Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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FRIDAY 56 & ‘One -Eyed Cat’

Hey! Hey! Whaddya say? It’s Friday! Woop! Woop! Time for another Book Beginnings and Friday 56!

This week our Book Beginning and Friday 56 are from the same book: One-Eyed Cat. By Paula Fox. Never heard of it? No worries. We gotcha covered. Even if it is about a feline. Sort of. (Nobody’s perfect.) Let’s buckle up and jump in:

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The Best Book We’ve Read All Year?

Wonder Dogs

True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs

By Maureen Maurer with Jenna Benton

Publisher: Revell, 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Dogs

Pages: 229

Via: Author Request

“Mom! Mom!” hollers I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Can I invite some friends over for a sleepover??!! They’re these Seriously PAWsome dogs from Assistance Dogs of Hawaii. They’re my new BFFs! There’s only a couple hundred or so. Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Um… Mom…?”

“She’s keeled over. So maybe I better tell you about how I met my new BFFs. Like when Mom and I recently read Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs.”

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TTT: Why ‘Shadow’ is Like a Warm Breath of Spring

Shadow

By Michael Morpurgo

U.S.: Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan

Great Britain: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction

Via: Library

A silver star badge. A little red train.  A cave in Afghanistan. A “sniffer dog” named Shadow. An incredible story of escape, adversity, courage, and love. The kind that never gives in and never gives up.

It’s perfect for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is a “Freebie.”

“We want you back.”

Kimber here, ready to introduce you to my new BFF: Shadow the springer spaniel. Aka: “Polly.” She’s a special bomb-sniffing dog. (Okay, she’s not quite as special as I am. But let’s not get picky here, okay?)

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Shadow. She gets lost in Afghanistan during the war and is finally reunited with her old unit from the U.K. But not before finding her way into the heart of young Aman.

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‘DAWGS’: Inspiring True Story of Animal Sanctuary

DAWGS

A True Story of Lost Animals and The Kids Who Rescued Them

By Diane Trull With Meredith Wargo

Citadel Press/Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Non-Fiction

“There’s no way we’re going to let anything bad happen to any of the dogs we save.”

That’s an admirable objective coming from an adult. It may be even better coming from a fourth grader. And it did, as we discover in the uplifting and inspirational story of how everyone can make a difference, DAWGS: A True Story of Lost Animals and the Kids Who Rescued Them.

A cardboard box overflowing with homeless puppies is the impetus for the creation of the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary in Dalhart, Texas.  When students in Diane Trull’s fourth grade class ask what’ll happen to the puppies if no one takes them, Trull faces a dilemma: Gloss things over or tell them the truth.

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TTT: Dynamic Duos

 

It’ time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is “dynamic duos.” If you’re thinking Aragorn and Arwen, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, or Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, think again.

Because this week we’re featuring one of the most Dynamic Duos we’ve ever read: Barby Keel and Bailey.

Who? You’re saying. I’d be saying that too if I hadn’t recently read Barby Keel’s Will You Love Me? The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me.

Barby is the author of the Foster Tails series. She’s also the founder and head honcho at the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, U.K.

“Bailey” is a horribly abused and mistreated greyhound who’s dumped at the sanctuary’s gate on a sodden, freezing night. The poor dog is so far gone, he isn’t expected to last the night.

Against all odds, Bailey rallies.

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Incredibull Stella’s Story Warms Hearts

Incredibull Stella: How the Love of a Pit Bull Rescued a Family

By Marika Meeks

Citadel Press – Kensington Publishing, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Via: Publisher Request

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Her Grumpiness speaketh:

I had two distinct reactions to this book. It’s the true story of a pit bull puppy left to die on the side of a road in winter and the woman who adopted the dog while recovering from stage three breast cancer.

On the one hand, Incredibull Stella is an uplifting, heartwarming read about the power of love and second chances. Robust and engaging, it’s told with great honesty and empathy.

On the other, it too often reads like an overlong soap opera, careening from one cataclysmic, heart-rending event to the next with nary a dog’s whisker in between. Think Lassie meets As The World Turns.

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How a Rescue Dog Saves Her Human Told in “Gabby”

Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark

By Barby Keel

Citadel Press  – Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020

Genre: Biography/Autobiography/Animals

Summary:
The true story of the unbreakable bond of love and loyalty between a woman and the little rescue dog who rescued her.

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Sometimes, a human and a dog find each other and fit together like two jigsaw pieces…”

The founder and director of the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, England, Barby Keel makes the observation when she finds a Yorkie terrier mix cowering on the floor of a car as Gabby’s dropped off at the sanctuary. Continue reading


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TTT: Books With Character Names in the Titles

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Today’s topic is Books With Character Names in the Titles. This is harder than it sounds. But once we sat down and put on our thinking caps, we came up with 20+. That we’ve actually read. Could’ve included more, but this is for starters. How many have you read?

22 Books With Character Names in the Titles (in no particular order):

1. Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That’s what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret―and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.

2. Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark – Barby Keel

Gabby has spent all eight years of her life indoors. She has no idea how to play, chew a treat, or interact with other animals. She’s never dug in the dirt or rolled happily in the grass. Strangest of all, Gabby does not know how to bark. In short, Gabby doesn’t know how to be a dog.

Barby can tell that the little golden-haired dog is bright and curious beneath her paralyzing fear, but coaxing out Gabby’s true spirit will be a daunting task. Along the way, both human and canine find much more in each other…

Review forthcoming.

3. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

A jet-black young colt, Black Beauty, spends his early years in a cozy meadow growing up with a gentle master, a strong mother and an ideal upbringing. Through the years, he changes hands with different masters. Some rough. Some kind. Some total jerks. Black Beauty’s experiences provide life lessons on real friendship, loss, hardship, and human nature.

