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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Betty Peer's books reflect local history

  • Pattie Peer Trapp, who grew up in Hannibal, Mo., has just published five books of children’s stories written by her mother, the late Betty Ann Noonan Peer.
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  • Pattie Peer Trapp, who grew up in Hannibal, Mo., has just published five books of children’s stories written by her mother, the late Betty Ann  Noonan Peer.
    “Mother always wanted to write - her entire life - and she raised kids and worked in church and was a Girl Scout leader for years and years,” Pattie said.
    “When she was diagnosed with cancer, she decided she was going to do it. She was determined she was going to write these books.” Betty Peer died in 1984 in her mid-60s.
    “Mother never had any idea they would ever be published,” Pattie said. “Back then publishing a book was not something just anybody could do. ... Mother wanted them published, but we didn’t know how to go about it, and then she died.”
    Her mother sent the stories to Pattie’s uncle in Texas to read, “and he wrote a forward for the book,” she said.
    Pattie lived in the country of Mexico for 10 years, and now lives in McGowan, Texas.
    Her mother was from St. Louis and moved to Hannibal after marrying John Peer, a native of Hannibal. John Peer served as a city councilman and was active on the industrial council.
    Four of the five books are short stories, with Pattie’s daughter (and Betty’s granddaughter), Jennifer, as the main character. Jennifer is now a lawyer in St. Joseph, Mo.
    “The first ones are just little,” Pattie said. “I call them ‘The Adventures of Jennifer Series.’”
    Only one of the four stories is based on a true experience, Pattie said. This is about Jennifer, Jeremy (Jennifer’s second cousin) and “Mr. Brown Turkey.” It is the story of Jeremy winning a turkey calling contest.
    “The other three are all definitely fiction,” Pattie said. All four are set in Hannibal.
    The larger book is a historical novella set in Palmyra during the Civil War. It includes the Palmyra Massacre and other historical facts, Pattie said. “It is really good.”
    She believes her mother learned some historical facts from the fellow members of her women’s club, the Jane Clemens Neighbors.
    The book is titled “Jennifer, A Young Rebel.” Pattie is in one story in this book as the mother of Jennifer. Several other family names are used, she added. “If you know my family, the names are really funny - my aunts and uncles are my grandsons. And my father is married to my aunt.
    “In the story Jennifer has to make a trip to St. Louis on foot from Palmyra and retrieve some money from the bank,” Pattie said. “She has adventures along the way. I think she (her mother) had me in mind - I could have survived that trip.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Pattie added a dedication to the book that “I just happened to find,” she said. “It was two papers she (Jennifer) had written in college. One was about these books and what the writing meant to her. I put that as a dedication in the book.”
    Pattie published these children’s books at the request of her grandchildren, “and I wanted them to read them,” she said, explaining they are for young children.
    “My grandson is in first grade and he is able to read them, but he is exceptional,” she said. “His teacher read one of them to the class, and he was so proud.”
    Pattie was pleased to learn how easy it was to publish the books on Kindle. “Anybody can publish a book, and it is free,” she said. “I did a little editing and did the cover illustrations.”
    All five books are available in Kindle form and also on Amazon in paperback. They may be ordered on createspace.com, Pattie said. “That is where they print the books, if somebody orders the books.”
    She also is donating a set of the books to the Hannibal Free Public Library.
    Pattie is also an author. A retired teacher, she explained she is “doing a series of books on homonyms - an in-depth story of homonyms.” She has finished the first of 12 books. She also has an internet business selling items made by women she met in Mexico.

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