Book Review: Small as an Elephant

Small As An ElephantSo, it’s the beginning of a new month, which usually means a new theme. However, it’s also been a very busy month for me, so I haven’t picked or read books for a normal theme. Therefore, this months theme is miscellaneous books. And we’re kicking it off with a contemporary story about…well, you can read the review to find out. 😉
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Jack’s perfect vacation with his mother ends in disaster before it even starts. He wakes up the very first day to discover that she and almost all their camping gear is gone. At first he assumes she’s coming back soon, but as hours and then full days pass, he has to face the fact that she’s really gone, and he needs to fend for himself. His first priority is to avoid getting picked up by the police. That would result in the DSS getting involved and Jack doesn’t want to be taken away from his mother.

This was a really good book, not because it leaves you with warm fuzzies, but because it is realistic. It makes the reader enter into the mind and emotions of a young boy forced to take on adult responsibility because his mother doesn’t have the mental capacity to parent him properly. And it manages to stay realistic without being depressing, so double win.

Book Review & Giveaway: Mad Dog

Mad DogIt’s time for another giveaway! Leave a comment below telling me why you’re interested in foster care and/or why you want to read Mad Dog. You can leave your comment anytime between now and next Thursday (May 23rd) morning. Due to the cost of shipping, this giveaway is only available to residents of the United States. Enjoy the review!

If the world had any idea how mad I, Wesley “Mad Dog” Williams, am at it, the sun would be would be too scared to show it’s ugly face around here.

Wesley Williams is counting down the days until his mom gets out of her drug rehab program and he can go live with her again. It’s not that he hates his foster family. In fact, he likes the fact that living at Starlight Animal Rescue allows him to rescue dogs, train them and find them new homes. But that doesn’t change the fact that he can’t wait to go back to his mother. Besides, at the moment, even his dog rescue program isn’t going so well. Is it even possible to train four misfit dogs for an assisted living facility on the schedule he’s been given?

Mad Dog is another great book from Dandi Daley Mackall, author of the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. Mad Dog is book two in the Starlight Animal Rescue series, preceded by Runaway. It’s also my favorite book in the series. After re-reading it recently for this review, I found myself cracking up over the assisted living residents. Since my family does a lot of elder care, I could relate to the situation…though I’ve yet to meet someone quite like the Buddy in this book. 😉 Definitely a great book to get your hands on.

Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Audience: Tweens and up
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 210

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Mad Dog.

Book Review: A Horse to Love

A Horse to Love

“Young lady, and I use the term loosely, I’m tired of your despicable behavior. You have exhausted this court’s patience. I’m sending you to the Chesterfield Detention Center and throwing away the key!”

Skye Nicholson is trouble with a capitol T. At thirteen years of age she’s been in countless foster homes and has a record with drugs and theft. She’s on her way to juvie when the Chambers step in. Skye resents her new foster family’s faith and strict rules. The only thing keeping her at Keystone Stables is Champ, the horse she is learning to ride. What will it take for Skye to accept the second chance being offered her?

I first read this book in the summer of 2008. I’d read stories about adoption before, but this was my first foster care story, and it captivated me. I remember being slightly scandalized by the references to drugs. When I re-read it a few weeks ago, I had to laugh at that memory because the mentions are so mild. But, they are there, so keep that in mind. 😉 The author does a great job of showing Skye’s defiance as something unacceptable, yet tempering it by showing her internal turmoil. This book is a win for both horse lovers and those who enjoy adoption/foster care stories.

Fun Fact: I recently found the first few pages of a foster care/horse farm story that I started writing after reading this book.

Author: Marsha Hubler
Audience: 10 and up
Genre: Contemporary
Pages: 144

P.S. The older edition I read was titled The Trouble With Skye. I used the updated title and cover for this review because I think that’s what is mostly available now.

Author Interview: Dandi Daley Mackall

Book Review: Runaway (Starlight Animal Rescue)

Wherever we’re going, I won’t be staying. That much I can promise.

Dakota doesn’t have any intention of loving or staying with her new foster family. She has runaway from all her previous foster homes and this one shouldn’t be any different. Then she meets Blackfire. Can the Coolidge family and the animals they rescue win Dakota’s heart?

I first read this book several years ago and loved it right away. My heart went out to Dakota. You can’t help but root for her. Definitely recommend this book. Good, wholesome (and fun!) reading.

Author: Dandi Daley Mackall
Audience: 9 and up
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Pages: 224
Publisher: Tyndale

Come back on Wednesday for an interview with author Dandi Daley Mackall.

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