Perry Thomas Books

The very latest of the PerryThomasBooks is The Children of a King: Ridgecrest, Summer of 1950, released in the fall of 2016 by Archway Publishing/Simon & Schuster. Use this code in ordering through Amazon: ISBN 978-1-4808-3114-8

Have you ever spent a delightfully different sort of summer – a season that changed your life forever? That happened to several hundred young people who were working at a big conference center in the mountains of North Carolina during the summer when America entered the Korean War.

“As young adults of today read about the lives of youth many decades ago, they will recognize striking similarities and discover significant differences. All who can look back on their own histories, finding times in their younger years when events conspired to move them along the path to maturity, will welcome The Children of a King as a story that entertains while it inspires” (quoted from the outside back cover).

The latest of the Perry Thomas Books will be introduced at a reunion of former Ridgecrest summer staffers, held in June 2016 at – where else? Ridgecrest!

The next-to-newest of the Perry Thomas Books is Pilgrims on the Wilderness Road, recently released by Parson Place Press. Homeschoolers, Americans interested in our pioneer heritage, indeed anyone from middle school age up who’s looking for a good read – all of these should welcome this lively paperback.

Like the earlier Parson Place Press release From Slave to Governor: The Unlikely Life of Lott Cary, Pilgrims on the Wilderness Road is also available in electronic form.

If you prefer (as I do) to hold a real book in your hands, both of these books are available in paperback print editions, of course. You should be able to buy either or both of them through any book store or online bookseller. For my third Parson Place Press book, Good News from Indonesia: Heartwarming Stories from the Land of the Tsunami, making a direct online purchase from is the best way to go.

Shorter Writings

Come join me on a spiritual journey! Read one of my shorter writings every week -- for free! Each Wednesday, the latest installment of Midweek Meditations on Family and Friends: A Two-Year Devotional Series is posted on This collection of more than a hundred devotionals in both poetry and prose has been appearing weekly since the beginning of 2015, and it is scheduled to continue through the end of 2016. Just go to the “Blog” page. (Back issues as well are still available for free download.)

Strange as it may seem, I’ve been a published hymn writer nearly as long as I’ve been a published author. My first books (several of them, actually, all curriculum-related) came out in 1960-1963. My first published hymn, both text and tune, appeared in 1964. Since then I’ve continued to write hymns, even editing a major hymnal in Indonesia.

Now Darcey Press has published another of my hymn tunes, PINEVIEW, in a collection of Psalm-based texts by Isaac Watts. Besides that, a totally unexpected phone call from Canada announced that my hymn text "O God of Wonders, God All-Wise" had won second place in a worldwide contest. (See details below, under "Awards.") The Canadian placing the call praised the text; he said they were singing my words to the hymn tune JERUSALEM. If you remember watching the opening of the 2012 Olympics in London, this is that stately and stirring melody which you heard being caroled by children's voices.

Every language student knows how helpful cognates can be. When you're learning to speak German, it's handy to know that gut means good. If you're studying Spanish, it's helpful to know that carro means car. Yet cognates can be tricky. Tell me if you’d like a lighthearted look at some language pitfalls, and I’ll e-mail you a copy of my article “Cognates: False, Fractured, Shrinking, and Sliding.” It was published on the web by CATI, the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters.

Not long ago The HYMN quarterly (print edition) published a much longer and more scholarly article, comparing the life and work of two evangelical hymn-writers. If you're interested in reading "A. B. Simpson, B. B. McKinney, and Their Limited Hymnody," please let me know. Just send a request by e-mail to: Perry@Perry Thomas In return, I'll be glad to send you an attachment consisting of photo-ready copy for this article.


The Good Housekeeping Family Seal of Approval:
  • Ways We Worship (Barron’s Educational Series, 1997)

  • "Marking Significant Moments in Congregational History," 2012 hymn-writing contest sponsored by Humbercrest United Church, Toronto, and the Southern Ontario Chapter of The Hymn Society in the US and Canada (Second Place):
  • "O God of Wonders, God All-Wise"

  • Reviews

    The Children of a King: Ridgecrest, Summer of 1950 (forthcoming from Archway Publishing/Simon & Schuster)

    “. . . In this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel, we are introduced to a more innocent time, with a range of colorful characters and many moving experiences. . . . With attention to detail, a wicked sense of humor, and a warm understanding of human nature, author Perry Thomas hearkens back to a time that I pray has never quite left us.” (Posted by E. E. Kennedy, author of the Miss Prentice Cozy Mysteries,, October 11, 2016.)

    “This is a work that many people will find warm and endearing as they relive their own stories – a book that will be appreciated by many!” (Elisabeth Jewell, in a review not yet published.)

    Pilgrims on the Wilderness Road (Parson Place Press, 2013; Kindle and Nook editions, 2013)

    “Why did 600 people travel 600 miles from colonial Virginia over high mountains and swift rivers into the still-dangerous territory of Kentucky? Who led this largest single group ever to trek the perilous Wilderness Road? This lively mix of historical fact and fiction will introduce today’s readers to Lewis Craig, stalwart pastor of “The Traveling Church” famed in Christian history; to his brother Elijah Craig, founder of many firsts in Kentucky including a classical academy that grew into Georgetown College; to Joseph Craig the family clown, who like other members of the numerous Craig clan made his unique contribution to the development of both the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kingdom of God.” (Posted by Tarleton Maillew,, September 24, 2013.)

