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History with Goosebumps

Excerpted from Miracle of the Call


Neil Armstrong: call to giant leap for mankind

”The family lived in or around Wapakoneta, Ohio. Not surprisingly with the Wright Brothers’ Dayton home only fifty miles away, airplane shows and paid rides were popular. At five years of age Neil’s father took him for a ride in a transport plane built by Henry Ford. Neil knew he was called to fly. As a boy he tossed model airplanes through the air to see how far they would go. He also experienced a dream that he remembered all his life. In the dream that seemed not to end, by holding his breath he could hover above the ground. Perhaps a glimpse of his future? Neil got his pilot’s license at fifteen, even before his driver’s license. “

“Once it was decided that Apollo 11 would attempt the first moon landing, officials behind the scene made the decision that Aldrin would not be the first man to step out. Realizing that the first man on the moon would forever represent NASA’s space program, they preferred their hero to be the quiet Neil Armstrong.

And quiet he was. Armstrong refused to tell anyone what he would say until the day of the landing: July 20, 1969 at 4:17 pm Houston time. Strangely, the first Apollo moon landing was the only one scheduled to happen on a Sunday. That morning Neil’s mother and Americans across the nation were in church praying for the success of this mission.

With all systems go, Armstrong set the LM, named ‘Eagle’, smoothly down in what will be forever called Tranquility base. His historic words—”the Eagle has landed”—were broadcast around the world to cheers and shouts. 

Armstrong had been considering what he would say when he stepped out of the LM. His brother claims Neil showed him a copy of his now famous statement earlier that month. With the world watching on TV, he stepped down first onto another heavenly body. All the world heard him say, “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” The print of Armstrong’s boot tread remains there today. 

That evening a note was quietly left on President Kennedy’s grave in Arlington, Virginia. It echoed Neil’s announcement: “The Eagle has landed.” “

Notable Facts

· John F. Kennedy called for landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. Neil Armstrong was America’s first man on the moon.

· What’s in a name? The first Armstrong relative to set foot on American soil in the 1700s was named Adam. Moon was the maiden name of Buzz Aldrin’s mother.

· Neil Armstrong carried a section wood covered with fabric from a Wright Brothers flyer when he travelled to the moon. All three men were born in Ohio.

Actual footstep on the moon used for back cover of Miracle of the Call

Actual footstep on the moon used for back cover of Miracle of the Call

Eric Hoffer Award


Honorable Mention - 2017

Miracle of the Call was selected to receive an Honorable Mention in the category of Spiritual books. The Eric Hoffer Book Award has truly become one of the top literary awards for independent books, involving over 1,300 books, 20 all-inclusive categories, and over 100 judges. Miracle of the Call book reached the upper 10% of registrants, which is quite an achievement. 

Click the button below to see the list of award recipients:

Eric Hoffer Award Winners

Miracle of the Call


About the Book

Seventeen Life Stories—Twentieth Century Heroes and Heroines
You may know the amazing life stories of these heroes and heroines of the twentieth century. Now read the surprising miracle of the call each experienced.

To Recognize the Call
Will you hear a voice? Some have. Do you see a vision? Moses saw the burning bush. Does your spirit feel stirred? Or do you feel a tug on your heart? Find out how to tell whether you have received the miracle of the call.

To Inspire Great Achievement
Individuals in this book might disagree about what constituted the call on their lives. All seventeen acknowledged that something unusual happened, something beyond themselves. Achievement that betters humanity points to the miracle of the call.

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Book Reviews

“In Miracle of the Call author Donna Ford has brought readers insights into the lives of key individuals from the last 100 years who have answered the call to become the religious leaders, military leaders ,innovators, inventors , politicians and statesmen that have helped shaped our modern world. From the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Chuck Colson, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, and Madam Marie Curie to Jonas Salk and many others the author illustrates for us what the call is and what it is not.
I was most intrigued by the details concerning each person’s biography and the additional reading/ bibliography for each entry in this book. The author clearly wants us to ask more questions and gave us the tools to search out additional information.
Donna Ford is an excellent author who has published two books previously (Concord Sage and Scanning for Children of all Ages). I look forward to reading her forthcoming works.” – jagon 

“…every person confessed that something unusual happened to change their life story…something beyond themselves. And that is probably the best description of a miracle call.”
In this gem of a young adult book, Ford defines “the call” as that moment when someone realizes the task for which he was created and accepts the challenge. The call is “believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
With superb focus, clarity and organization, Ford pinpoints these pivotal moments in the lives of seventeen 20th century people, selected by their universally acknowledged benefit to humanity. Sports figures and celebrities have no place in this slim volume of inspirational lives. Nevertheless, young readers will be captivated by the fact that childhood is the fertile ground where seeds of greatness are planted. For the Wright brothers, the call was a childhood book about birds. John F. Kennedy was called to politics when his older brother, Joe, died. Neil Armstrong knew at age five that he would fly, dreaming of floating above the ground by simply holding his breath.
Young, Internet-raised readers will like the rich abridgement of complicated lives into tasty high-calorie—not empty calorie—nuggets. The “Notable Facts” sections at the end of each chapter would make excellent reviews for either Jeopardy contestants or its question writers. (Famous 20th century saint whose father was poisoned. Who is Mother Teresa?) Chapters flow in easily absorbed linear and straightforward fashion that deliver the nucleus of each person’s greatness.
These biographies, organized by occupation, represent thorough research (see the “Recommended Reading” sections) and considerable insight to recognize the life-changing event. Ford inspires by saying that we too can be “called” just by listening to the music inside us. If a writer is a skilled servant of words who enables the rest of the world to share others’ greatness, then Ford is an exceptional servant, wrapping great lives in an alluring package with this slim volume of seventeen biographies.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
The US Review of Books – Professional Book Reviews for the People 

