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The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch

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10 year old Benedict has been moved from one foster home to another, and he's hated every one. When he arrives at Sunshine Ranch, he doesn't bother unpacking. What's the point? But his new foster parents and siblings are very different from what he's become used to. David and Martha Credence strive to instill love and Christian values in their family and it inspires hope in each child. Benedict is not into "religion," but Sunshine Ranch is the home he's secretly been yearning for. Still, he fears it's all just a little too good to be true, and his sentiments are validated when he learns that they may lose Sunshine Ranch. Can the Credence children help save the Ranch? Will faith keep them together? Or will Benedict's dream be shattered?

The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is a story about a family devoted to God. It relays the personal journeys of all the Credence foster children and their struggles to overcome past and present pain and adversity.In this novel, the confidence of the devoted is challenged, but an even deeper understanding of God and His love are revealed.

“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:12-13The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch has received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.

248 pages, Paperback

First published March 5, 2012

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About the author

T.M. Gaouette

11 books44 followers
T.M. Gaouette is a wife, home-school mom, freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London, and is now living in New England, where she raises goats with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for children and young adults. She believes that life is too short to waste on the superficial and that adversity should be used to make one stronger. More importantly, Gaouette feels that the Lord has given us all special gifts and opportunities to make a positive difference.

T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and the first and second book in her Faith & Kung Fu Series," Freeing Tanner Rose," and "Saving Faith."

For more on T.M. Gaouette and her work, visit her at tmgaouette.com

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews
Profile Image for Andrea Rodgers.
Author 10 books128 followers
July 20, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" by T.M. Gaouette. I enjoyed getting to know each of the foster children, especially Benedict. The book drew me in, and I couldn’t wait to explore the lives of the characters. The author did an excellent job of allowing readers to step into Benedict’s shoes and experience his pain, fear, longing, sadness, and eventually happiness. The bittersweet ending left me wishing for more.
Profile Image for Theresa Linden.
Author 35 books97 followers
April 2, 2020
A ten-year-old boy bounces from one foster home to another because of behavior issues. Each “rejection” only increases his pessimism and low view of himself. When he’s placed at Sunshine Ranch, he senses a difference. For one thing, he’s out in the country now, living in a big farmhouse. But he’s also got a houseful of foster siblings, each one unique. And even though he’s not comfortable with his foster parents’ faith, their attitudes toward him and toward family are refreshingly new to him.
A stable family is so important to a child’s development. Unfortunately, many children grow up in less-than-ideal situations and protective services must intervene. The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch by T.M. Gaouette draws attention not only to the challenges that these children face but also to the hope and potential a good foster family can provide.
This emotion-packed story had my heart aching at times, especially as I came to understand the situations that brought various characters into foster care. The story also filled me with hope, and not just at the conclusion but with each scene that showed the children developing a sense of family as they worked toward common goals.
I highly recommend this book. In addition to providing an entertaining story, it can help readers develop empathy for those who come from difficult situations, and it might even inspire some to consider fostering or adopting troubled children. As a foster and adoptive parent, I know it can be a hard road, but it is immensely rewarding.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
Author 13 books241 followers
August 22, 2018
Touching story about a group of "reject" children whose foster family faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in staying together. The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is an uplifting story for young readers that stresses the importance of family, healing, faith, and generosity.
Profile Image for Amanda Lauer.
Author 12 books53 followers
January 4, 2021
Such a great story about a group of misfit kids who were lost in the foster care system and all ended up living at Sunshine Ranch. Their foster parents showed them unconditional love and it changed not only their lives but the lives of so many other people in their community.
Profile Image for Meredith.
2 reviews1 follower
January 21, 2020
Even though we read this as a class book in sixth grade I really enjoyed it anyways. It was inspiring how much kindness can change your life. the children they take it are so hurt and broken down but they always find a way to bring them to their fullest. I absolutely recommend this book for whomever is feeling like they don’t belong.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Holly Michael.
Author 1,780 books55 followers
July 7, 2012
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13). My favorite Bible verse, on the first page of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, lassoed me straight in to T.M Gaouette’s YA novel.

We meet Benny, a foster child who trusts no one and lacks faith in God. He’s been moved from place to place and arrives at Sunshine Ranch apprehensive and even unwilling to unpack his bags. Then, we’re introduced to the other foster children, all with diverse issues: depression, sadness, loss, abuse, neglect. Their means of coping is uniquely crafted to each well-developed character.

The foster children need The Sunshine Ranch and they need David and Martha Credence, foster parents who have opened their large white farmhouse and generous hearts to them. Even through David and Martha’s own adversities, the couple gently guides the group of teens toward a loving God, helping them heal from old wounds and deal with new issues.

