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Harvey Oyer's 'The Last Egret' Chosen for Best Student Reading List in the Nation

The Last Egret  has been named to the “Best Student Reading List in the Nation”

The Last Egret has been named to the “Best Student Reading List in the Nation”

The children’s book The Last Egret, written by Florida author and attorney Harvey Oyer, has joined classics like Black BeautyHeidiThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Winnie-the-Pooh in the “Best Student Reading List in the Nation,” a list compiled by Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.

The Last Egret is one of five books in Oyer’s Adventures of Charlie Pierce series. It follows Charlie and his friends as they explore the 19th-Century Everglades seeking to make a fortune from killing birds for their colorful feathers.  Instead, they learn about conservation and protecting the environment.

Oyer is a fifth-generation Floridian and a partner in the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen. He was named Florida’s Distinguished Author in 2013.  His children’s books have won numerous book awards, including the Florida Book Award, Mom’s Choice Award, and several Florida Publisher’s Association Gold Medals.

“My favorite part about this reading list is that it includes several great works that deal with questions of morality, character building and philosophy that will help young children and adult learners grapple with some of life’s challenges in all chapters of life,” Commissioner Corcoran. said in unveiling the list.

Other classics on the list include The Velveteen RabbitAnne of Green GablesTreasure IslandPippi LongstockingMary PoppinsThe Little PrinceCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryThe Hobbit, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Oyer said it is an honor for his book to be included among so many classics of literature.

Author of  The Last Egret , Harvey E Oyer III

Author of The Last Egret, Harvey E Oyer III

“I am honored to be a part of this list which includes so many of my favorite writers, and I am excited for the readers who will come across my book for the first time,” he said.

In addition to his literary awards, Oyer was named one of the “100 Most Influential Floridians” by Florida International Magazine and received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was also chosen as one of the “25 Most Powerful People in Palm Beach County” by Boca Life Magazine and was included in Florida Trend’s “Florida 500,” which highlighted influential executives across the state. He is a former Marine Corps Captain and a part-time adventurer, who cross-country-skied to the North Pole in April 2018.


Commissioner Corcoran‘s Back to School Reading List

Kindergarten - Second Grade

A Child's Garden of Verses .................. Robert Louis Stevenson

A First Book of the Sea .......................... Nicola Davies

Little House in the Big Woods ............ Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Lion and the Mouse ....................... Aesop

The Emperor's New Clothes ................ Hans Christian Andersen

The Very Hungry Caterpillar ............. Eric Carle

Love You Forever ....................................... Robert Munsch

The Tale of Peter Rabbit ....................... Beatrix Potter

Stella/una ....................................................... Janel/ Cannon

The Ugly Duckling .................................... Hans Christian Andersen

Goodnight Moon ....................................... Margaret Wise Brown

The Kissing Hand ..................................... Audrey Penn

Llama Llama Red Pajama .................... Anna Dewdney

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie .......... Laura Numeroff

Where the Wild Things Are ............. Maurice Sendak

Curious George .......................................... H.A. Rey

Jack and the Beanstalk .......................... Steven Kellogg

The Giving Tree ......................................... She/ Silverstein

The Story of Babar..................................... Jean De Brunhoff

Green Eggs and Ham .......................... Dr. Seuss

Hop on Pop .......................................... Dr. Seuss

Don't Touch My Hair! ........................ Sharee Miller

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States ..... David Catrow

Third Grade - Fifth Grade

Black Beauty ........................................................ Anna Sewell

Heidi ........................................................................ Johanna Spyri

The Secret Garden ........................................... Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Velveteen Rabbit ...................................... Margery Williams Bianco

The Black Stallion ............................................. Walter Farley

The Wind in the Willows ............................ Kenneth Grahame

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ..................... Washington Irving

Anne of Green Gables ................................... Lucy Maud Montgomery

Treasure Island .................................................. Robert Louis Stevenson

Pippi Longstocking ........................................... Astrid Lindgren

Ralph S. Mouse ................................................. Beverly Cleary

Mary Poppins ..................................................... P.L. Travers

The Little Prince ................................................ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ........ Roald Dahl

