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Kids learn lessons tracking Bigfoot

In a time when uncertainty is normal, reassurances of hope are the medicine the world craves. Debuting Nicholasville author/illustrator and Blue Grass Energy member Sam Santrock, at only 17, demonstrates a level of professionalism and drive that belies his age, showing encouraging promise for the world’s future. 

Santrock has loved creating stories and drawing since he was a toddler. As a homeschooled student, he often was assigned story projects, building on his strengths and interests. By 10, he was copying his stories to share with friends and loved watching them enjoy his creations. It seemed a natural progression to make publishing a book his next goal. 

After just under a yearlong process, Santrock’s goal is reality. Me and the Boys Found Bigfoot, ($12.99), a picture book targeted to preschoolers, features a whimsical rhyme about a romp through the woods and the discovery of a huge footprint. The boys learn, however, that things aren’t always as they seem when they find the source of the print, teaching a valuable lesson about stereotypes and perception. Age appropriate illustrations with highly emotive faces add to the book’s charm. 

Sam Santrock Photo: Matt Wooley

Because Santrock’s family has traveled extensively, visiting 49 states thus far, his stories often center around their trips. This first book idea originated from a vacation to the Olympic National Forest, where he vividly remembers searching for Sasquatch as they explored. “A lot of environments I’ve seen could inspire future stories. Each state looks so much different from the other,” Santrock says. His favorite trips include a cruise to the Virgin Islands and a recreational vehicle trip covering seven Midwestern states. 

Santrock, who says, “I think in stories,” has sound advice for other young writers: “Look at what makes a story successful and what doesn’t. You have to put your heart into things you write. Get into the mind of who you want to read your book.” Topping his tips would be simply, “Do it! Finish a project! It really does help. I’m very motivated now to finish the next book.” 

Santrock also enjoys mixed martial arts classes, adventuring, animated films and reading theology. Connect with him at

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