Lineman, The Unsung Hero

Price: $14.95

Linemen are husbands and brothers, fathers and sons, and occasionally, wives and daughters. But familial relationships and gender aside, all lineworkers are unsung heroes to Michelle Larson. So much so that she sings their praises on every page of Lineman, The Unsung Hero, a children's book she wrote and published in 2012.

An orange roadside hazard sign shouting the words, "HARD AND DANGEROUS WORK" fills the first page with "God Bless and Protect Our Linemen" blasting out from the last. In between, one lineman laces up his climbing boots as lightning flashes in the night sky outside his bedroom window, another works on a line with a hot stick, while on a following page, a line crew hangs a "pot" (transformer). Still another illustration shows two lineworkers arriving at the scene of an accident where a pickup truck has slammed into a pole, breaking it in two.

Larson, a teacher and childhood development expert, says the book, her first, honors her husband Matt, a lineman for We Energies, an investor-owned utility based in Milwaukee, Wis. The Larsons and their two children live in the suburb of Menomonee Falls. They moved there a year ago from Arizona, where Matt served as an apprentice lineman for Navopache Electric Cooperative in Lakeside.

"We found our inspiration for the book when we lived in Arizona," she explains.

"It was a wide-open subject area. There are plenty of illustrated books for children about the construction trades but hardly anything on line work."

Lineman, The Unsung Hero is illustrated by Susan Shorter, a Bloomington, Ind., artist, and published by Author House, a self-publishing company. Larson does all the marketing herself, and notes she's halfway through sending a free copy and an order form to every electric co-op in the country.

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