‘Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals that Help Them Heal’ Is a Must-Read for Animal Lovers


In “Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals that Help Them Heal,” authors Dava Guerin and Kevin Ferris tell story after story of a veteran and the animals — mostly dogs but also cats, horses, birds, and a pig — who helped them heal. In  many cases, the animals that saved the veterans helped them not only heal, but live a normal life.

The book includes a wonderful anecdote about an incident that happened during the Battle of Germantown in the Revolutionary War. A small terrier was wandering on the battlefield, and after he was captured, the Americans realized that he belonged to the British General Howe. Washington was advised to keep the dog as a trophy and that it would demoralize the British troops. Washington, however, declared a truce and had the dog returned to his owner. He realized the importance of the bond between man and dog. Continue reading

Sweet Eva Failed by Many Including Shelter that Doesn’t Screen Adopters or Give Basic Information about Introducing a New Dog into a Home


Eva is a sweet and very friendly dog who is a volunteer favorite. But Eva, through no fault of her own, is going to be killed at the shelter because they are filled and need her kennel.

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Eva is a dog who has been failed way too often. She has been adopted from the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center over and over, but she gets returned after a few months, or she is dumped on the streets to end up there a few years after being adopted. In March, 2016, she had been dumped at the shelter with pink-painted nails. Someone had loved her enough to spend time painting her nails, and then they left her at a kill shelter.


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‘Liberty’ by Kirby Larson: Middle Grade Historical Fiction About a Boy and his Dog

“Liberty” is the third book by Kirby Larson for middle grade readers about a child and a dog during WWII. In “Liberty,” a boy, a girl, and a dog dominate the story about life in New Orleans during World War II.
Fish, as he is nicknamed, contracted polio when young, and now that he’s in fifth grade, one leg is shorter than the other, causing him to limp. In the water, however, he is as fast as a fish — hence the nickname. His next door neighbor, Olympia, is friendly and helpful although they attend different schools. While Larson doesn’t actually describe Olympia, through clues in the text, the reader will come to realize that she attends a different school because she is black. At one point, Fish doesn’t want to take the trolley because they wouldn’t be able to sit together.

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‘Hero: Hurricane Rescue’ by Jennifer Li Shotz is Timely Tale of a Boy and his Dog



The timing couldn’t have been better for “Hero: Hurricane Rescue” by Jennifer Li Shotz. After three hurricanes battered our country, kids are more aware of what damage a hurricane is capable of, and this story will be believable and fascinating as well as exciting to read.

In this story, a sequel to the book simply entitled “Hero,” Ben and Hero must effect another rescue, this time of their friend Jack. Hero is a retired search and rescue dog who worked with Ben’s father, a police officer in the town of Gulfport, Mississippi. Now Ben and Hero are best buddies, and when Jack and his puppy Scout leave right before a hurricane is approaching to visit Jack’s father, Ben is worried.

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‘The Unicorn in the Barn’ by Jacqueline K. Ogburn: A Charming and Beautiful Middle Grade Novel


In spite of the title, “The Unicorn in the Barn” by Jacqueline K. Ogburn appears to be a realistic middle grade fiction book until the reader encounters the unicorn in the barn. Eric Harper lives on his family’s farm, and he’s still bitter that they had to sell his grandmother’s house, the ancestral family home, when his grandmother had to enter a nursing home.

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Picture Books Perfect for Pupils Preparing for Perfectly Pleasant Reading

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It’s back to school time, and for parents and teachers who want to inspire a love of reading, there are some fabulous new picture books for children of every interest and age.

simpsons sheep just want“Simpson’s Sheep Just Want to Sleep” by Bruce Arant is a fine picture book about animals as well as animal and human behaviors. Farmer Simpson is up at dawn working the farm and caring for the animals. But he has a problem — the sheep won’t wake up. He does everything he can think of to wake them. He bangs pots and pans, blows horns and pops balloons. Nothing wakes the sleepy sheep. Finally, the clever farmer has an idea. He goes to the rescue pound and adopts a puppy. He tells the puppy that he will be barking and waking up the sheep. But the puppy has a different idea. Sometimes, a gentle touch works when force does not. The language is lovely, the rhyme and meter fabulous. Perfect for sharing thoughts and morals about friendship and behavior. And for promoting the adoption of animals. (Peter Pauper Press)

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‘Chester and Gus’ by Cammie McGovern is the Quintessential Book about a Boy and his Dog — Perfectly Beautiful


Cammie McGovern knows a lot about autistic children. As she explains in the Author’s Note, she has an autistic son. She also knows a lot about children and their dogs. She had a dog, Buddy, who was her son’s companion. Although Buddy wasn’t a trained service dog, he and her son had a special connection, and that was the basis for her new brilliant novel, “Chester and Gus.”

“Chester and Gus” is about Chester, a dog whose fear of loud noises flunked him out of “service dog school.” His trainer, Penny, noticed Chester’s brilliance, his ability to learn commands and vocabulary words, his willingness to please. She had high hopes for him and was devastated when he was basically sold to a family who wanted Chester as a companion for their autistic son.

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‘Collared’ Is Another Masterpiece of Mystery and Mayhem in the ‘Andy Carpenter’ series by David Rosenfelt


Reading the “Andy Carpenter” series by David Rosenfelt is dangerous.  The books should come with warnings: “Read with Caution, Extremely Addicting.” The latest book in the series, “Collared,” is no exception.

In this case, Carpenter must uncover the mystery of what happened to an abducted baby. It all starts with a dog — of course. A border collie is dropped off at Carpenter’s animal rescue, and the dog’s microchip connects the dog to a woman whose child was abducted, with the dog, three years before. Carpenter’s wife, Laurie, is friends with Jill Hickman, the woman whose adopted baby was kidnapped, so he gets involved.

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