Adam Danner releases third book, 'Green Mountain Dream'

Marianne Gillespie
Adam Danner, president of 4 Directions Healing Foundation, speaks at Shore Acres Park during Native Americans Speak in August 2011.

Chillicothean Adam Danner did not plan on continuing to write books, but that is just what has happened as he recently released his latest book, “Green Mountain Dream.”

The latest book is a fictional story of an 18-year-old man embarking on an adventure in seeing other places than his home in Vermont. Set in the mid 1900s, the main character, Michael, lives in a little town in the wilderness. His mother says he is destined to do something.

“Unlike most people in his town, he wants to explore the world,” said Danner.

The book is different than his other two. The previous book, “The Boy Who Saved the Forest,” is a fictional children’s book.

He will sign books from 10 a.m. to noon April 14 at the Chillicothe Public Library.

“After I wrote the first one, with that experience, people liked it and it gained praise. I like to write. I read a lot. I speak, so it’s this thing with words. I’m good with words,” said Danner.

Once he finished the children’s book, he was ready to dive into the next book.

“When I started, I certainly didn’t know where it would go. The story starts to tell itself, you know,” said Danner.

His first book, however, has been revised and is now being used with a new set of people. “Honoring in a Good Way” is just as its cover states, “A

Guide to Native American Cultural Understanding.”

“When I wrote this, my intention was not to keep writing,” said Danner as he pointed to his first book. “I wrote this out of necessity. I needed to show people the reality instead of them getting the fantasy. That fantasy is always out there, it’s always being portrayed.”

Danner is referring to how Native Americans are shown through movies or spiritual groups and how they can be exploited by people who know little of true Native American culture.

“I don’t want people to get taken for a ride,” said Danner, adding that Native American elders have beliefs on who should teach cultural things.

“What I like to say is I show people respectful and sustainable ways that they can go about being involved with Native American people and/or culture,” said Danner, who is of mixed blood.

The book has been used to teach Michigan teenagers going on a missions trip about Native Americans, as well as being chosen by Native American elders in the national Methodist church to educate clergy and those in authority.

In September Danner headed to Nashville, Tenn., for a gathering of Native American writers who worked on a national Native American hymnal. It is not what residents may think of as a traditional hymnal with mainly music.

This hymnal also includes information about Native American people and culture.

Danner is not one to stay holed up and continually writing, however. He speaks at church meetings, Boy Scout troops and travels around the area giving cultural programs.

He also is working on a new project with journalist Clare Howard and Lionel Pinn Little Eagle in interviewing Native American elders on environmental issues. Howard will focus on the research side while Pinn and Danner will work on the cultural and spiritual sides of the issues.

For example, Danner said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affected the Houma tribe and their fishing in Louisiana.

“We have questions about how we’re living on this earth and how we’re treating the earth, and, the cause and effect of that,” said Danner.

He also is planning for the second Native Americans Speak at Shore Acres Park, set for Aug. 25 this year.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind chance for people to learn from Native American people all over the country,” said Danner.

The free event features speakers, music, storytelling, a Native American ceremony, children’s events, drum and dancing demonstrations, vendors and more.

The event is sponsored by the 4 Directions Healing Foundation, of which Danner is the president. The foundation’s members educate the public through cultural programs and also through assisting Native Americans. For more information about the foundation, which does offer annual memberships, visit www.4directionshealing foundation.org.

His books can be found online at www.adamdanner.com, at Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, as well as by calling him at 635-1107. His first two books are $8 apiece and “Green Mountain Dream” is $10.

He also will be making appearances around the area: May 19 at the Peoria Public Library Author’s Fair and June 2 for a book signing at “I Know You Like a Book” in Peoria Heights.