Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Hound Town Chronicles from Bearport Publishers

In this pawsitively delightful new series, the canines of Hound Town and their young human companions go on exciting adventures! From a daring search-and-rescue mission to a police investigation to a neighborhood exploration, students are sure to be riveted by every charming story.
Each Hound Town Chronicles fiction title can be paired with a corresponding nonfiction book from our award-winning Dog Heroes series to help students develop and strengthen their reading comprehension skills.
There are 8 books in the series. The entire set can be found at Bearport Publishing here.

A Military Dog Story
by Spencer Brinker
Illustrated by Robin Lawrie
Bearport Publishing
Children's Fiction
ages 8 to 12
32 pages

Ten-year-old Cali watched her new dog-walking client hop around the neighborhood. Thunder was a retired military dog--a real-life hero who had saved several lives in Afghanistan. The German shepherd only had three legs, but he moved around almost as quickly as any other dog. What did Thunder do in the Marines, and would he once again prove himself a hero? Cali was about to find out.


Even dogs can be military heroes! 

Cali wants to earn some money and decides to start up her own dog walking business. During her first days, she runs into Thunder and his owner at a park. Thunder only has three legs, but he's an amazing dog. It doesn't take long before Cali learns how smart and heroic Thunder really is.

This book hits two stories at once: a girl trying to start-up her first job as a dog walker, and a dog who is so much more than he appears to be. The author does a fantastic job weaving these two stories together to make a very engaging read from beginning to end. Cali's struggles to earn a little money, something readers of this age will be able to sympathize with. Although Thunder, with his three legs, might appear to add to Cali's troubles at first, it's wonderful to see that it's quite the opposite. Just because Thunder is different, he's by no means a dog to feel sorry for or ignore.

The explanation behind military dogs and Thunder's experience in Afghanistan makes some of the rough circumstances soldiers face clear. It raises the awareness of what dogs are capable of, and gives insight into an area that many people may not even know exists. By the end of this book, readers will have gained a new respect for dogs in the Armed Services.

On the last pages of the book, there is not only a glossary to help readers pronounce and define more difficult words, but there is a list of questions about the story to help young readers process what was read in the story.

A Guide Dog Story
by E. Merwin
Illustrated by Peter Smith
Bearport Publishing
Children's Fiction
ages 8 to 12
32 pages

Jamey's father walked into the kitchen, holding a surprise. It was an adorable black lab puppy. "A puppy? For me?" Jamey shouted. "Not just any puppy. With your help, he'll grow up to use his sight and other senses to help a person who can't see," said her dad. Little did Jamey know that an incredible bond would soon grow between her and Indy, the tiny puppy destined to become a guide dog.


Through a heart-warming tale, this book reveals the process of how a puppy becomes a guide dog and will have young readers wishing they could train one of their own.

It's Independence Day, and Jamey receives a huge surprise--a puppy. But this isn't just any puppy. Jamey is to train the puppy for one year, so that it can later become a guide dog for people who can't see.

This is a story, which simply leaves a smile on the face. Indy is a lively puppy who bubbles with energy and curiosity. It's fun to watch him as he gets into normal puppy problems, although the great task of being a guide dog awaits him in the future. In this story, he's the perfect companion and friend of a warm-hearted girl, Jamey. The interactions and patience between the two is a sheer joy to read about. Indy, the dog, has a lot to learn, but it's not only the training and following of commands which make Guide Dogs so special. Indy and Jamie have a loving relationship built on trust and patience. Jamie takes her job seriously, but the job never over-shadows the bond the two share. The ending is a little sad but also full of hope.

At the end of the book, there is a glossary to help readers pronounce and understand more difficult words used during the story. There are also a list of question to help readers better understand the story.

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