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz .................. L. Frank Baum

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ......... Lewis Carroll

The Phantom Tollbooth ................................ Norton Juster

The Hobbit ........................................................... JR.R. Tolkien

The Yearling ........................................................ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The High King .................................................... Lloyd Alexander

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH ....... Robert C. O"Brien

Winnie-the-Pooh ............................................... A. A. Milne

Shh! We"re Writing the Constitution ...... Jean Fritz

The Last Egret ..................................................... Harvey E. Oyer III

The Haunted Mask .................................... R.L. Stine

Sixth Grade - Eighth Grade

Little Women .............................................................. Louisa May Alcott

The Story of Doctor Dolittle .............................. Hugh Lofting

The Neverending Story ........................................ Michael En de

The Hound of the Baskervilles ........................ Arthur Conan Doyle

The Call of the Wild ............................................. Jack London

A Wrinkle in Time ................................................. Madeleine f Engle

I Am Mala/a ............................................................... Mala/a Yousafzai

Matilda ......................................................................... Roald Dahl

The Age of Fable ...................................................... Thomas Bulfinch

The Hiding Place ..................................................... Corrie ten Boom

Island of the Blue Dolphins................................. Scott ODell

Where the Red Fern Grows .............................. Wilson Rawls

The Count of Monte Cristo ............................... Alexandre Dumas

The Lion. the Witch and the Wardrobe ..... C.S. Lewis

Through the Looking-Glass ............................... Lewis Carroll

Sounder ........................................................................ William H. Armstrong

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer ........................... fohn Grisham

Hoot ................................................................................ Carl Hiaasen

Julius Caesar .............................................................. William Shakespeare

The Constitution of the United States ......... Karen Judson

The Diary of Anne Frank .................................. Anne Frank

Leaves of Grass ......................................................... Walt Whitman

Poems ............................................................................. William Blake

The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe ... Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue .................... Edgar Allan Poe

Finding Langston ............................................ Lesa Cline-Ransome

9-12

Jane Eyre .......................................................................... Charlotte Bronte

The War of the Worlds ........................................... H. G. Wells

Watership Down .......................................................... Richard Adams

Frankenstein .................................................................. Mary Shelley

The Vicar of Wakefield ........................................... Oliver Goldsmith

Howards End ................................................................ E. M. Forster

The Last of the Mohicans ...................................... James Fennimore Cooper

Pride and Prejudice ................................................... Jane Austen

Much Ado About Nothing ..................................... William Shakespeare

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin ... Benjamin Franklin

Lord of the Flies ........................................................... William Golding

Animal Farm ................................................................. George Orwell

A Land Remembered ............................................... Patrick D. Smith

Murder on the Orient Express ............................ Agatha Christie

The Old Man and the Sea ..................................... Ernest Hemingway

Finding Manana ......................................................... Mirta Ojito

Up From Slavery .......................................................... Booker T. Washington

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation ............................ Joseph f Ellis

The Crucible .................................................................. Arthur Miller

A Tale of Two Cities ............................................ Charles Dickens

A Raisin in the Sun ............................................. Lorraine Hansberry

The Road Not Taken and Other Poems ........ Robert Frost

Hope is the Thing with Feathers ........................ Emily Dickinson

The Nickel Boys .................................................. Colson Whitehead

Into the Wild ........................................................ Jon Krakauer

Manchild in the Promised Land ......................... Claude Brown

Devil in the Grove ............................................... Gilbert King

The Weary Blues ........................................................... Langston Hughes

Woodlawn: One Hope. One Dream. One Way. ......................................................................... Todd Gerelds

Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State ............................. Senator George LeMieux and Laura Mize

Children greet Flagler adventure writer Harvey Oyer

Local historian and author Harvey Oyer III was at the Flagler Museum Saturday to sign copies of his new book, “Charlie and the Tycoon,” the fifth in his series of children’s books, “The Adventures of Charlie Pierce.”

The book is set in 1893 Palm Beach as Henry Flagler is building the Hotel Royal Poinciana.

