Tails of Sweetbrier

Tails of Sweetbrier


Young Adult - Non-Fiction
82 Pages
Reviewed on 05/10/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is a children’s book author with five books published at this time: Award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. All of her books offer positive messages for children. Her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates her books and designs the covers. All books are available on Kindle and paperback.
Tails of Sweetbrier is an inspirational award-winning autobiography about a little girl whose one desire was to become a champion equestrian, in spite of her handicap. This book has won the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Book Contest, finalist for the CLIPPA Awards, honorable mention in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards and the silver medal in the Reader's Favorite Book Contest. Tails of Sweetbrier shows children that anything is possible if you persevere. Deanie’s other books, Charlie the Horse, and Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog are amusing, fictional tales, told by the animal characters. Deanie has won the “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading Award” for her essay entered in TheAuthorsShow.com contest. Additonally, she has recently been interviewed on WTNH TV show, CT Style about her autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier.

Book Review

Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite

Tails of Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is an inspirational and true YA story. Deanie has cerebral palsy and her parents are told she will never be able to walk. But her father has other ideas and, after setting up Sweetbriers riding school, he sets about teaching his young daughter (and her two sisters) how to ride and jump and become prize winning riders. Deanie loves this challenge and begins to ride even before she eventually walks at age four. A wonderful partnership between her own horse, Peach, and herself develops as does the confidence and determination that sees the two of them achieving remarkable things.

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne’s story is one that will inspire young readers to hold on to their dreams and pursue them determinedly, regardless of any apparent setbacks. Beautifully, simply and honestly told, Tails of Sweetbrier is a delightful and uplifting story. I loved the inclusion of illustrations depicting the characters at various stages of the story. I couldn’t help thinking how lucky young Deanie was to have such a positive-thinking and enterprising father – her own determination and outlook so obviously influenced by the upbringing she experienced.

Young readers will fall in love with Little Man and Fleet Nancy (or Peach) – the lovely friendship that grows between Deanie and her four legged friends is conveyed in such a delightfully contagious way. My favorite part of the book is where Deanie and Peach tackle the Oxford Farm competition – they don’t win that day, but neither do they give up in the face of adverse weather conditions! With plenty of fun moments along the way too, Tails of Sweetbriers is an enjoyable book that will make you think, open your mind to possibilities, and challenge you to overcome obstacles or limited thinking.

The final chapter consists of the author’s ‘Pearls of Wisdom’: “Overcoming obstacles can give you the confidence to accomplish amazing things…You have the power to make your dreams come true so reach for them and don’t accept anything less!” The questions for readers at the end of the book make this an ideal story for prompting discussion about confidence and self-belief, as well as understanding others who may have greater difficulties than ourselves. Recommended.

By Author/reviewer Geri A

"A TRULY SPECTACULAR STORY OF STRENGTH, PASSION, and COURAGE!", November 1, 2010
By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Paperback)
What if you had a dream that you wanted nothing more than to ride horses, but didn't begin to walk until age four? How would you feel as a parent to be told that your child would never be able to walk? How would you feel living on a farm, gazing at beautiful horses everyday, while wishing and praying that you were one of the riders? How would you feel if walking is a difficult task, but you are very eager to ride a horse? A young girl is determined to follow her dream, regardless of the risk involved. Sweetbrier was her life, and her heart was filled with passion to become a champion horseback rider. What did the diagnosis of cerebral palsy mean to one compassionate father, who encouraged his daughter to fight the odds? Are the memories of a sprawling, yellow Victorian house in rolling green pastures a treasure to the children who grew up there, and what adventures will they always remember? How many countless times did Deanie fall off of Little Man, and what did her father do? What code did Deanie use to give Chiefie a carrot when he was in his stall, and did they go to exhibitions together? What happened to Chiefie and Jubilee, after fire broke out in the barn? Does the Humphrys family give up, or do they build a new barn? How old was Holly when she began to ride horses? After surgery, crutches, and the use of a cane, does Deanie ride Peach? Who took First Place in the Reserve Champions at Mrs. Foster's Farm, and who was the rider? I highly recommend this book to children, parents, and teachers. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne wrote a truly spectacular story of strength, passion, and courage. The characters come to life, as well as the unique illustrations. The author points out the value of family and friendship, while motivating others to reach for their dream, despite obstacles that may have to be battled with along the way. Firthermore, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne encourages discipline, high self-esteem, and a positive attitude throughout this compelling story. The author motivates children to overcome their fears, achieve their goals, and follow their dreams. "TAILS OF SWEETBRIER" tugs at the heart, is as captivating as RADIO, and as inspiring as FORREST GUMP, with Tom Hanks.

