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The Side-Yard Superhero

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
I know where Bernie Jones is.With one late-night phone call, Rick Niece is transported back over forty years to cherished childhood memories of small town DeGraff, Ohio. His daily newspaper route, the sights and wonders of a traveling carnival, the sounds of Christmas caroling-the idyllic memories all circle back to one special relationship.To Rickie, being friends with Be ...more
Hardcover, 175 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Synergy Books
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Mar 18, 2012 Trish rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
Rick Niece’s memoir, Side-Yard Superhero: Life Lessons from an Unlikely Teacher, eloquently evokes the author’s fondest memories of childhood, drawn from his experience growing up in small-town America. It is actually the first book in a series called Fanfare for a Hometown.

Side-Yard Superhero is a charming look at how a young man’s character and values are formed through his experiences and relationships. Niece calls the style “automythography,” which he explains this way:

"We would expect the r
May 14, 2009 Bonnie rated it really liked it
The Side-Yard Superhero by Rick Niece is a delightful book that takes you back to small town living in simpler days when you knew your neighbors and you could leave your front door unlocked for the paper boy to deliver your newspaper. When Rick was just four, he moved with his family to the small town of DeGraff, Ohio (population of about 900). He found a sense of community and friendship there that solidified who he was and his experiences shaped his character. When Rick was 9 years old, he bec ...more
Maria Miaoulis
Mar 01, 2013 Maria Miaoulis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Side-Yard Superhero” is a collection of Rick’s childhood memories as he reminisces about growing up in DeGraff, Ohio. As a newspaper boy, Rick became acquainted with many of the small town’s 900 residents who each helped mold him into the man he is today. However, the most memorable of these people was Bernie Jones, a friend who forever changed the way Rick saw life.

My Thoughts:
I am so thankful that this audiobook was brought to my attention because it is a much-needed reminder of the i
Mar 11, 2009 Nely rated it really liked it
Rick Niece is the President of The University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. The Side-Yard Superhero is his "automythography". What’s an automythography you ask? According to Rick it is "A work of nonfiction that looks reflectively at what we think we remember and how we think we remember it; an iridescent memory based upon truth and fact."

The Side-Yard Superhero is Rick’s account of what it was like to grow up in DeGraff (a small town in Ohio) with about 900 residents. Rick (back then
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Mar 09, 2009 Kathy (Bermudaonion) rated it really liked it
When Rick Niece was four years old, his family moved to DeGraff, Ohio. DeGraff’s population hovered around 900. When he was nine, he snagged one of the four paper routes in DeGraff - a job he kept until he left for college. During those nine years, he got to know the people along his route and befriended Bernie Jones, a young man who was confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.

In The Side-Yard Superhero, Rick D. Niece recounts many of the tales of his childhood and small town living i
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Apr 23, 2009 Holly (2 Kids and Tired) rated it really liked it
The Side-Yard Superhero is subtitled, "Life in DeGraff: An Automythography". Author Rick Niece defines an "automythography" as "A work of non-fiction that looks reflectively at what we think we remember and how we think we remember it; an iridescent memory based upon truth and fact". This charming memoir is all that and more.

Dr. Rick Niece is the President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas and here he describes his childhood in DeGraff, Ohio. His family moved to the small
Mar 10, 2009 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: given-away
Rick D. Niece recounts his time growing up in DeGraff, Ohio in The Side-Yard Superhero. In this first book of a trilogy, readers are introduced to some of the colorful characters of Niece's childhood, including a young man named Bernie Jones who is wheelchair bound due to cerebral palsy. Rick and Bernie become friends when Rick takes time on his paper route to really get to know Bernie.

I very much enjoyed getting to know the people of DeGraff through Rick Niece's memories. Each of the people tha
Virginia Fulton-Calvin
Great storytelling

When I started reading this book it was more out of curiosity. However, while the title suggested a comedy, it was a very heartwarming story. I felt as if I was there delivering papers and interacting with the wonderful people of DeGraff. Ricky and Bernie's friendship brought tears to my eyes. We would all benefit from the love and respect they showed each other. Loved this book.
Michelle McMorrow
Jul 04, 2012 Michelle McMorrow rated it liked it
I enjoyed the magical depiction of life in a small town and the special friendship and bond that blossoms between what some might view, especially at the time, as an unlikely pair. Reminded me that the places, people, and experiences of those first 18 years really have a lasting impression on our lives and shape us more than most of us may think. At times the writing leaves a bit to be desired and the story itself drags.
Sonia Reppe
Mar 12, 2009 Sonia Reppe rated it really liked it
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Nov 05, 2009 Patti rated it it was amazing
Memories are much sweeter remembered, than when they were experienced. But every time you revisit them, they help build your character a little bit more.
Peggy A. Murray
Aug 21, 2016 Peggy A. Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Heartwarming story of a small town newspaper boy and the relationship with his customers, especially the boy in a wheelchair
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Following in his father‘s footsteps, Rick D. Niece, Ph.D., is a lifelong educator who has served as a classroom teacher, a public school administrator and a university professor, provost and president. In 1997, he was named President of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, and remains steadfast in his devotion to the University's success. After his retirement on July 1, 2013, he ...more
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