07. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Fiction · Tags: ,

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, Patricia Castelao (Illustrations), 305 pages, read by Angie, on 05/06/2013

The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback is the main attraction at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, conveniently located off I-95. He has lived at the mall in his “domain” for many, many years. He is content with his life with Stella, the old elephant, Bob, the stray dog that sleeps on his tummy, and George and Julia, who clean the mall. Their keeper Mack is not content however. The mall is losing money and no one is coming to visit anymore. So Mack gets Ruby, a baby elephant, to attract more attention. Stella and Ruby are not content in their cage and soon Stella dies. Ivan makes a promise to her that he will save Ruby, but how is a gorilla supposed to do that?

I usually don’t like books written from an animal’s perspective, but there was something about Ivan that really worked. His voice seemed so much his own and not a person speaking for a gorilla. I loved everything about Ivan, especially his relationships with the others. I really enjoyed how Ivan thought about the problem of Ruby and came up with a solution all on his own. Very inventive! This is one of the few Newberrys in recent years that I have really and truly loved. It was definitely worthy of the medal.

10. May 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: , ,

Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean, 324 pages, read by Tammy, on 05/05/2012

Susan Orlean follows Rin Tin Tin’s journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon and follows the lives of his ardent fans that kept the lineage alive and documented but shows the appeal of the character across generations of fans and puppies. So much so that some say Rin Tin Tin has never died because there is always a Rin Tin Tin or Rinny.

The story begins on a battlefield in France during World War I, when a young American soldier, Lee Duncan, discovered a newborn German shepherd in the ruins of a bombed-out dog kennel. Duncan brought Rinty home to California, where the dog’s athleticism and acting ability drew the attention of Warner Bros. Over the next ten years, Rinty starred in twenty-three blockbuster silent films that saved the studio from bankruptcy and made him the most famous dog in the world. At the height of his popularity, Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s number one box office star. During the decades that followed, Rinty and his descendants rose and fell with the times, making a tumultuous journey from silent films to talkies, from black-and-white to color, from radio programs to one of the most popular television shows of the baby boom era, The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin. The canine hero’s legacy was cemented by Duncan and a small group of others—including Bert Leonard, the producer of the TV series, and Daphne Hereford, the owner of the current Rin Tin Tin—who have dedicated their lives to making sure the dog’s legend will never die. A heartfelt story.

08. May 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Mystery, Tracy · Tags:

The Dog Who Knew Too Much by Spencer Quinn, 308 pages, read by Tracy, on 05/08/2012

Bernie Little and Chet are partners in the Little Detective Agency. Chet being a dog handles the biting and smelling part. Chet is  the narrator of this story although like most dogs he does get distracted with squirrels and food smells quite a bit. But Chet and Bernie are a team. In this fourth book in the series they get involved in a missing child case which leads to money laundering and murder. One thing I learned from this book is that if you are a private detective you might want to get a remote starter for your car just in case. I especially like these books because Chet looks just like my dog Rugby.