    From Slave to Governor: The Unlikely Life of Lott Cary (Parson Place Press, 2010; Kindle and Nook editions, 2011)

    “The story of a person’s rise from humble beginnings to achievement and prominence is guaranteed to move readers, and North Carolina writer Perry Thomas does so in From Slave to Governor: The Unlikely Life of Lott Cary. . . . Cary’s . . . legacy lives on in Virginia – there’s a Lott Cary Road in Charles City, for instance – and Thomas tells his story in a readable and affecting manner.” (Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch, issue of Sunday, August 1, 2010.)

    “Written in a style accessible even at a middle-school level, this paperback offers a positive role model and a real-life hero for readers of today. Because parts of the story are shadowed by lack of data, veteran author Perry Thomas has deliberately written this new paperback as a biographical novel rather than as a straight biography. Yet the book rests on a sturdy basis of long and thorough research, using newly-rediscovered primary sources and on-the-spot observations in Liberia.” (Posted by Cordel Whitman, WRITTEN web magazine, August 7, 2010.)

    Good News from Indonesia: Heartwarming Stories from the Land of the Tsunami (Parson Place Press, 2008; paperback edition, 2011; Kindle and Nook editions, 2012)

    Good News from Indonesia is a colorful and thrilling description of the people, the land, and the events of that island nation. Perry Thomas weaves the stories like the colors of batik and brings out the unique qualities of the people of the many islands of Indonesia. The last chapter is worth the whole book, but do not dare read it first! Those who know the history of the area will resonate to the real-life stories and personalities who were changed by The Celestial Batik-Maker. Excellent reading!" (Posted by Dr. Ray Register,, July 19, 2011.)

    Exploring Church History: 20 Centuries of Christ’s People (World/Thomas Nelson, 2005)

    “Focusing on the perspective of individuals from around the world – especially Africa and Asia – and from all Christian religions, Thomas highlights the contributions of women and others often forgotten in the story of the Christian church. The many lists, sidebars, chronologies, illustrations and glossary of terms are excellent features of this primer on church history. It would be a worthwhile addition to the beginning student’s library.” (Jackie Riley, Baptists Today, August 2006.)

    Works in Progress

    Timely Teasers: Campaign Consensus

    Do you know the joint statement that was heartily agreed to by both major candidates?

    (Answer: The election is less than two months away.)

    Timely Teasers: A (Vice) Presidential Puzzle

    1) Our country has had three Vice-Presidents named Johnson:

    Andrew Johnson           Lyndon B. Johnson           Richard Johnson

    Which ONE of these three never became President?

    ANSWER: Richard Johnson

    2) Only one of our Presidents has ever resigned. However, TWO of our Vice-Presidents have resigned. One of them served with President Andrew Jackson; the other served with President Richard Nixon. Do you know their names?

    ANSWER: John C. Calhoun (Vice-President with Andrew Jackson) Spiro T. Agnew (Vice-President with Richard Nixon)

    3) ONE of our Vice-Presidents shot and killed a member of the President’s Cabinet, and then plotted a conspiracy against our country. Do you know his name?

    ANSWER: Aaron Burr

    4) ONE of our Vice-Presidents served with two different Presidents; can you pick the correct name out of this list?

    Bill Clinton George W. Bush James Buchanan
    George Clinton Franklin Pierce James Madison
    George H. W. Bush Franklin D. Roosevelt James Monroe

    ANSWER: George Clinton (Vice-President with Thomas Jefferson AND James Madison)

    5) Fourteen of our Vice-Presidents later became President:

    John Adams Calvin Coolidge Andrew Johnson
    Millard Fillmore Gerald Ford Harry Truman
    Chester A. Arthur Lyndon B. Johnson Richard Nixon
    Thomas Jefferson George H. W. Bush John Tyler
    Theodore Roosevelt Martin Van Buren

    Most of these became President when the President resigned or died. But FIVE of them served their full time as Vice-President, and then ran for President on their own and were elected. Can you pick the correct names from the list above?

    (Hint: THREE of them were President during the first half of the 1800s; TWO were President during the last half of the 1900s.)

    ANSWER, in correct chronological order:

    John Adams Thomas Jefferson Martin Van Buren
    Richard Nixon George H. W. Bush

    Timely Teasers: A Campaign-Rally Combo

    Let’s set up a campaign-rally combo of former Presidents! We’ll include these musical instruments:

    cornet           flute           saxophone           violin           piano

    Now, which President played which instrument?


    Thomas Jefferson - violin Harry Truman - piano
    John Quincy Adams - flute
    (and other instruments)
    Richard Nixon - piano
    Warren G. Harding - cornet Bill Clinton - saxaphone

    Cover of To Be the First
    Learn about America's first foreign missionary!