Dynamics change when new kids arrive at the ranch, and Benny, especially, is challenged at many levels. When the children discover the Credences may lose the ranch, their decisions, difficulties, and hopeful efforts will engage and entertain readers.

Though The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is a YA novel, once you meet the characters, readers of all ages will be intrigued to discover how things will turn out. You’ll root for each child and for the Sunshine Ranch, while enjoying T.M. Gaouette’s rich prose and vivid descriptions.

Young readers dealing with depression, loss, and challenges will find hope within the pages of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch. This heartwarming novel leads readers, along with the characters, on a route toward God, toward His love, and toward healing and the hope of living a fulfilled life. And for those already rooted in Christ, the novel will surely be a faith-strengthener.

So, come along to The Sunshine Ranch and to the themes of adversity and God’s transforming and healing power.
Profile Image for Susan Peek.
Author 27 books137 followers
May 8, 2017
The minute I started reading this story, I knew I was going to need a kleenex box nearby. I was right. I also knew I was going to love it. Right again. From page one I was pulled into this extremely moving novel about a young boy in the foster care system, unwanted and hurting, and how God draws him to Himself by incredible and quite surprising events. Benedict and sweet little Melanie stole my heart from the beginning, and the other characters were so well done that whether I loved them or couldn't stand them, they became real and unforgettable. The author's description is marvelous, and the whole story transported me, from the school principal's office in chapter one, to Miss Ratchet's dingy and abusive apartment, and of course to Sunshine Ranch, where delightful adventures awaited our young hero and his companions. Some of the twists and turns caught me totally by surprise.
This book is very different in flavor from Gaouette's Tanner Rose series, which I also enjoyed. This one is for a younger audience, but in all of her books, the author gets straight into the hearts of her kids. I look forward to more of Gaouette's stories! I hope she considers a sequel to this one!
Profile Image for Tammy Fernando.
8 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2022
This book was a surprise! From page 1 to the end there were twists and turns that I would never have expected. I was kept on the edge of my seat through it all. It is really engaging. I really felt the raw emotions of what the children in the Credence family were experiencing. I really got to feel for the main character Benedict. It was so nice to see how life turned out for him in the end- and for all of them. There are sad times too- again unexpected. A definite page turner - pulling you in by the heart. Great book.
8 reviews
March 10, 2020
I read this book in sixth grade and I remember absolutely loving it! The authors writing was so descriptive that it was like watching a movie. This book included strong Christian Faith which made me love it even more. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read.
Profile Image for Grace Donahue.
119 reviews1 follower
October 7, 2021
Thank you so much T. M. Gaouette for sending me a complimentary copy of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch! I was happy to read and receive this book. My review of this book is entirely my own. I have never before read a book about foster children, and it has been a while since I read a book where the main character was younger than myself but The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch made me want to do both! I was immediately drawn to the characters from the first chapter and could not put the book down until I finished it. The story is mainly about a young boy who has been from foster home to foster home until he goes to Sunshine Ranch. There he is the happiest he has ever been with the nicest people he has ever met, but all of that is threatened to be taken away forever.

Throughout the book, many stories are told, not just Benedict's but also from the other Credence foster children. I like how the readers can find out what the other characters are thinking, especially when times are hard and they either turn or look away from God. The Catholic theme throughout the book was not big, but big enough so you can see how Our Lord works His mysterious ways into people's hearts and lives. I loved everything about the book except the cover, but that is a minor detail to a fantastic novel! The last few chapters of the book took place twenty-one years later, and we read how living at Sunshine Ranch and being introduced to Catholicism has affected the now-adult foster children. These last few chapters were my favorite of the whole book and, I thought, the saddest and happiest at the same time. The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is an incredible and moving story that I will definitely be reading again!

Things to Mention: Some talk of previous abuse to the foster children physically, mentally, and emotionally, but nothing very detailed. There is a fistfight. A mean boy calls the foster kids 'rejects'. There are two kisses with no detail, and a few characters die.

