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Thu, April 25

Best-selling true-crime author pens children's book

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier

Patrick Whitehurst/The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT - Arizona writer and journalist Jana Bommersbach may be known for her national bestseller "The Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd," but that is about to change.

Bommersbach has now entered the world of children's literature.

Her latest book, "A Squirrel's Story - A True Tale" tells the story of a squirrel family that moves into a bird house, and how Shirlee Squirrel teaches her offspring, Sammy and Sally, everything they need to know about being a tree squirrel.

Bommerbach's latest book offers interactive curriculum and activity guides for both parents and educators. Illustrator Jeff Yesh adds his artistic flavor to the book as well.

"He did a magnificent job illustrating this book," Bommersbach said. "And teachers are adoring the book. Third- and fourth-grade classes are reading it."

The squirrel's story, she said, is based on true events witnessed by her mother in her backyard during the summer of 2007.

"Everyone asks how I went from writing true crime, tearing apart politicians, taking on the power structure of Arizona - to writing a children's book. My answer is very simple. My mother told me to do it," Bommersbach said. "If I've learned anything in my entire life, that's what you should do: whatever it is your mother tells you to do."

To prepare for her transition into writing children's books, Bommersbach said she researched everything she could get her hands on when it came to squirrels.

"I was amazed at how much research has been done into the life of squirrels. They have a really fascinating culture," Bommersbach said. "I tried to write it in a way that I thought children would find entertaining and interesting."

Bommersbach paid a visit to Prescott and the Peregrine Book Company for a full day of activities Saturday, which included a children's story time and a speaking engagement at which she offered tips on writing.

For more information on Bommersbach, visit

Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier.


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