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Last Minute Father’s Day Idea: Van-Far grad writes family travel book with prizes

Posted on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 1:04 pm


By Barry Dalton

Spending time with your dad is one of the best gifts you can give him on Father’s Day, which will be here before you know it on Sunday, June 20. But you should also spend a little cash on him, just so dad knows you’re not trying to get away with something.

St. Louis magazine has named a book written by home-grown Vandalia author to its top Father’s day gift ideas in its June 3 issue.

Dea Hoover, a 1989 graduate of Van-Far, will take you on an extraordinary scavenger hunt through 17 neighborhoods in the St. Louis area in her new book, STL Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for St. Louis’s Hidden Treasures.

Hoover is an experienced tour guide who uses her expert eye and love of St. Louis to guide readers through an exploration at their own pace. It’s something you can do as a family or on your own. 

The spiral-bound softcover is filled with riddles, photos and cryptic clues to spot St. Louis gems hidden in plain sight at The Hill, St. Charles, Downtown, Old North St. Louis and many other interesting places.

The author will be returning home and visiting local libraries in Audrain County in June and July to share how she got into the world of publishing and to answer any questions someone may have about her book, tourism or even writing.  

She will be at the Vandalia library at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 17. You can see her at the Farber Library at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15. She’ll be at the Martinsburg Library at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 15, and at the Mexico Library at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 16.

Books will be available for purchase for $20.95 + tax. Published by Reedy Press, books are also available at major retailers as well as the Vandalia Firestone, which Hoover’s mother, Donna Hoover, owns and operates.

Hoover’s book is a gift that keeps on giving, because, if you want, you can go online at after a hunt and submit your answers for a chance to win gift certificates to St. Louis area businesses, tickets to local attractions and even $500 cash.

And, who knows, maybe dad will spring for dinner at one of the delicious diners you discover on your journey…


Dea Hoover, far right, with her late father, Don Hoover; mother, Donna Hoover; and husband, Declan Rutan, on their wedding day, July 11, 2009, in Graham Chapel at the Washington University campus in St. Louis.