Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Today's read... Molly's Miracle by W.B. Murph

 It's National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, and I have a book to celebrate. We are supporters of animal shelters...so many poor dogs get dumped off in our area and are left for the farmers to deal with or fend for themselves. Like the farmers around us, we do try to find a homes for them...well, the ones that are approachable...and my son even adopted one. It's always frustrating, though. Why people believe dumping dogs off at other houses ranks as a 'good' idea is beyond me. 

Anyway, every dog we've ever owned has come from a shelter or rescue. So, this is a theme which does come closer to home in our family. 
Let's see if this read touches the heart!

by W.B. Murph
Illustrated by Luca Mendieta
Wonderbeagmurph Press
Picture Book
30 pages
ages 5 to 10

Molly the Beagle is broken. She knows it, and soon everyone else will too. Molly has been abandoned by a cruel owner, left alone to fend for herself in the streets. She is hurt, she is hungry, and most of all Molly is unloved. She tries to make friends but everywhere she goes, she is turned away, treated harshly, told to leave. When all hope is lost, Molly meets her miracle... a girl whose very special gift is just what Molly needs to see the value in herself. Molly's Miracle is a story of love, acceptance, kindness, and the light that shines in everyone - no matter their circumstance.



First, I'm going to tag on a big note for triggers. This book is not for sensitive readers or those who are bothered by tougher themes. There is animal cruelty and violence in verbal as well as physical ways (not super overboard but hits the gut hard), and the dog does lose a leg because of it (not visually graphic or extreme but there). The situation and actions will bother some young readers.

That said, this book makes its point nicely and leaves a lasting impression. We meet Molly as a no-longer-wanted family dog, whose 'family' sees her as a pest. This part hits hard and really, really pulls at the heart-strings. When Molly escapes, the author brings across the cruelty of the world, while still pulling back from the very tough moments during the first scenes. And from there, things get much better in a lovely and warming look at help, support, acceptance and love. It's a well-rounded tale and written, text-wise, with the intended age group kept in mind. The illustrations are very nicely done and bring across Molly in the most cuddle-worthy way.

After reading this, the desire to help animals soars high as well as the sympathy. It demonstrates how important shelters are and the work that they do. Readers won't look at stray dogs in quite the same light and see their situation in a different way. This does make a nice introduction to a field trip to a rescue or shelter, too.

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