Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News Resources
on the Web

24 October 2005

JSU Alumnus Authors Book:
The Owls of Thunder Hollow

By Randy Wilson
JSU News Bureau

Jacksonville State University alumnus Dan Barnwell recently came out with his first book, The Owls of Thunder Hollow, published by Author House of Bloomington, Indiana.

"I wrote this book so that people would realize that we hurt people when we lash out at them because of something that they don't do well," said Barnwell. "Instead of concentrating on a perceived weakness, we should be praising a person's talents."

Barnwell grew up as the seventh son in a family of twelve children. His father passed when he was young, leaving the family a small farm on the rocky side of Crooked Mountain east of Jacksonville.

Barnwell began displaying a vivid imagination as a young child while trying to entertain his brothers and sisters by sharing his original stories and poems.

The setting of the story takes place in Thunder Hollow, which is a perfect place to raise a family of owls. The owls have the perfect society in which to raise their young and have used a successful system for generations with very few changes.

Owls chronicles the life of a young eagle named Brownie. A marauding quartet of crows steal an egg from an eagle's nest. However, the mother eagle counterattacks the crows trying to recover her egg.

During the fray, one of the crows hides the egg in a hole in a tree. The crow intended to recover the egg after eluding the mother eagle. Unbeknownst to the crow, the hole in the tree was actually the home of a pair of owls.

The owls were asleep when the egg was placed in their nest. The owls decided to adopt the egg as one of their own. They had no idea of the origin of the egg, but were thankful to receive it.

What follows is the story of an owl trying to teach a young eagle how to become a good owl. Both the teacher and the young owl give it an honest effort.

At times, the antics of the Old Teachers and Brownie, along with the other young owls, appear comical. Yet, the truth of the matter is that they are just two different birds. No matter how hard both student and teacher try, the owls can't teach the young eagle how to be a good owl.

The birds in this story pose as a metaphor for people and the area of the forest simulates communities.

"I hope that this story will help everyone who reads it to look for the God-given abilities in each young person they meet," said Barnwell. "I just can't thank my wife Judy enough for her support and help while writing this book."

The story is written with short sentences in a reader-friendly format. The book could easily be read within a leisure setting and be understood by anyone ten years old and up.

For more information about the book, call Dan Barnwell at (256)435-6377.

Submit items for news releases by using the request form at