GOLD/1ST PLACE AWARD WINNER, 2018 FEATHERED QUILL BOOK AWARDS
(ADULT FICTION category)
NAUTILUS BOOK AWARD WINNER 2018 - BEST FICTION
PNWA NANCY PEARL CONTEST FINALIST
(LITERARY/MAINSTREAM FICTION category)
Miles Foster is a newly minted teacher who dreams of getting a teaching job in the highly respected and financially stable Portland, Oregon school system where everything is available, and where he and his wife call home. But the only opening for his talents is in a remote lumber mill town in central Oregon, two hundred miles away. It is a poor school with forty students, and is controlled by a jealous superintendent and school board who tolerate no thinking outside the box and who conspire to destroy his teaching career.
Miles must find a way to educate students who have been passed along regardless of what they learned, and defeat the damaging control of the school board and superintendent without losing his marriage or his job, or both.
James A. Misko (1932 - 2019) was born in Nebraska, then moved to Oregon and Alaska, completing what for him was a natural bridge to the frontier. He worked in his time as an oil field roughneck, a logger, truck driver, saw mill hand, teacher, journalist, real estate broker, and writer.
To read his obituary, feel free to click here.
"Jim Misko's The Path of the Wind is an entertaining and insightful novel about the life and times of an American schoolteacher. What's more, it's a moving love story. Anyone who's ever taught school or wondered what it would be like to teach will love The Path of the Wind."
"Misko is a natural storyteller. His characters aren't constructs, but feel like they are flesh and blood. Once again, Misko delivers!"
"After having been a teacher for over 23 years and doing battle for my students who were often lost in an uncaring system, I can identify with Jim Misko's Miles Foster and tell you this is a novel that cries to be read not only for its tension and good writing, but for its theme. A must for those looking for a quality read!"
"I have been an ardent fan of all of Jim Misko's novels. They just get better and better as they exhale the soil and soul of Mid-20th century rural America. The Path of the Wind is his latest and best and constantly brings to mind Wallace Stegner.
I also taught in rural schools during the era Misko is writing about: I knew Miles in many teachers to be the truly dedicated and charming knucklehead that Misko portrays him to be. And, I did know some characters just like Superintendent Calvin Brooks to be the 'scoundrels' that they were.
Misko literally has you touching, smelling and seeing the Central Oregon countryside and its small towns. Pick this wonderful and charming book up and you won't put it down."
—Dr. John Bury, former rural schoolteacher and retired professor/dean
"In the tradition of Jesse Stuart's The Thread That Runs So True and Ivan Doig's The Whistling Season, Jim Misko's The Path of the Wind is an entertaining and insightful novel about the life and times of an American schoolteacher. What's more, it's a moving love story. Anyone who's ever taught school or wondered what it would be like to teach will love The Path of the Wind." —Howard Frank Mosher, author of God's Kingdom
"SMALL TOWN, SMALLER MINDS. In a poor, working-class Oregon town, young, progressive teacher Miles Foster must overcome the provincial powers that be if he is to reach his impressionable students—and save his career. The Path of the Wind is a powerful novel by acclaimed author Jim Misko."
—Mike Sirota, award-winning author of Freedom's Hand and Stone Woman: Winema and the Modocs
"There were tears in my eyes as I finished reading Jim Misko’s The Path of the Wind. They were good tears, the kind that only appear at the satisfying redemption of a protagonist you care about. Misko is a natural storyteller. His characters aren’t constructs, but feel like they are flesh and blood. In Misko’s able hands we are transported to a small town in Central Oregon in the late nineteen-fifties. A young Jimmy Stewart would have loved playing the role of Miles Foster, a newlywed, a newly minted teacher, and a man willing to pay the cost for trying to revitalize a dying school and town. Once again, Misko delivers!"
—Alan Russell, bestselling author of Burning Man
"In an unexpected and satisfying ending, Mr. Misko shows that a dedicated, innovative schoolteacher is one of the most valuable of all citizens: teaching our young not just how to make a good living, but how to make a good life."
—James Alexander Thom, author of Follow the River
"After having been a teacher for over 23 years and doing battle for my students who were often lost in an uncaring system, I can identify with Jim Misko's Miles Foster and tell you this is a novel that cries to be read not only for its tension and good writing, but for its theme. It's a cause for which a good novel like this will help parents, teachers and yes, students of the future appreciate and support. A must for those looking for a quality read!"
—Andrew Neiderman, author of The Devil's Advocate and the V.C. Andrews novels
"The Path of the Wind is a nostalgic journey back to a simpler world and time—rural, small town America in the 1950s. The hurdles faced by newlywed school teacher Miles Foster are numerous but surmountable: a stodgy school superintendent, his young wife’s difficult pregnancy, students in need of inspiration. In overcoming them, he and the other characters affirm essential values dear to the American spirit. This sweet, unassuming book is a love poem to a past where virtue inevitably triumphs, and small victories tower as monuments. Thanks to Jim Misko’s well-crafted prose, we can practically hear the strains of Tamarack, Oregon’s high school band playing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and smell the local diner's cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven."
—Nick Jans, author of A Wolf Called Romeo and member of USA Today’s board of editorial contributors