Cory and the Seventh Story

About the Book

A beautifully illustrated children’s book that shows us all how to find a new way forward in a world that can be scary for kids and adults alike, from the acclaimed author of Faith After Doubt and the beloved storyteller behind How Not to be Afraid

Cory the raccoon and Cory’s best friend Owl love their happy, peaceful village and want to keep it that way. But things begin to change for the worse when some of their neighbors, including Badger, Fox, and Weasel, become fierce and angry critters who fight and bully others in the village, driving away those who they deem “dirty and bad.” 

It breaks Cory and Owl’s hearts to see their village  filled with anger, fear, and fighting—but what can they do? A wise visitor named Switfhorse arrives and helps Cory and Owl understand six old stories that explain what is happening:

The story of power to dominate,
the story of striking back with fury and hate,
the story of running to find a safe place,
or pointing at others to shame and disgrace,
or being stuck in self-pity for the pain we’ve been through,
or of me having more Shiny Objects than you.

Finally, Cory and Owl find a way to reunite all of the villagers through a new story—the seventh story—where the story is peace and the hero is love! Children and parents alike will delight in this hope-filled tale that teaches us how we can all extend peace, love, and laughter to everyone we meet.
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Cory and the Seventh Story

Cory the raccoon lived in the Old Village,
along the clear stream, near the deep forest,
within the broad meadow.

Each day, Cory walked through the village, greeting friends
and neighbors, while Cory’s friend Owl flew along.

One day, Cory and Owl were surprised to hear angry growls and howls.
They followed the noise to Fox’s front yard, where they saw Badger
stealing Fox’s bright blue shiny new bicycle. Badger had always been
big and loud, but Cory had never seen him be a bully before.

The next day, they heard more howling and
growling, this time in front of Badger’s house.

About the Author

Brian D. Mclaren
Brian D. McLaren is a Christian thinker, author, and activist. A former pastor with a background in literature, McLaren is the author of over a dozen books, an Auburn Senior Fellow, and board chair of Convergence ( More by Brian D. Mclaren
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About the Author

Gareth Higgins
Gareth Higgins, PhD, grew up near Belfast, Northern Ireland. He writes and speaks about the power of storytelling to shape our lives, making a more peaceful and compassionate world. He has been involved in peace-building and violence reduction, and co-taught the world’s first graduate course in reconciliation studies at Trinity College Dublin. He also helped found The Porch Magazine, along with the Wild Goose, New Story, and Movies & Meaning festivals. Gareth leads transformative story retreats in the U.S. and Ireland. More by Gareth Higgins
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