Come check out more of my reviews of clean wholesome books at:
Profile Image for Leslea Wahl.
Author 19 books107 followers
November 5, 2017
The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch by T.M. Gaouette is a lovely, heart-warming story. I’ve never read a book that focused on foster families and was extremely moved by this touching novel.
The author creates an array of interesting characters that are flawed yet understandable and memorable. I think this book would be great for all kids to read, showcasing the power of love and family – no matter what that family might look like.
This middle-grade novel is full of heart-breaking realities, faith-filled moments, and a powerful hopeful message.
Profile Image for Katy.
Author 30 books134 followers
January 21, 2019
4.5 stars for a story that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming about foster children and a place where ten of them found a home in which love and faith abounded. As a former foster parent, this story really touched my heart and made me wish I could give these fictional foster children a big hug! The story is mainly told through Benedict's POV but in several places other POVs are given, which was mostly effective. I recommend this book to everyone with a heart for children. You will never forget it!
Profile Image for Audrey.
6 reviews8 followers
January 10, 2020
This book really represented family, faith, and love. It taught me that no matter what God is always there to guide you with any type of matter. The characters were realistic and the author gave them fantastic descriptions. The author’s writing style was incredible, it wasn’t to hard to read but it wasn’t to easy. It is not always the type of genre that I like to read but it was extremely interesting.
Profile Image for Miss K.
30 reviews
September 3, 2020
This was my first read by T.M. Gaouette and I can't wait to read her other books, as I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I loved the descriptions and how Gaouette added in anecdotes in many parts of the book. I also grew very attached to the characters because the details made me feel like the characters were right before me. I do have to warn you though- be ready to spend all day reading. :) I had a hard time putting it down and finished in two days.
14 reviews1 follower
May 29, 2020
I'm afraid that I think the author was too concerned to push her message and consequently neglected the primary duty of storytelling. The book consists of a sequence of episodes and neglects plot, character development, and consistency.

There's enough potential for me to try another of her novels, but this should definitely be listed as a prentice piece.
Profile Image for Meghan.
3 reviews
January 8, 2020
I read this book in 6th grade and I loved it! Our teacher at the time knew the author and so we got to meet her which was very cool.
Profile Image for Cynthia.
Author 8 books100 followers
October 26, 2016
I liked this story, although it's one that moved me rather than entertained me. My heart ached for the children, for "each held a great burden within them that was shrouded by fear of the unknown, prompted by the fear of their pasts," as the story states. I believe I felt Ms. Gaouette's heart within this story. She seemed to have intimate knowledge of these types of children's situations and those of the Sunshine Ranch adults. After the emotional ride of reading this story, I was grateful for the satisfactory ending, and it was well done. I can recommend this novel for adults and young people. Troubled children can gain a lot from reading this story, regarding persevering, learning to have faith in God, and reaching out to others in need in spite of being needy themselves.
Profile Image for Steven R. McEvoy.
3,169 reviews105 followers
August 26, 2012
This book took me completely by surprise. From the amazing dialogue to the raw emotions it portrays and captures it is a wonderful read from the first to last word. I know a number of foster children. I have seen them come and seen them go. This book captures their lives, their experiences and their hopes. The book was incredibly moving. Having known so many kids who have gone through the foster system knowing some of their stories and some not so much this book captures children when they are vulnerable, when they are reactionary and when they fear hope. But hope and love is what many foster children need most.

The story follows Benedict as he is pulled from one foster home and moved in the middle of the night. This has happened before. He has had ok experience in the foster system and some horrendous experiences. Then he arrives at Sunshine Ranch, and it is different, the foster parents Martha and David seem genuine, devoted Catholics but genuine and yet he does not want to let down his walls. The other children there seem to really like being there. But still Benedict holds back. The ranch is more like a family than many of these children have ever known. Then it looks like it might all fall apart, not enough money for repairs and to make it through another season. The children decide to put on a show to raise money to save the ranch.

The story is told from Benedict's perspective remembering back. Recalling what he had lost, what he had and maybe what he could have again. The story was amazing. I love it and highly recommend it. The story is a mix of faith, the spirit's movement and learning to trust and hope. And for some that is the hardest thing in the world to do. I highly recommend this book. And hope it is the first of many from this author.

Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More.
Profile Image for Barb.
Author 5 books59 followers
November 30, 2016
This novel peeks into the world of children in foster care, kids who have experienced things no child ever should. Sunshine Ranch is the home of a vulnerable child's dreams, with loving, faithful couple Martha and David caring for and educating 10 children who are in the foster-care system. Life at the ranch is not without its challenges, especially for 10-year-old Benedict who has had things particularly rough. This heartwarming tale has an unexpected ending.
Profile Image for Suzanne Schaub Wilhelmi.
3 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2017
I am finding it difficult to put into words my thoughts about this book, because the story speaks directly to the heart, and there are no words sufficient for how my heart was touched by this book. From the first page to the last, I found myself drawn compellingly into the love, suffering and grace of a family of foster children drawn together from diverse circumstances and cultures. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I have to confess that I hate reading digital books and this is the first ebook that I have ever finished! I am a very fast reader so not only did I finish this book in 5 hours (I nearly forgot to eat supper) but I was surprised at how the story became a part of me and made everything around me melt away! This is the best read I have had in a very long time!
Displaying 1 - 21 of 21 reviews

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