We are fond of our pets. We have a dog, Indiana, (Indiana Jones reference, anyone? “We named the dog Indiana!”), who is one part funny, two parts hardheaded, but all three parts loving (Remember The Incredible Journey? We thought we were getting Shadow but Indy is really more like Chance). So when you find a tale (oh no, puns…) with talking animals, there is nothing to do but read and share.
First, an old series (with new titles annually!) that I loved: Hank the Cowdog. Being from the West, I grew up with Hank and Drover and the cowboys, Slim and Loper, and the havoc causing coyotes, buzzards, and of course, Pete the barncat in this humorous series of mystery novels. If you are familiar with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, you’ll be in the right age category, but Hank offers a voice so unique, cornball and hilarious that everyone in the family will love the story. The audiobooks offer special extras, as they are narrated by the author, John R. Erickson, with music, singing, and effects that are perfect for road trips.
Reading about Hank is like watching your own dog and you can’t help but nod (or wag), but it’s also like watching ourselves—proud, homely, not too bright, but trying to be courageous, loyal and true. These are well crafted stories with much to laugh at, but with plenty left to chew on as well.
Since we’re doting on talking animals, a recent Indie title deserves a mention. The Mystery of the Masked Marauder is Peter S. Cox’s debut novel and is an entertaining adventure-mystery that can only be solved through the combined wit of a boy and his dog. Unlike Hank the Cowdog, The Incredible Journey, or Bolt and so many others, we don’t just hear pet’s “voices” and their perspective; rather, this story has Nate and Basset communicating directly. The resulting dialogue is fun and engaging, and Peter does a good job at creating unique voices for his characters.
Author of As the Crow Flies
After standing in front of my bookshelves tapping my chin and saying “Hmm… Hmm…” several times, I finally chose Fortress in the Eye of Time, by C.J. Cherryh, the first of her incredible “Fortress” series. Dontcha love when there’s a whole string of scrumptiousness lined up when you get to the end of a book and wish for more?
Catch the rest of Robin’s post here!
Author of Oathtaker
It’s my turn! It’s my turn!
For my part, I’m going to share about the work of an author I met at the Literary Classics awards ceremony this past April. Amalie Jahn writes YA sci-fi. In her debut novel, The Clay Lion, Jahn asks young readers to consider what they might do if they could go back in time to save someone they love. I previously reviewed The Clay Lion, and would like to share some of my thoughts with you now.
You know how, when you listen to a symphony, all of your senses are engaged? You catch the sight of the furious violinists; the feel of the pounding percussion beneath your feet . . .
Read the rest of Patricia’s post here!