4. Because of Winn-Dixie – Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie

When ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for groceries, she comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. 

5. The Diary of Anne Frank  – Anne Frank

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 

6. Julie of the Wolves – Jean Craighead George

Julie of the Wolves

When Miyax walks out onto the frozen Alaskan tundra, she hopes she is leaving problems at home far behind. Raised in the ancient Eskimo ways, Miyax knows how to take care of herself. But as bitter Arctic winds efface the surface of food, she begins to fear for her life and turns to a pack of wild wolves for help.

Amaroq, the pack leader, eventually accepts Miyax as one of his own, protecting and providing for her. But as Miyax nears civilization, her life with the wolves and all she has come to learn about herself are challenged as never before.

7. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The first published novel from the Nobel Prize winning Russian author of The Gulag Archipelago.

In the madness of WWII, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. So begins this masterpiece of modern Russian fiction, a harrowing account of a man who has conceded to all things evil with dignity and strength.

8. Mary Poppins – P.L. Travers

From the moment Mary Poppins arrives at Number Seventeen Cherry-Tree Lane, everyday life at the Banks house is forever changed. Mary becomes a most unusual nanny to Jane and Michael. And who else but Mary Poppins can slide up banisters, host tea parties on the ceiling, or pop in and out of chalk sidewalk drawings?

9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. Charlie Bucket, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, is among them. And he’s ready for the wildest time of his life!

10. A River Runs Through It – Norman Maclean

Set in the early 20th century in Missoula, MT, this classic coming-of-age tale about two brothers just wouldn’t be the same without its central “character”: The Big Blackfoot River.

11. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

Don’t make me explain this.

12. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Often considered one of the best Russian novels ever written, Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and thereby exposes herself to the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of 19th century Russia.

13. My Antonia – Willa Cather

Widely recognized as Willa Cather’s finest book and one of the outstanding novels of American literature, My Antonia details of the life of early American pioneers in Nebraska.

14. Cinder – Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl, a gifted mechanic, Cinder, who’s also a cyborg.

15. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her ‘cousin’ Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future.

16. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

An orphan and an outcast her whole life, Jane Eyre’s courage is tested when she is hired as a governess at Thornfield Hall, the home of the brooding Edward Rochester. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard. But Mr. Rochester has a terrible secret…

17. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

The story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Dickens’s autobiographical novel.

18. Silas Marner – George Eliot

Silas Marner: Bring the Classics to Life

Silas Marner, a weaver, is a good man. But he’s mistaken for a thief who stole donations at his church. He moves to the city and begins his new life weaving and saving gold, which is then stolen. All seems lost and lonely until a forlorn child comes into his life…

19. The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown

A little bunny keeps running away from his mother in this imaginary game of hide-and-seek. Children will be profoundly comforted by this lovingly steadfast mother who finds her child every time. First published in 1942 and never out of print.

20. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo

The classic, tragic story of Quasimodo, bell ringer of Notre Dame, who falls in love with the Gypsy girl, Esmeralda.

21. Heidi – Johanna Spyri

 

This novel is about the events in the life of a 5-year-old girl in her paternal grandfather’s care in the Swiss Alps. It was written as a book “for children and those who love children.” Heidi is one of the best-selling books ever written and is among the best-known works of Swiss literature.

22. Peter Pan – by J.M. Barrie

“All children, except one, grow up…”

***

What would you add?

+++

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This original feature/weekly meme is now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl .


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‘Will You Love Me?’ Offers Powerful Story of Dual Healing & Hope

Will You Love Me?

The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me

By Barby Keel

Citadel Press Book – Kensington Publishing Corp, 2018

Via: Publisher Request

Genre: Non-Fiction/Inspirational

Book 2 in the Foster Tails Stories.

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

The true story of a woman and a dog, both battling past demons and immense suffering, find comfort and solace in each other as they journey together toward healing, hope, and love.

Kimber the Magnificent here to tell you about a very special author. Barby Keel is my kinda lady. She founded and runs the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, U.K. (No idea where that is. But it sounds nice.) 

Now. Why is Barby my kinda lady? Well. When it comes to loving, defending, protecting, and caring for abused, abandoned or unwanted animals, Barby Keel is a Force of Nature. You sooo Do Not want to mess with this woman. Especially if you dump a horrifically mistreated greyhound at the sanctuary’s gate on a cold, wet night.

Bailey’s Story

That’s where Bailey’s story begins. Merges with Barby’s. And something extraordinary, even miraculous, happens in the process.

Kimber the Amazing Rescue Dog!!

The Rest

I’ll let Mom tell you the rest. Cuz I gotta grab a nap and a tissue. (Fair warning, okay?)

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3 Choice Novellas and a Monkey Wrench

Paintings from  the Cave: Three Novellas

By Gary Paulsen

YA/Fiction

Via: Library

“Dogs know how to love better than people.”

Paintings From the Cave

Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. Especially when a monkey wrench gets thrown into the mix.  Like  when Mom and I plan our blogging calendar. (Well, one of us plans. The other snoozes. I’ll let you figure out who’s who.)

See, we were going to put together a collection of Best Gary Paulsen Books Ever. He’s an old favorite. When it comes to outdoor adventures or coming of age tales, no one does it better than Gary. He’s our bud. He’s also a dog lover. Need I say more?

So here Mom and I were, cruising along with our blogging calendar when Mom stumbled upon a Paulsen book she somehow missed: Paintings from the Cave.

Monkey Wrench Alert!

After finishing this extraordinary trio of gripping, poignant novellas, we knew they had to have a stand-alone post. Here’s why:

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