Official Website - The Rankins of Pratt County
The Rankins of Pratt County
In 1982, teenager Russell Rankin is viewed as smart and mature beyond his years until an impulsive and faulty decision brought on by a family crisis lands him in police custody.
While lodged in juvenile detention, Russell is impacted by unexpected personal loss. As part of the Juvenile Court’s disposition, he agrees to temporarily relocate from the urban Midwest to a small town nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
A highly religious widowed grandmother takes Russell into her care, and during the early months of his stay, family tragedy strikes again that further tests Russell’s resiliency.
Russell’s interim family and adoptive community rally to his aide. During his ongoing transition, a first love evolves as he learns to trust and willingly embrace his new surroundings.
Eventually, he thrives as both student and athlete.
Upon high school graduation, college and career intervene out of state.
Seizing an employment opportunity in his early-forties, Russell returns to Pratt County to work and raise his young family where he faces surprisingly unresolved issues, which further test his character and integrity.
Juvenile justice expert Robert L. Bingham spent forty-two years in the probation profession, the majority of which leading juvenile and adult probation departments. He served as adjunct criminal justice faculty for many years at several midwestern universities and has consulted on national, state, and local levels. In 2002, he was named “Probation Executive of the Year” by the National Association of Probation Executives.
Bingham's first book, a memoir Growing Up Lansdowne was published in 2015. His debut novel The Rankins of Pratt County, which features the story of an at-risk teenager in the early 80's and draws from the author's vast experience in juvenile justice, will be released in early 2021.
The cover’s painting is entitled “Blue Ridge Mountains in Fall.” It was painted by Julie Riffey of Virginia. The inspiration for the painting came from an actual location on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. A print of the painting and other related items may be obtained through the artist’s website: http://julie-riffey.pixels.com/. (Search: Blue Ridge Mountains in Fall.)
GROWING UP LANSDOWNE
Growing Up Lansdowne is a photo-illustrated account of the author's childhood and adolescence in the mid to late 1950s and eventful 1960s in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, a conservative Philadelphia suburb. The book is composed of 171 diverse essays depicting growing-up years in Lansdowne. Eight sections titled "Random Remembrances" record dozens of additional recollections. Assorted photographs are included to accent the narrative. The book is part memoir, part social landscape, part local/national history, and part love story. The recollections reflect candor and vulnerability, and at times they are surprisingly personal. Essays present balanced portraits of family and community life and the general era without resorting to enhancement or exaggeration. By its very design, Growing Up Lansdowne compels readers to make personal comparisons with their own hometowns and upbringing. The text touches upon memorable historical events and sensitive social issues of the times, and their impact on adolescent transition to adulthood.
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