Friday, March 8, 2013

The Longest Year By Stan Crader

Like all of his friends, Tommy Thompson dreams of obtaining the ultimate ticket to freedom: a driver's license. Unlike all of his friends, Tommy has just turned fifteen. He'll have to watch everybody else pass their tests before he's old enough to take his. But life goes on for the band of boys despite Tommy's consuming obsession. His best friend, Booger, takes up the guitar. His buddy, Everett, dates a girl from a rival school and discovers that her classmates aren't altogether happy about it. Longtime romantic interest, Melody, tests her newly minted driving skills on the railroad tracks. And Tommy receives an unexpected gift -- one that just might make the longest year of his life go by a little quicker. The third in Stan Crader's Colby series, The Longest Year will bring a smile to your face as you remember the trials and tribulations of your own youth.
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Stan Crader was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs and the people he worked with for providing him his creative foundation. While growing up, his jobs included paper routes, mowing lawns, grocery store carry out, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. One learns a great deal about people when they see what groceries they purchase.

After graduating from high school he attended the University of Missouri, where he fully realized the uniqueness of his hometown. He met his wife Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game, in which Missouri won. Some believe that Debbie considered Stan a project; most feel she still has much work to do. Stan and Debbie live in the Bollinger County area with their three boys and a golden retriever.

Stan's favorite hobby is writing, but he's passionate about flying and also enjoys, biking, hiking, scuba diving, snow skiing, snowshoeing, maple sap collecting and photography.

He regularly flies a number of planes ranging from pressurized turbines to a small fabric winged two passenger aerobatic model. On a typical Saturday morning he can be found flying the fabric winged plane at low level over the Mississippi River looking for Bald Eagles. He and a couple of friends once flew the entire Lewis & Clark trail at low level. His longest flight was from Missouri to Athens, Greece in a small Cessna, just to see if he could do it.

While growing up he couldn't wait to get his drivers license and discard his bicycle; after turning forty he got back into bicycling and has made a number long cross country rides including the famed Katy Trail that runs along the Missouri River across Missouri and a ride across Montana including Glacier National Park.

On a whim, Stan and his youngest son, Brad, got dive certified at Branson, Mo. Like his other hobbies, he immediately immersed himself in it, purchased all of the equipment and started looking for the best dive spots. He met the pilot, who he flew the trans-Atlantic trip with while scuba diving in the Bahamas; his favorite dive spot, however, is Cozumel.

During the month of February you can find Stan looking for maple trees to tap. He collects the sap then boils it down into pure maple syrup and shares it with family and friends.

His photographs are mostly for private use but a number of them have been used for calendars and university literature and websites. His favorite place to take photographs is while hiking or snowshoeing with Debbie in the Rocky Mountains but he's taken some of his best from the cockpit of an airplane.

Stan is known for the unusual. For example, most settle simply to catch a baseball at a Cardinal game; Stan once caught a thrown bat that made its way into the lower deck. It was father's day and the game was televised. By the time he got home several had called and wanted to confirm that it was Stan they'd seen on TV. His grandfather once filmed him jumping a small creek on a motorcycle. So, it's evident where he got the daring gene.

He and his wife were recently invited to the home of Stan & Lillian Musial. They had a delightful private visit the real Stan The Man and his wife.

His professional life is that of a business executive. He's President of a small family business that sells Stihl chainsaws and power tools. As a businessman he won a silver quill for business writing and once qualified as a finalist in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year. He's quick to credit his success as a businessperson to those he works with.

He was once elected city councilman of Marble Hill, the town where he came of age. He discovered a new respect for those that serve as volunteers in small towns in this capacity. The mayor he served as councilman was also his former elementary school music teacher, which made for an interesting dynamic.

He applies his Christian principals in every walk of life and it's his hope that others recognize Christianity as the root of his success and the source of his creativity and drive.


Song - "House At Pooh Corner" by "The Nitty-Gritty Dirt Band"
Place to be - Home
Holiday - Christmas
Book - Bible
Food - Cherry Pie

The Longest Year, is the third in a trilogy of young boys growing up in rural southeast Missouri in the 60's. The first two books were, The Bridge and Paper Boy I enjoyed them both as well as this this one.
Stan brings to life all of the anxieties that young teens go though in such a way you think you are back in the 60's with the boys.
Stan writes very engaging stories, if you have not read one of his books you are missing out.
I was given a copy of this book by the author



  1. I would love to win this, Book sounds great brings back childhood memories. Stan what a active guy you are. Loved the review of the book.Thanks for this giveaway.

    hope this goes through it didn't the first time.

    1. Diana, you are the WINNER! E-mail me your mailing address

  2. My grandsons would love to read this. Thanks for your review..

  3. Sounds like come really good books. Great review, Mary!!! Thanks for the opportunity!!!

  4. Great review, Mary! I'm not sure I took the preview of the book seriously, but I actually laughed. This book sounds like there is a lot of humor in it. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a copy. Thanks for the great review. New author to me.

  5. They sound really good. What a fascinating author made even better by growing here in Missouri. I would love to read these books

    Thank you Mary

    Cathy Weber

  6. Sounds like a really good book to read. Thanks for having this give a way Mary and also for your review.

  7. New author to me.
    I'd like to win a chance to read this book.
    Carolyn Jefferson

  8. I would love the chance to win this book thanks

    Shirley Blanchard

  9. I have never heard of this author. This books sounds pretty good.

  10. Nice review. Thanks for sharing

  11. Stan, you really do a lot of different things. The fabric winged plane has me puzzled. Wish I could see it. And taking it on some long trips. I like to read of someone's growing up years. You were sure a daring guy! need excitement, huh? I lived in towns like you spoke in. I think they are the best to live in while growing up.Kid had so much more freedom there and things more simple. I would love to win your books.Thanks mary for the interview and chance to win the books.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com