Shelby resident releases book that was inspired by UP trip – C&G Newspapers

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By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby – Utica News | Published October 29, 2021
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Kent Flowers was on an expedition studying raptors in the Upper Peninsula when he was inspired to write one of his books.
On and off for 10 years, he worked on his book called “Ku-Pin,” which he recently published in June.
Flowers, 62, has lived in Shelby Township for five years and is an engineer who enjoys the outdoors and writing. The 72-page book is aimed at young and old readers, alike.
According to the book’s synopsis, “Long ago, a normally solitary animal is forced out into the open in search of a new home. Along the way, he meets many interesting creatures and learns about them and himself in the process. Lots of adventures ensue, and a transformation takes place in him that affects his life and those around him. Whether that transformation is a good thing or not is up to the reader to decide.
Flowers said he is happy with how the book turned out.
“The cover is amazing, and I loved writing it,” he said in an email interview.
He said his raptor expedition gave him a lot of ideas.
“On an expedition studying raptors in the UP, I saw lots of wildlife in their natural environment. Nature always inspires me,” he said.
John Anderson, of Shelby Township, said Flowers’ book has some interesting lessons in it.
“‘Ku-Pin’ tells the story of coming of age and the variety of difficulties encountered in that process. It shows that we all have differences, and it is OK to have those differences. We don’t need to be like everyone else or do exactly what they do to be happy. It is more important to understand who we are. Kent has woven this story into a cute fairy tale that keeps you laughing, cheering and shouting warnings throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to all,” he said in an email.
Linda Lanuzza, of Shelby Township, said she thoroughly enjoyed reading “Ku-Pin.”
“The delightful characters are interesting, humorous and well developed. The ending surprised me a bit — as most great stories will! I particularly recommend this book for fifth and sixth graders; however, Ku-Pin’s universal theme of searching for one’s place in the world is a story that will touch the hearts of readers of all ages,” she said via email.
Richard Ruland, of Ann Arbor, said that in 35 years of being a classroom teacher of third, fourth and fifth graders, he has found himself reading many new children’s books.
“I was always on the lookout for a book to read out loud to my class, or a book for my students to read as an assignment, or one to simply add to the class library. Whenever reading one of these new books, I have come across two different types: one that I knew my students would like and benefit from reading or one that they wouldn’t like and wouldn’t benefit from reading. I would classify ‘Ku-Pin,’ by Kent Flowers, in the first category. As I read it, I was imagining what a good book this would be to read aloud to a class,” he said via email.
He said “Ku-Pin” had enough tension to hold his attention. 
“I also developed a liking for the main character and wanted him to win on his quest.  Also, the pacing of the story was just right — not too fast, not too slow. All these are qualities that are necessary for a captivating children’s book,” he said.
He said it also had a number of life lessons.
“I could just see reading a chapter and then discussing with my students different aspects of what this teaches us about a successful life. I would recommend this book for third, fourth or fifth grade children,” said Ruland.
To learn more about Flowers and his book, visit his website,, or and search for “ku-pin.”
Flowers said he has another book already finished.
“I have written a sci-fi novel that needs to be published,” he said.
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