Book Review: My Gentle Barn | @GentleBarn

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Reading with my kids is a special treat.  Now that my handsome boy is a great reader, I love picking up new books for him.  I received an invitation to do a review on My Gentle Barn, which I had assumed was a children’s book, but was quite wrong.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was a true story written by Ellie Laks about her life and the history behind The Gentle Barn currently located in Santa Clarita.

The Gentle Barn

I began reading the story of My Gentle Barn; of Ellie and her memories of a lonely, difficult childhood.  At a young age, she found herself lost, but at peace when she was with nature, animals, rescuing dogs and butterflies.

As she got older, she went through a life of disappointment and drugs until she decided to clean herself up and began a dog walking business. While engrosed in her new venture, she found solace in the dogs and found herself rescuing a few of them from the pound. Through her dog walking, she met a special man, Scott, who shared her love of dogs.  The eventually married and had a son named Jessie.

During a visit to a local petting zoo, Ellie found Mary, her inspiration for starting The Gentle Barn. Ellie quickly realized this was what she was meant to do: save hurt animals, rehabilitate and give them happy lives.  In turn, these animals, with Ellie’s direction, helped many at-risk youth she invited to The Gentle Barn.  By relating to the animals and their history, these children have been able to overcome so many deep rooted issues.

There are so many times I picked up this book and I just couldn’t put it down once I started reading.  I couldn’t wait to find out what happened with the nasty neighbor, who started off being a friend and great partner, turned into a difficult person; forcing Ellie and Jay (her second husband) to move The Gentle Barn.  The amazing efforts of volunteers during times of need like during the fires that threatened the land, animals, and Ellie and Jay’s family.  These volunteers continue to help and support The Gentle Barn and the animals – inspiring!

The Gentle Barn is a place that I plan on taking the family to when we’re in the area.  I’d love to visit Ellie and Jay and their family of animals who have helped so many through the years.

Want to read My Gentle Barn? You can pick it up at your local book retailer or at

To find out more information about My Gentle Barn, the book or about The Gentle Barn: as a visitor, contributor or volunteer, follow along via social media: Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Disclaimer: I received a copy of My Gentle Barn to read and share my honest opinions with my readers. No other compensation was received.


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