Concord Sage


About the Book

His name is well-known, but who really was the man, Ralph Waldo Emerson? What made him famous—a celebrity in his own town, country, and beyond? And why is Emerson still quoted today?

If you considered Emerson stodgy, you will be be surprised that this biography is meant to share with children, 5th grade and up. Afterwards, stroll leisurely through the site’s many blog posts which provide additional insight into Emerson’s life and relationships.

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Book Reviews

“This historical biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson offers insight and interesting trivia of daily life in early New England from the beginning of the American Revolution to the Civil War. It shows the influence Emerson and the other authors of that time had on each other. It also offers an interesting spiritual heritage as it shows how churches were thinking and developing at this time. This would be a good resource for home schoolers, especially those who have shied away from studying Emerson.” – Dana Barlow

“The author does a good job of telling us about Emerson and who his contemporaries were and how he interacted with them as well as to events of his time. This book helped me better place Emerson in his place in history.” –  Jacqueline L. Budd

“At three years old, Ralph Waldo was a slow reader and didn’t enjoy learning. Perhaps he didn’t like reciting facts from memory. He did like blowing bubbles from soap and water with a pipe.”

Most American high school students are required to read a few pithy selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Usually they are paired with works by his young protégé Henry Thoreau, and often readers come away with the impression that while the mentor was rather aloof and stodgy his more free-spirited disciple was “pretty cool.” But there was much more to Emerson than what is revealed in his writings, a fact which the author aptly illustrates in her new biography of one of the nation’s most famous thinkers.

Ford begins her book with a brief look backward at Emerson’s ancestors in Concord to help describe the environment he was growing up in. She then goes on to detail in a few short chapters the life, loves, friendships, and painful losses he experienced as he journeys from relative obscurity to national prominence. One of the more interesting parts deals with his interaction with Abraham Lincoln and how Emerson’s own hatred of slavery possibly helped influence the President to take a stand with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863.

The author has geared her book for young adults but it should also appeal to older audiences. Her prose is straightforward and informative yet engaging enough to keep the reader’s interest. Possibly the greatest gift this book brings to the study of Emerson is that it doesn’t so much focus on his writings, as so many other studies about him do, but instead shows us the man. She has taken the cold statue of the philosopher from the ivory tower contemporary thinking has placed him in and transformed him into flesh and blood.


The US Review of Books – Professional Book Reviews for the People

Scanning for Kids of All Ages


About the Book

Getting great results from your scanner is tricky. This is because scanning falls somewhere between an art form and technology. And what if you’re not quite an artist, or a computer wizard? This book removes the mystery, so that you can concentrate on the design skills that prompted you to buy the scanner in the first place. Recommended for teachers, librarians, grandparents, those creating a genealogy, any one interested in scanning or working with digital images.

You will understand how your scanner or digital camera work using CCDs to create digital data, how the scanner and computer communicate using TWAIN, and how to edit image data. Find out what OCR is and when and how to use it. Information necessary to produce the great results you are expecting – and can quickly get.

Seven projects are included that help you apply what you learn about histograms, adjusting brightness and contrast, repairing old or faded photos, removing redeye, setting threshold, scanning and printing line art versus photos or slides, saving for the web, and more

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Book Reviews

“Scanning for Kids of All Ages is an excellent step-by-step reference for first time scanner users. The simple directions were easy to follow to produce fantastic graphic productions.” – Dorothy S. Wright, teacher of computer basics to children and adults

“The instructions are concise and can be followed by even the least proficient of computer users. Quick quizzes…reinforce previously covered material. I had fun trying several of the projects for myself.” – Judge, 11th Annual Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards

“Yes, I thought I knew all there was to know about scanning, too. But this little book shows a step by step process to get the most out of your scanner and help students edit images to create a presentation they can be proud of…Recommended for all ages.” – Florida Media Quarterly Spring 2004

“If you’re interested in scanning some photos or documents but don’t know how or just don’t feel secure, this is the book for you…The information is often technical, but the author has presented it in a manner that is clear to the novice and not beneath the more experienced scanner. Interwoven with the explanation are numerous illustrations, some serious, some lighthearted, but all helpful in understanding the text. Even the explanation of items such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) are clear and to the point.” – Connecticut Nutmegger Vol. 36#4