Cold Coffee Cafe

Father Gives Daughter the Gift of Freedom of Movement, September 12, 2015
By Cold Coffee Cafe
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Paperback)
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne started her life journey in Easton, CT. Tails Of Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is not just another horse tale. Sweetbrier is real a horseback riding school owned by Deanie’s dad in a time where the magic of family, friends and the love of horses inspired a young girl with Cerebral Palsy to pursue the dream to jump horses.

Deanie’s father never settled for the limitations that the doctors warned him of when his 3 year old daughter wasn’t walking, instead he put his fragile young daughter on her own first freckled gray pony named Little Man and gave her the gift of freedom of movement.

With this freedom of movement and the faith her father instilled, Deanie learned that with disability comes ability and her tenacity would one day make her a champion jumper. Deanie Humphrys-Dunne was a champion before she met her horse Peach, but together they became a winning team.

I always quote a passage from each book that I review. I choose this one from page 52-53 because Deanie is talking in her own gentle way, telling her young readers about her horse Peach.

“Do you know what she liked to do for fun?
Well, sometimes she grazed in the pastures, or she would go out in the riding ring to run, or to roll around in the sand. Horses really like rolling in the dirt. They especially like doing it after you worked hard to groom them!
Guess what else Peach really enjoyed?
She liked visiting her favorite friends. Holly’s pony Dark N Fancy was her “boyfriend.” She must have liked the short, dark and handsome type. He was black, too, but he had white on his legs and an uneven white blaze on his head. She might have been impressed with his talent too, because he was an excellent jumper with courage and style. Holly would take him in the same shows as Peach and I entered, but they went in different events. They a cute “couple.”
Sometimes Peach would be out in the riding ring just relaxing, or maybe getting nice and dirty rolling in the sand. What happened if she saw Dark N Fancy grazing in the pasture?
She jumped the fence so they could play together!”

Tails Of Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is not only an amazing story, but it serves as a testimony to other children and parents of children with disabilities that life is worth living. Deanie’s father gave her the gift of freedom of movement and now Deanie tells the world as an author of 5 award winning books. Deanie brings her love of horses to life in stories and the lessons of this father and daughter that should not be forgotten over time.

Christine Meunier

A Truly Motivational Read
By Christine Meunier on August 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Tails of Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is an incredible true story of a young girl who overcame many, many obstacles. With the support of a loving family, the incredible joy of riding horses and some awe inspiring determination, Deanie tells her tale.

Do you have a dream that feels too big to achieve? The important message Deanie puts across in this story of her life is that even when others say things are impossible, if you just keep persisting, you can achieve so much.

A specialist gave the opinion that Deanie would never be able to walk after she was still crawling at three years of age. Cerebral palsy was diagnosed.

Unconvinced, Deanie’s father determined to teach her to horse ride to strengthen her legs. This wasn’t without its setbacks and showing true determination, even at a young age Deanie would get back on every time she fell off.

Tails of Sweetbrier is a delightful read made that much more special because it is true. Anyone who reads it will be inspired to keep persisting with that dream, even when others say it’s impossible. A truly motivational read.

An Amazon customer

hank you Deannie for such an amazing uplifting story
By Amazon Customer on February 17, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a truly inspirational story! How many times in life do we give up on things and not think twice about it? How many times do we say its too hard and move onto something? This book is filled with determination that everyone should have! Myself included! Sometimes things are hard but we always have to remember that sometimes.....someone else has lived a harder life and succeeded in making their dreams come true. We cant give up on our dreams. Thank you Deannie for such an amazing uplifting story!

Nick Roussos

A story of horses, cerebral palsy, and triumph
ByNick Roussos on August 25, 2015
Format: Paperback
The cleverly named, Tails of Sweetbrier, by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, is an intense personal story of persistence and strength. Young Deanie begins life with a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy that predicts she will never walk. Even though she struggles, Deanie pushes through to reach her goal of not only walking, but also becoming a champion horseback rider. Despite her setbacks and literal falls off of the saddle, Deanie’s conviction to her dream perseveres. The perspective and conversational text in, Tails of Sweetbrier, helps readers to empathize with the writer’s woes and triumphs. It is a life adventure story that provides adolescents with a real life example of setting and reaching goals important to them, no matter how far-fetched they seemed to the outside world.

Dave McKay

A heart-warming true story.
ByDave Mackayon June 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Deanie Humphrys-Dunne was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at an early age and her parents were told by a specialist that she would never be able to walk.

