Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
This short heartwarming story is about a boy who lives on a ranch with his grandparents, dad and brothers. Life is simple until his father is deployed to Iraq along with the rest of his unit. Then Brother as he is called, takes it upon himself to run the ranch with his grandparents until his father gets back home. Because his brother is also in the service and another brother goes away to school, Brother feels that he must fill their shoes.
All is well until lightening stikes and fires move closer to their land. He and his grandfather try to protect the animals and bring them all to safety. It is then that Brotherfaces another trial in his young life. His grandfather has a heart attack and they are all alone on the land. His grandfather tells him how proud he is of him and that he need only search his own heart to find his true destination in life and then he passes away. Brother is not about to leave his grandfather's body behind, so with the help of his father's horse he gets his grandfather's body to the clearing where his grandmother and other redidents of the community went for shelter.
His father and brothers return home for the funeral. Everyone is quite proud of the way that Brother handled himself and the caring of his grandfather. To everyone's surprise, a bus full of people pulls up to their house. Many have come to help start the rebuilding of their barn that was destroyed in the fire. It is then that Brother learns of the care and guidance his grandsfather had given to so many. He also learns what really matters to him and how that will shape his future.