Welcome to Benbranch Books


The  purpose of this website is to promote reading in general, to advertise two books I have published, and to create a dialog for those interested in model railroading.

Reading and comprehension is important to help us fully enjoy the product of the author.  Reading helps us to develop our imagination and understand the concepts behind fictional or technical ideas.  (See  “WHY SHOULD I READ BOOKS”)

The book section and model railroad section are related.  Although the setting for both books is in a fictional location in Montana, the story events are given a home in the model railroad layout, in the fictional cities of Cedar Valley, Table Mountain Village, Tater Junction and Moose Junction.  Many of the events in both stories are illustrated in the layout.

I have produced a photo summary of THE ROCK.   As soon as the layout additions of Tater Junction and Moose Junction are complete, I will produce a photo summary of TO BE WORTHY,  The photo summaries will be produced for illustrate some of the events of the book.  I keep a supply of these photo summaries and they will be available for $2.00 each.

The construction of the model railroad layout  has been a vast undertaking.  I have developed a blog site for those who would like to comment or discuss model railroad construction or operation techniques.

The Rock, by Ron Phernetton

The first book, The Rock  began as one of the authors other hobbies – model railroading. The author and his teen-age associates constructed an extensive mountain layout based on mid 20th century equipment and characters. Based on this layout, the boys made up stories about people and events which inspired the book. The story is filled with action, mystery, adventure and drama.

The Rock is a story about Jimmy-Luke (JL) Douglas and his best friend Dennis Johnson, traveling with their Boy Scout troop to a remote area of Montana for a week long camping adventure.

At 11 years old, JL is an outcast – frail and immature with an overactive imagination that often gets him in trouble. Although Dennis steps in time and again as his guide and protector, JL is determined to make his own way, and sees this scouting adventure as the perfect opportunity.

Embarking on an intimidating survival challenge to earn a badge, JL sets off to complete a solo overnight camping experience a half mile away from the troop. As JL tries to set up his tent, a violent storm blows it away into a nearby river. JL is forced to take refuge at the entrance of an old abandoned mansion.

Exhausted, hysterical and entangled in a maze of fear and imagination, the boy slips into a dream world where the mountain (Mr. Rock) speaks to him through the medium of the house. Mr. Rock tells him of a family feud that spans five generations, involving adventure, love, jealousy, hate and murder.

As JL wakes up the next morning, Mr. Rock has left him with the haunting message that he is now part of the story. This haunting message leads JL, his friend and family on a quest into Canada to find JL’s place in the family and the adventure.


To Be Worthy

The  characters in this story are the same boys featured in The Rock.  Both boys are now twelve, one beginning, and one finishing his journey through the most wonderful and  fearful year of their lives.

A twelve-year-old boy is a riddle.  He isn’t a little kid, but he isn’t a big kid either.  He is a mixture; partly adult; partly big kid; and partly little kid.

This story centers on the problem of worthiness as experienced by the twelve-year-old—self worth.  This is a problem for many boys because they are on their way toward being men, and are expected to be big, tough, and fearless.  In reality, boys this age are about two years behind their female counterpart in many respects; physical size, sexual and emotional maturity.  Seventh grade girls do most things, even boy things,  better than boys.  Yet, boys vainly suppress their feelings and emotions to try to prove themselves as “men.”

Fears of unworthiness tormented Dennis.  Throughout his life, Dennis’s pride and ego were reinforced by caring for  a younger, neighbor boy who suffered from several physical and emotional problems.  This made Dennis feel important and needed.  The desire to be needed was so intense within Dennis that when his friend grew out of his problems and moved away, his life became empty.   His very reason for existence had been taken away.

As he visits his best friend, Dennis finds himself in the midst of a real family tragedy, even facing death, and learns that he doesn’t have to do “adult things” to be respected and to be happy with himself.

This story is also about the McDougalls, a close, old-fashioned family with a deep, evangelical, religious faith.  The characters in Worthy run headlong into this life-changing faith as events unfold throughout the story.

The McDougall and Johnson families are sending Dennis by train from Minot, North Dakota to Cedar Valley, Montana to spend two weeks with his best friend. While Dennis is en route to Montana, Jimmy-Luke is kidnapped and is being held in an old abandoned coal mine under Table Mountain. Dennis tackles some of his personal problems while he and the McDougall family search for Jimmy-Luke.

The Rock (ISBN 978-1-4343-9477-4)  and To Be Worthy (ISBN 978-1-4685-7243-8)  are available through the publisher, Author House or through several on line book stores.

The Rock is available in soft cover and digital format.  To Be Worthy is available in soft cover, hard cover and digital format.

Click on the Amazon or Barnes & Noble link below and it will take you directly to the books. Locally the book may be purchased from:

  • Whistlin’ Dixie, Folkston, GA
  • The Charlton County Library, Folkston, GA
  • The Train Depot Museum, Folkston, GA
  • The Okefenokee Heritage Center, Waycross, GA
  • Read Me Again Books, 506 Elizabeth St., Waycross, GA
  • The author, Ron Phernetton (see contact page.)

Author: Ronald A. Phernetton

Publisher: AuthorHouse


What people are saying about The Rock:

“This is a story that will hold your interest from cover to cover, especially if you are interested in railroad history. The story line is unique and has an original twist to the plot. As you read, you will become a part of the families of the people who live in, work in and build the town and railroad companies. I think this is a good book for teenagers and also for adults.”
– LER, Marshall, MN

“Mystery! Action! Adventure! Drama!… This book has it all! The author draws on his many years of experience as a Ranger for the US Fish & Wildlife Service and a model railroad hobbyist to spin an intriguing tale of trains, the northern Midwest, family, greed, jealousy, good and evil. The characters are well developed, drawing the reader quickly into their lives, and much attention is given to detail. JL Douglas, an undersized 11-year-old Scout with such a wild imagination that he gives himself panic attacks, becomes the unlikely hero in this novel that both young and old can appreciate. I completed the book in about 2 days because it was so hard to put down.”
JB,Birmingham, AL

Links to THE ROCK at online book stores:

The Rock at Amazon

The Rock at Barnes & Noble

Benbranch Company
Table Mountain Books
Ronald A Phernetton
678 Tracys Ferry Rd.
Folkston, GA 31537