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Learn about Hope and Freckles & about Author Bill Kiley.


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Book Two in the Hope and Freckles Series

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Book One - English Version
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Book Two - English Version
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Versión En Español
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Book Bundle (One & Two) - English Version
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Learning to Live in a New Land

Hope and Freckles: Learning to Live in a New Land

After fleeing from their home because of danger and hunger, Hope and Freckles are now living in the Big Pine Forest. Read about how these refugees adjust to a new home with a different language, and where life is so very different.

Latest Book


Fleeing to a Better Forest

Hope, a white-tailed deer, and her spotted little fawn, Freckles, are facing hunger and danger from coyotes, jaguars and human hunters in their forest. Hope decides that they must leave their home and go in search of a better forest where they will be safe.  During their journey, and when they arrive at the new forest, Hope and Freckles face unexpected challenges.

What people are saying about

Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest


How does an author introduce young children to the plight of more than 25 million refugees around the world, i.e. without traumatizing the reader? In his Children’s Picture book, “Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest,” author Bill Kiley achieves that goal. The book emphasizes both the oneness of all, the work of a single Creator, and a call to love their neighbor, especially the stranger. What a wonderful way to begin conversations about refugees.

- Fr. Richard Rohr, Author, Spiritual Leader, and Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation

What a heartwarming approach to both a sensitive and current topic! This is a must-read for children (and adults) of all ages. This wonderfully written and the illustrated book describes the flight of a mother deer and her adorable fawn. The two will win your heart as you root for them to find a safe home in which to thrive. Like many around the world who have been displaced by war, violence, and poverty, their only wish is to find a better place to live. This book expertly explains the problems refugees face around the world in such a creative way that young readers will instantly bond and have a better understanding of this worldwide problem, laying the groundwork to develop empathy for others. I especially like that the author included a section with questions for further discussion with children. I can't wait to read to my grandchildren.

- Carole Limata, California

Bill Kiley has given a special gift to families and to educators. For parents desiring to help their little ones understand the issues around the suffering of millions of refugees without fear; for teachers looking for a story to open the discussion on asylum-seekers and immigration: here it is. Children will love gentle Hope and recognize themselves and their friends in Freckles. Mr. Kiley, veteran and officer of the law, reveals here a heart and mind focused on the common good, on compassion, and on possibility. Illustrator Mary Manning brings the tale to a rich color page by page. We’ll use the story of Hope and Freckles with the children in our parish church and look forward to the next in the series

- Rev. John McGinty, Massachusetts

Wow. What a powerful and meaningful way to explain the plight of refugees to children through the story of a mother deer, Hope, and her fawn, Freckles. I found myself getting emotional when I made the connections between this book and what has been happening with refugees in our world. Younger children will empathize with Hope and Freckles' story, while older children should be able to grasp the parallels between the book and reality. Everyone and everything, on this planet, deserves to be together in a place where they feel safe, and this book shows this concept to children in a brilliant way.

- Sandy Wilmering, Canada

It is amazing when a book can inspire more than hope, can inspire aid and hopefully change for the better, can inspire children to grow up wanting to be a part of help to the far-flung without homes, who learn to accept new children into their midst with open arms and playfields. We cannot know what the world comes from, but we can know it will be different and at times incredibly scary and inequitable and of trial. This book brings hope and widens the view of the child. Why read it to your comfortable child? Because of books like this birth heart, compassion, kindness, open-mindedness, justice, fairness. And so much more.

- Kat Caric, California

How do we convey to children the gut-wrenching story of refugees, and consider with them how to respond to their plight? Bill Kiley’s first book, Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a New Forest, offers a moving, helpful allegory. Picture books give to children (and their caregivers) something analogous to a box of crayons or sleeve of tempera paint: an enticing palette of ideas and emotions, even wisdom, that we can use to sketch out what we most value. Empathy, courage, resilience, humor, honesty, accountability to self and others were each embodied in the stack of dog-eared favorites we kept beside our daughter’s bed or in a basket by the “cozy chair,” as she called it. In one way or another, each of those books humanized us, holding up a mirror to who we are and who we hope to be—Hope and Freckles are one of those stories.

- Rev. David Ware, Maryland

This book is well written and beautifully illustrated and it is a topic that typically isn't well covered for young children. Research shows that we are raising generations of children lacking compassion. But how do you "teach" compassion? Well for one thing you model it, but you also need to have conversations about it. Someone might be critical because this book features talking deer, but using animals softens a difficult subject matter for young children. I bought this book for all my young grandchildren and I recommend it to everyone.

- Suzeebeezee, California


First time author at age seventy

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a resident of Long Island, Bill Kiley retired as both a Deputy Police Chief and as a Colonel in the U.S. Army. Bill is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College, and he has two Master of Science degrees. Married to Kathy for fifty-two years, he is the father of two sons and the grandfather of five grandchildren.

The combination of his education, his professional experiences, and his concern for the plight of refugees around the globe is what motivated Bill Kiley to write his first Children's Picture book, Hope and Freckles: Fleeing to a Better Forest, and his second the book in the series, Hope and Freckles: Learning to Live in a New Land.



East Northport, New York

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"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

George Eliot, Novelist

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