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Janice Richards spent most of her life in the Rocky Mountains. From a childhood in Butte, Mont., to a teaching career in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Burley and Rupert, Richards has seen what a wonderful experience being a child in the mountains can be. That’s the premise for her memoir chronicling her growth in an age before the Internet.

The book is written from the mind of a child, but it’s for all ages, Richards said.

“It was a good life and that’s what I wanted to tell,” she said.

In Richards’ eyes, many memoirs are about difficult childhoods and overcoming obstacles, but she wanted to share a different kind of story. “Growing up in the Rockies” points out simple pleasures — walking along the river with her father, or playing in the yard with cardboard boxes. It’s a type of fun that every family can have today, Richards said.

“It’s about a love of nature and a love of life,” said Richards, who worries that concerns about safety have kept today’s children from being active and outdoors.

“There is a lack of activities that we allow them to do,” the Rupert woman said. “When we were kids we didn’t want to be indoors.”

Richards hopes her book will inspire families to get outdoors.

— Eva Stutzman

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