top of page
Needle in a Haystack book cover

Needle in a Haystack:
How Clyde W. Tombaugh Found an Awesome New World

“I guess my kid sister sized me up right.” said Clyde. “She thinks I discovered a whole new world. I guess I did. How would you feel if you saw a new world giving you the high sign?”

Farm boy Clyde W. Tombaugh trained his homemade telescope on the planets. He drew the surfaces of Mars and Jupiter and shared his drawings with Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Gadzooks! They hired him to search for a new planet! After 300 days of scouring the sky with a powerful telescope, Clyde pinpointed Pluto’s location on February 18, 1930. His tenacity paid off— he found the last planet in the solar system.

This 1280-word biography about Clyde W. Tombaugh, the young man who discovered Pluto, is a confirmation of the twin pillars of success—passion and persistence. Diane hopes this book’s message will resonate with children.

“The inspiring story of Clyde Tombaugh and his discovery of Pluto is as much about personal dedication and persistence as it is a scientific quest. It is a tale for both young and old, and this book captures it well for young audiences.

—Kevin Schindler, Historian, Lowell Observatory

Dear Hubby of Mine book cover

Dear Hubby of Mine

This touching young adult book tells a wartime story on both the home front and the battlefront through letters exchanged by a loving couple during World War II, a sailor at war and his wife—Diane's parents. Diane unveils a loving portrait of a wartime couple, weaving together their romance with actual events occurring on both the battlefront and the home front, as well as the immigrant experience of the era. Tales of resolute war wives have not been widely shared. While some women joined the military, and others entered the workforce for the first time, the majority stayed at home to raise children. The book focuses on this latter group of women whose stories have been under- represented and largely uncelebrated in World War II literature.
While the heart of the book is a beautiful romance, readers will also appreciate the depiction of the country in the 1940's under wartime conditions and how that influenced America’s culture in the decades to come. Women charted new roles during the war that led to new freedoms in the years ahead and eventually brought about major societal changes.
“★★★★★There were millions of war wives in World War II and this memoir tells their story….Waiting, rationing, child-rearing and worrying about money were common to most wives. Diane has included excerpts from the hundreds of letters her parents exchanged over the course of World War II and also added interesting historical notes and information. The letters are a fascinating glimpse not just of the war, but also of life in the 1930s and '40s. They show the ordinary, everyday side of the war. This book is a must-read for history lovers of all ages.” —Heather Stockard, Readers Favorite

“The author skillfully gives a peek at her parents’ lives and at those of immigrants in the U.S. during a period of unrest and scarcity. A thoughtful account of the ways in which the war transformed the place of women in society—essentially compelled to join the workforce in the
absence of their husbands.” —Kirkus Reviews

Uncommon Raven book cover

THE Un-Common Raven:
one smart bird

 This book presents in-depth information about ravens—physical characteristics, food and social habits, and their remarkable intelligence. The special human/raven relationship is also explored. Over 32 four-color photos illustrate the text; also includes glossary, bibliography, and index.
“Beautifully illustrated with striking, full-color photographs throughout, The Un-Common Raven: One Smart Bird is a softcover, nonfiction picture book all about the natural life cycle of these extraordinary and intelligent birds. Ravens are omnivores, and it's theorized that their high intelligence (they rank among the top ten smartest living creatures, after humans, chimpanzees, and dolphins), evolved as a means to secure food when competing with larger predators. They use tools, and can be trained to undertake simple tasks. The book’s reading level is particularly appropriate for young people who are preparing to transition from picture books to chapter books, and readers of all ages will find it enlightening and educational. Highly recommended.”

—Midwest Book Reviews


Book no.1
Book no.2
Book no.3
sedona movie set

Sedona Movie Locations:

Then & Now

Back in the day when Westerns were very popular, Sedona played a role. With its gorgeous red rock scenery and desert vistas, movie directors saw an opportunity to capture Western lovers with the setting. In all during the 1940s-1960s, almost 100 movies played out against Sedona's backdrop. The Sedona Heritage Museum Archives contain photos from the many movies shot in Sedona over the years ("Then" shots).  A group of local professional photographers were sent to those locations to shoot a "Now" photo of the former set. The book is a tour guide to those set locations today.

“Sedona Movie Locations” is published by the Sedona Heritage Museum. Diane Phelps Budden wrote the story and captions that tell it all. Use the guide as an armchair movie buff or on your next visit to Sedona.

Lights, Cameras, Action!

bottom of page