Author John Hill relates a personal story that is somewhat reminiscent of the Joad family’s struggles in Jon Steinbeck’s immortal novel, The Grapes of Wrath. The Hills were one of many black migrant families working in the fields of California’s rich Central Valley during the 1950’s. The author chronicles not only the hardships he and his eight siblings endure as farm laborers, but the far worse deprivations caused by parents who favored alcohol to the neglect of their children. Finally, the eight-year -old dreamer met a strange visitor, and his life soon changed forever.


An equal opportunity champion and former Chief of Staff for Los Angeles County Supervisor, Yvonne Burke, John’s epic tale takes you through his journey of poverty and life as a foster child, while giving us a glimpse of the one special night that turned him into the man he is today. “Dreamer in the Fields” is not just an ordinary tale of rags to riches, but the epitome of perseverance and success.


John Hill’s book offers penetrating insights into an important though little known phase of black history. -The Editors

During my term as a Los Angeles County Supervisor, John Hill managed my office for ten years. He was an excellent Chief of Staff, but I had little inkling that he had lived such a hard life as a child laborer. To overcome such odds in his struggle for a normal life and a decent education is a credit to his fortitude and his personal faith. Dreamer in the Fields will inspire both students and adults. This is recommended reading, I give it an A-Plus.
-Yvonne B. Burke, Former U.S. Congresswoman

Classic! I couldn’t put it down once I had started reading. It is mesmerizing whether one knows the author or not, but knowing the author, and seeing firsthand what he has become given what he had endured-well, the book should be required reading in public schools, in the larger society, particularly the underserved communities.
-Rev. Cecil Murray, Former Pastor, First AME Church of Los Angeles

John, I commend you for making yourself available, through your book, speaking engagement, and book signings, to our global community. Before I met you I only heard horror stories about the Foster Care system, and I am not alone. Your story is an amazing testimony that miracles do happen. The circumstances you had to over-come were some of the worst anyone could imagine, which makes your story even more compelling. You have been a blessing to humanity! God has given life to a multitude of impovershed and abused children that are worthy of support, and our test or challenge (the fortunate ones) is to make sure that successful child development models are used.
-Erbie Phillips, Jr.