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A cocky, wise-cracking young Juvenile Probation Officer battles troubled lives and senseless deaths as he establishes a career and finds adventure, friendship, romance, and a new home in Hawkins County. Although fictionalized, this bittersweet story is based on actual people and events in a small, rural county. But "Hawkins County" is more than a corrections casework study. It is a trip back to the 1970's, and it's all here - the movies, the TV shows, the tunes, the jokes, the humor, the heartache, Vietnam - all the elements that influenced our lives during the era. "Hawkins County" is for baby boomers, Vietnam veterans, law enforcement officials, social workers, youth counselors, probation officers - yes, even juvenile delinquents and other outlaws - and everyone else who savors a nostalgic story about life as it happened during the 1970's.
NOTE: HAWKINS COUNTY also exists in screenplay format, which can be viewed in its entirety at www.scriptbuddy.com
Review from the December 2006 issue of Roundup Magazine
This is not a Western, but it is an unusual book that illustrates the changes the 1960s and 70s brought to American culture and law enforcement. Based on the author's own experiences as a juvenile probation officer in rural Hawkins County, Minnesota, the story line traces the coming of age of an immature, cocky probation officer, who learns how to help youngsters caught up in the criminal justice system, and guide them to a more useful life. It is not a happily- ever-after sort of book as Jack Johnson finds his small mistakes handling his juvenile clients can lead to big consequences.
The death of a teenager who is fleeing the police is a sobering experience for Jack. Particularly well drawn is the character of Pat O'Connor, the son of an alcoholic. Pat is avoiding arrest on a warrant for breaking his probation. He avoids drugs and thievery, but runs with a bad crowd. He is sensitive teenager, very protective of his dad, and Jack's goal is to reform Pat's behavior. This is an interesting book for its social commentary and the flavor of the 1970s.
Memorable Novel of Historical Fiction!!
"Clearly a memorable novel of historical fiction is HAWKINS COUNTY, by Steve Ulmen. One can recall their first months as a probation officer, as a juvenile adjusting to whatever life throws, or just relax and relive the 1970's. A country sense of humor reminds all that community corrections was and can be very real in the country. Kids, rural America, and the nostalgia of "old times" are all wrapped up into one. Steve helps us relive the past with his personal teleportation expertise. Two thumbs up!" Glen Just, Ph.D., Rochester,MN. Former Juvenile Probation Officer, Professor at Mankato (MN) State University, and Director of DFO Community Corrections. Currently Professor of Corrections at Winona State University, Winona, MN
Poignant, Amusing, and Accurate!
"Ulmen's HAWKINS COUNTY is a poignant, amusing, and accurate portrayal of life in a small rural county and the county government services available in the 1970's. This story is accurate in all respects but one. Ulmen refers to me as "rotund." I was NOT rotund, I was svelt!" Richard Schoenstedt, Elysian, MN. Retired social worker and aka Rick Shumaker, social worker portrayed in "Hawkins County."
HAWKINS COUNTY Draws From Real Life!
"Steve Ulmen is not new to the world of law enforcement or corrections, having devoted his entire adult life to working with the unfortunate segment of our society that ends up entangled in the criminal justice system. His new novel,(HAWKINS COUNTY) draws from life at a time shortly after he started as a probation agent in a small southern Minnesota community. Ulmen was not far removed in age from the central character in the story, so the though and words come from a unique perspective. He lays bare many of the reasons for juvenile delinquency in the 1970's and shows how small mistakes can have life-shattering effects on the young people and those around them."
Jerry Huettl, Public Safety Director, City of Mankato, MN and model for the character of Officer Lowell McCarthy in the novel. Mr. Huettl also served as an expert consultant on police procedures of the 1970's as detailed in the novel.
Reviews for "Hawkins County"
|Reviewed by Steven Ulmen
|for endorsements for this book goto:http://www.eagleentertainmentusa.com/slow/hce.html|
|Reviewed by Phillip Hardy
|I read your chapter previews and you have done a terrific job with your detailed narrative, which really captures the small town atmosphere. Your dialogue works well and the feel of the story reminds me of S.E. Hinton|
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