In this book, Deanie vividly tells the story of how, encouraged by her parents, she bravely overcame her doubts and fears and not only learned to walk, but even became a champion horse rider! Children and adults alike will be inspired by Deanie's courage and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Camy

An encouraging message to overcome any life's challenges...
ByCamy on June 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This is such an amazing and inspirational true story! The author shares one of most important messages which is the one to NEVER give up on our dreams no matter how challenging life could be, The story is very well written with very nice illustrations. If you and your children love horses as much I do, well this is one of the best books to read!

Rhonda Patton

Love horses and real life adventures, April 28, 2015
By Rhonda Patton
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Kindle Edition)
This story is real. It is about struggles and overcoming fear. This story no matter who you are, will love. I couldn't put the book down even though I had to. I wanted to know more and more. This book really shows a persons dedication and true spirit of the love of horses.

Abbe Reichman

5.0 out of 5 starsTriumphant book written by a triumpant author.
ByAbbe Reichmanon April 19, 2015
Format: Paperback
This was a story I could not put down. Life in general is filled with challenges but when you are told that your child would never be able to walk due to cerebral palsy, the hurdles can seem like mountains... not for Deanie's father. He rose to the challenge. Having been raised surrounded by horses, Deanie's father thought outside the box. He knew how much Deanie loved horses and dreamt about one day becoming a champion rider. He taught her persistence, perseverance, discipline and determination. Deanie climbed every mountain that crossed her path through skinned knees and bruises of every kind. She remained focused with the courage of a true champion. Her story is filled with words and messages of hope and promise. I loved it! I would highly recommend this book to everyone but especially to those with special needs.
This review was written by Abbe Reichman - Author and Manager of a special needs program for a non-profit agency.

Gisela Sedlmayer

Never give up, a heartwarming true story
ByGisela H. Sedlmayer, author of the Talon book serieson March 29, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Are there road clocks in your way? Do you have to do a big decision? Is a physical challenge hindering you to do what you really want to do?
Are you following your dreams?

Deanie Dunne made a major decision and it changed her life.

She wanted badly, desperately to ride horses, even jumping and go to shows. I seamed easy enough for most of people but not for Deanie. You see, she has cerebral palsy. And that is what hindering her to do what she wanted. Did it really?

No, it did not hinder her. She just didn’t accept it. Her Dad was always behind her and promised her that he will teach her to ride horses, her dream.

He opened a riding school to keep his promise and called the school “Sweetbrier”. She was five years old when Dad put her the first time on a horse. Disaster after disaster and falling off many times. Did she stopped trying? No, she didn't stop. With determination and endurance she made it. She would never give up, that was not an option.

Soon she could ride by herself and even entered into shows and jumping shows. She loved it and she was in her element. Never give up.

You have to read the book, it’s heart-warming, and you feel her determination between the lines and the happiness she feels when she became a champion.

Joyce L. Mitchell

Well Written & Inspirational!
ByJ L. Mitchellon February 20, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Tails of Sweetbrier
CoverArt: Excellent

Have you ever really wanted to be able to do something, but you came across a roadblock of some kind? Or maybe
you’re afraid of trying new things, even afraid to follow your dreams? Tails of Sweetbrier is an amazing story about a young
girl with cerebral palsy - doctors say she would never be able to walk, but dad saw another side of it. He and the family owned
Sweetbrier, a horseback riding school, so unstoppable dad brought out the horses, preparing the way for his daughter to ride, the
first being a freckled gray pony by the name of Little Man. From the start, the author’s dad knew that their little girl was a champion
and would have outstanding achievements! Some great advice he gave:

“It will just take time, honey. You need to keep practicing and one day you will be able to do it perfectly.”

“You still need practice and your legs need to be stronger, but you’ll be able to show, too. You can do ANYTHING you want
if you keep trying.”

Courage. Strength. Passion. Read all about it in Tails of Sweetbrier! While you are on author’s Amazon page, check
out Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie's Heroes, and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.
Highly recommended!
Review by author of 'Button Finds Family and Friends at the Farm'

Kathleen Andrews Davis

For the horse-lover in everyone.
ByKathleen on February 20, 2015
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Tails of Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphreys-Dunne is akin to The Saddle Club TV series but without the drama. Ms. Humphreys-Dunne shares her own personal story of growing up with a disability and the desire to become an equestrian. Instead of the rivalry depicted in the TV series, readers will find a loving and supportive family, and a very determined father who taught his daughter not only to become an award winning rider but to know that she could do anything she wanted in spite of her disability. This is a heart-warming story written in simple prose that 9 to 12-year-olds will devour. Readers will love the details about the Sweetbrier Farm, the horses, and the strong determination of Ms. Humphreys-Dunne as she manages her disability. Tails of Sweetbrier makes one want to visit Sweetbrier Farm and take some riding lessons!

