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Privilege And Privation, A Love Story
ISBN: 978-1-948901-12-3

Book Details

Author: Todd Parnell
Hardcover: 224 pages
Product Dimensions: 6" x 9"
Retail Price: $25.00

Book Description

Lucy, meet Lenny. Lenny, this is Lucy. What do you have in common? Nothing?

Privilege And Privation, A Love Story is a fictional tale of two young people from immensely different backgrounds who fall in love. It is set amidst the contradictions of “haves” and “have nots,” the violence and hopelessness of those who don’t, and the dreams and hypocrisy of those who do.

The story line follows the fortunes of Lenny, a middle class kid, and Lucy, a child born in poverty, from their earliest years. It highlights the impact of parental involvement, quality early childhood care and education, and recognition of each’s special gifts on the developmental process.

Privilege And Privation puts human faces on the challenges we face in understanding and bridging cultural gaps, and provides a look at “class” from down to up, and up to down. It is a tragedy, a love story, and most importantly, a vision of hope.


Todd Parnell is the recently retired President of Drury University, founding CEO of THE BANK in Springfield, Mo., civic leader, environmental advocate as co-founder of the Upper White River Basin Foundation and recently retired Chairman of the Missouri Clean Water Commission, and award winning author inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame in 2012. He holds Masters degrees in Business Administration from Dartmouth University and History from Missouri State University, and an undergraduate degree from Drury University.

Parnell began writing non-fiction during his years as a banker and educator, including published works The Buffalo, Ben, and Me, Trails of the Heart: Along the Buffalo River, Mom at War, and Postcards from Branson. He tried his hand at fiction upon retiring from the Drury presidency and hasn't stopped writing since, publishing the Ozarkian Folk Tales Trilogy (Skunk Creek, Swine Branch, and Donny Brook), with a second trilogy, Children of the Creek in production. Recently released is Pig Farm, unfolds a sweeping and rollicking historical tall tale set in the context of a real time environmental tragedy, along side America's first national river, the Buffalo.

Parnell was born in Branson, Mo. and is an eighth-generation Ozarker. He resides with his wife of 42 years, Betty, in Springfield, Mo. and is blessed with four children and five grandchildren. The Parnells were inaugural co-chairs of the Every Child Promise initiative, and serve on its executive advisory board.


“In his absorbing allegory, Privilege And Privation, A Love Story, Parnell weaves a compelling story of two people who come from widely differing circumstances of birth and upbringing. …
Parnell's storytelling prowess helps us see the need to focus on the assets, rather than the deficits, in each person, and to hold out hope for the future as we seek to maximize the intrinsic worth and gifts of every child.”
–David Stoeffler, former executive editor, Springfield News-Leader and co-founder of the Every Child Promise

“Well written, thoughtful, tells a story that is central to our work. Unique and believable…truly, I think it is beautiful.”
–Emily van Schenkhof, Executive Director, Missouri Children’s Trust Fund

“Todd Parnell’s fictional piece, Privilege And Privation, A Love Story, could not be more true to life for so many families in our society. The story is one of romance coupled with the sobering truth of how inequality can divide us, and the dire consequences it can have on children’s futures. Privilege And Privation has the power to change the narrative and our response.”
–Dana Carroll, Springfield Child Advocate and Director, The Every Child Promise

“More twists and turns than a Stone County highway. Plot twists to keep the reader entertained, but there are profound points advanced. I’ve never read anything like it.”
–Brian Fogle, President, Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Proceeds from the sale of this book will also help other communities and organizations preserve their history through Our American Heritage Project, a non-profit organization.

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