Harvey Oyer chats with Hailey West, 9, of Port St. Lucie during Oyer’s “Charlie and the Tycoon” book launch and signing Saturday at the Flagler Museum. Activities included crafts, a sea-grape jelly cooking demonstration and Gilded Age games. Robert Avossa and Ric and Dorothy Bradshaw also read chapters of the book to visitors.  PHOTO: MEGHAN MCCARTHY

The Flagler event also featured activities for children and families, including crafts and a sea grape jelly demonstration.

Charlie Pierce, who was Oyer’s great-uncle and one of the famous Barefoot mailmen, grew up on the untamed frontier of Florida’s southeast coast.

In the series, he and his family help define Florida’s history as they battle hurricanes and other pioneer challenges, and hunt for Spanish treasure.

Historian adds new barefoot mailman book to children’s series

Lawyer Harvey Oyer III often represents property owners with construction projects on the island. The West Palm Beach counselor is also a known speaker, historian and children’s book author.

He released his latest story, The Adventures of Charlie Pierce: The Barefoot Mailman, last week. The plot follows the adventures of Oyer’s great grand-uncle, Charlie Pierce, and his great grandmother Lillie.

The book is based on the real life story of Ed Hamilton, who walked a mail route from Palm Beach County to Miami as a barefoot mailman in 1887. When Hamilton disappears, Charlie Pierce takes his place and, along with Lillie, Pierce investigates Hamilton’s disappearance.

The Barefoot Mailman is the fourth book in Oyer’s Charlie Pierce series. In 141 pages, it tackles one of South Florida’s most enduring local legends. The barefoot mailman route, which lasted from 1885 to 1892, represents the settling of the wild jungle frontier that was Southeast Florida at the time, Oyer said.

“The fascination would be what a rugged individual it took to do this job,” he said. “You walked 156 miles round-trip … they were covering 20-plus miles a day with the mail on their back … this was a really hard way to earn $600 a year and as a consequence no man that ever signed up for it ever renewed his contract.”

In writing his book series, Oyer used the personal diary of his great grand-uncle as primary source material. Diary entries date back to when Charlie Pierce was 8 years old.

By his own estimates, Oyer, who is self-published, has about 130,000 copies of his books in print. School districts across the state have made large purchases.

Most fourth-grade classrooms in Palm Beach County have copies of The Last Egret, the second book in the Charlie Pierce series. Four years ago, it was assigned reading for every fourth-grader in the county.

“He has really transformed elementary social studies for us with his books,” said Maureen Carter, a Palm Beach Public School District administrator who oversees curriculum.

Carter ordered eight copies of the new book for her grandchildren. “His writing is so vivid,” she said. “I’m not a native Floridian, but I’ve learned a lot reading his books.”

Risa Thomas, a mother of a 10-year-old boy in Jupiter, wrote Oyer an email with her order. Thomas said her son, Zach, has been obsessed with the Charlie Pierce series but does not know the new book came out.

“I can promise you that it will be his most cherished gift this holiday,” Thomas wrote.

Last week, Marion County School District inquired with Oyer about receiving 800 copies of The Barefoot Mailman, he said. His goal in writing and publishing books is to share his knowledge and passion for Florida’s environment and history with future generations of voters.

“If we don’t do this, we’re going to raise a whole generation of voters who will repeat the same mistakes as our generation,” Oyer said. “They will straighten the Kissimmee River and wonder why there is phosphorus in the lake and in the Everglades. They will dump treated sewage in the ocean — which they did up until a few years ago — and wonder why our coral reef systems died off … I want to grow a better generation of Floridians.”

Florida Distinguished Author Award 2013

Florida Distinguished Author 2013Harvey Oyer III has been selected as the Florida Distinguished Author for 2013. Each year, the Board of Trustees of Florida House recognizes one Florida author and one Florida artist.   The ceremony will be held on May 15 in Washington D.C., hosted by the Board of Florida House and our congressional delegation.  Also recognized will be the 2013 Florida Distinguished Artist, Guy Harvey.  Past recipients include Clyde Butcher, Beanie Backus, the Highwaymen, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Gary Mormino, Carlton Ward, and Christopher Still.

For a complete write up about this Award, please click here.