Suzie Swanson

I promise it will touch the hearts of many children and grown ups alike just like it has me
BySusie Swanson on January 30, 2015
Format: Paperback
This is such a touching book and the words come straight from the author's heart and life experiences. I promise it will touch the hearts of many children and grown ups alike just like it has me. The lessons shared in it will forever last in their lives and teach them to follow their dreams just like she did. Having struggled with so many adversities herself, who else could teach these lessons but Deanne. Learning to do the things that other children did came hard for her but she never gave up. It pushed her even more to full speed a head just like riding her horses. I highly reccomend this book to all ages . I could hardly stop reading till the end. I felt a sense of peace and my eyes were filled with tears . Deanne has a way of doing that and so much more. It has a way of capturing the reader in a spellbound way. A Best Seller for sure. This Review was written by Susie Swanson Author of "Echoes Of Time

Ann Morris

Inspiring example of overcoming life's obstacles!, August 19, 2014
By Ana (Ann) Morris
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Paperback)
This a true story about Deanie Humphrys-Dunne and her physical challenges. Thanks to the encouragement and acceptance of her parents, when nature presented her with a physical weakness, her daddy would not give up on her. Was it a challenge to everyone? It may have been. But the Humphrys family seemed to thrive on challenge and stare it square in the eye. Deanie learned to work hard and take her lumps, but she kept working hard to be the best she could be at jumping horses. How interesting: Her method of overcoming physical hurdles was to jump them with a horse! Today she is a successful author, another challenge with endless competition. My own motto has been "Never Give Up!", but I can see I was not the first to live these words of encouragement and tenacity. Deanie is to be congratulated. not only for her successes at horse shows, but for providing a living example for young readers that they can do whatever they want to do if they put forth the effort and are willing to learn from pitfalls. She is a true champion!

Ellie Gus

ByEllieGus on March 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Sweetbrier saga is full of courage and perseverance and a strong will to overcome serious obstacles. The author's life is a model for today's youth, marking out a path that can lead to both personal fulfillment and a positive contribution to society. Go girl!

Linda Pennington Black

Story of true courage, September 3, 2013
By Linda Pennington Black
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Kindle Edition)
This is a beautiful warm-hearted true story of a young girl who overcame real obstacles and beat the odds. A young girl who didn't learn to walk until age four mastered riding, showing and jumping horses with the help and encouragement from her father, who would not let her quit, despite her handicap. True diligence, courage and determination fuels the book to keep you completely enthralled and anxious to read till the end. This one will surely teach, inspire and encourage to keep dreaming and never give up on your dreams. For any horse enthusiast, this is a must-have book and perfect for children of any age, parents and teachers. I recommend it highly. Reviewed by Linda Black, author of The Adventures of Boots: The Giant Snowball, A Porpoise For Cara, and S.T.O.P. Bullying.

Janice Spina

5.0 out of 5 starsAn Inspirational and Unforgettable Read
ByJjspinaon July 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are looking for an inspirational and unforgettable read this is the book for you. This book will bring you to tears as you read about this inspiring little girl who learns never to say no to her dreams. She was born with a handicap and her parents were told that she would never walk. With a surprisingly strong will and determination to do what her sisters could do, ride horses and win championships, Deanie learned to ride. She found it very difficult and had to adjust many times to falling off her horse and getting up again and again. She never gave up and finally she did succeed and became a championship jumper.

This is quite a feat for this little girl and through her trials and tribulations she teaches children and adults that perseverance pays off. If you want to live your dream then you must work hard even if you at first fail you must keep trying and never give up. By not giving up you will be rewarded with success and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Deanie is a remarkable woman who has inspired me by her example. She is a talented and creative author of four books and continues to pursue her dreams in being a very successful author. I think she is well on her way to success for nothing will keep her from obtaining her goal.

This is an excellent story for middle school and high school students to encourage them to pursue their dreams and proving by Deanie's example, that no obstacle is too great.

Sarah Mazor

Inspirational and Motivating. A Must Read!
BySarah Mazor on July 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
The parents of Deanie Humphrys-Dunne were told that their little girl, who was born with a physical handicap that was eventually diagnosed as cerebral palsy, will never walk. This is devastating news to any parent as it was to Deanie's, but her father refused to accept the decree and announced that his little girl will learn to ride horses.

