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The Side-Yard Superhero
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The Side-Yard Superhero

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  10 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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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...more
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...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
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...more
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...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
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...more
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
Niece’s fondness for DeGraff and its residents warms your heart, but it’s his friendship with Bernie that really does you in. Although Niece often references Bernie’s handicap – usually as an obstacle to having a carefree adventure – you don’t think of Bernie as an invalid. Instead, you see him for the person he is, a courageous, friendly and determined guy who just happens to be confined to a wheelchair. Not once do you sense Niece befriends Bernie out of guilt or that Niece is embarrassed to b...more
Michelle McMorrow
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.
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.
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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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