the incident. My son Jody gave me the book for Christmas this year.
“Snowballs for Severance: The Terrifically True story of Dane Best and the Snowball Ban” was written and illustrated by Richie Frieman. The book is published by The Omnibus Publishing, 2019.
Author/illustrator Richie Frieman has been dubbed a “Modern Day Renaissance Man” by St. Martin’s Press. I can see why. He has written and illustrated seven books, is an inventor, and he even had an eight-year career as professional wrestler where he earned more than a dozen titles. Frieman retired as a wrestler in 2008 but returned in a charity match in 2009. All of this as he conquered a severe learning disability that made it hard to read and comprehend. As a result, he is an advocate for literacy and education. His motto is “always dream bigger” which fits young Dane Best.
Nine-year-old Dane Best is a student at Range View Elementary as the story begins. One day his class goes on a field trip to the Severance Town Hall where the class learns that there is a law on the books that bans snowball fights.
“It is unlawful for any person to throw or shoot any stone or any other missile upon or at any person, animal, building, tree, or other public or private property…” (Chapter 10, Article 5, Section 80)
The law was made around 1920. Snowballs fit the description of “missile.”
This law doesn’t fit well with Dane who believes that snowballs are part of winter. Dad says that when he is older he can make and change laws that are best for the town, but Dane doesn’t want to wait that long.
So Dane gets his classmates together. He asks everyone to write letters to the mayor. Then he prepares a speech to present to the Severance Trustees.
On the night of the meeting, Dane dresses up, even wearing a bowtie. He speaks to the Trustees and then waits for their decision.
Also in the book are several pages of illustrations to color, a page of discussion questions for parents and children, two pages of biography about the book’s author, and information about Dane.
This is a great book with a message about being heard. The book, in paperback, costs $14.95.
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