The power of a young girl's passion, perseverance and determination and the effect of a family's support, love and commitment, are celebrated in this remarkable true story of an extraordinary individual. Deanie, pursued her dream with tenacity and persistence, and against many odds achieved success in the very demanding world of competitive horse shows. This wonderfully inspirational story begins with a challenge to young readers that would make it difficult for them to put the book down. Deanie asks "Have you ever really wanted to be able to do something, but you came across a roadblock of some kind?" and goes on to inquire "Are you going to follow your dream, or are you going to push it aside without even trying?"

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's generosity in sharing her story so that others may be motivated to pursue their dreams, no matter the challenge, is admirable. Take advantage of the opportunity, acquire the book and be inspired! "Tails of Sweetbrier" is heartily recommended for readers of all ages.

Sherry Ellis

Wonderful book about Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Dreams, March 1, 2011
By Sherry Ellis
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Paperback)
Tails of Sweetbrier is the true story of how a young girl overcame her disability to become a champion horseback rider. It is the author's own story. She was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors believed she would never walk. Her father told her to never give up. She listened to his advice, and not only learned to walk, but also became an expert horse rider, winning numerous competitions.

The story is beautifully told, as the author candidly shares her thoughts and feelings throughout the ups and downs of her journey. Ms. Humphry-Dunne's message is a powerful one: "Overcoming obstacles can give you the confidence to accomplish amazing things."

The book is written for readers ages 8 and older. It would appeal to anyone, but horse lovers especially, would enjoy the story. I highly recommend this inspirational book.

Laurie Loveman

5.0 out of 5 starsA Story of a Dream, the Challenges, and a Victory
ByLaurie Lovemanon February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Deanie may have started out with a physical problem, but very soon she was having the same riding problems all of us have had as we grew up riding: lots of falls, embarrassments, and great joy at accomplishing our immediate goals.
As an adult, following along as Deanie so clearly expresses her learning experiences, I could easily remember my "mistakes along the way" and I rejoiced with her as she reached for and attained her successes.
This is not just a horse story, it's the story of a family. Any young riding enthusiast who reads TAILS OF SWEETBRIER will identify with Deanie, and most certainly, will be glad to know they are not alone in mastering the art of horsemanship!

Amazon customer

5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming tale of overcoming tremendous obstacles, October 16, 2013
By Amazon Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Kindle Edition)
My wife loves horses. She has always dreamed of owning one from an early age. When we did finally get one, she was bucked off and hurt and has never found the courage to get back on. I'm hoping this story will change her mind. What an incredibly inspiring tale of overcoming. To be born against such tremendous odds and to come out the other end triumphant is a lesson that everyone can learn from this incredible life story. From the opening chapter, this book was destined to be eventful. The recounts in the life of the author are written in a way which immediately conjures images of country life on a ranch which has personality and history, where the family is the center of everything and the love of horses is what drives passion. This is a touching, at times emotional read, with a touch of humor and elegance about it. Anyone who loves horses will fall in love with this book. For those who have never had the pleasure of owning a horse, there is still a great deal to be learned from this engaging and sensitively told story. The illustrations, beautifully done by the author's sister, Holly, evoke images of a family drawn together by a common passion and love for country life. Is it any wonder Sweetbrier is still considered one of the top riding schools in the US.

Werner Stejskal

Let nothing stop you!, May 15, 2016
By Werner Stejskal, bestselling author of the Oliver and Jumpy series
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Kindle Edition)
Determination is vital in life. If you are lucky and have family support then you are bound to succeed. Step by step, great things can be achieved. I know nothing about horses, but all about having a goal and following the hard road to achieve it. Deanie had a goal, had the father's help and lots of determination to finally succeed. Great book, Deanie!

therealbg

I loved Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's other book Charlie the Horse so much ...
Bytherealbgon October 5, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's other book Charlie the Horse so much that I had to have this one too. When i say I loved it I mean that my daughter and I loved it. We read it at least twice a week. Now with Tails of Sweetbrier we get another great childrens story about a girl with a disability that will let nothing stand in her way of riding horses. The story was great, based on true events. Thanks for another wonderful childrens book. Don't ever stop writing.

June Sitler

These books are a real treasure for young readers. Children love to read about the struggles and feelings of animals, since they can relate so easily learning and struggling themselves growing up. An inspiring book like this can leave a lasting impression on a young mind!

cmewander

plifting Tale of Perseverence, August 24, 2016
By cmewander
This review is from: Tails of Sweetbrier (Kindle Edition)
What a special story about a child, born with disabilities, learning to walk at a late age, run, learn to ride her horse and finally to become a champion jumper. Deanie had to persevere through horrible struggles at an early age to overcome her fears and anxieties through the love of her family, especially her Father. A very uplifting tale. Can't wait to read the other books in Deanie's stable. This book was a gift to me. DC Rush Books