Double Book Review ~ Thunder Dog by Michel Hingson and The Penderwicks by JeAnne Birdsall

I decided to do a double review today, because these books are both really good.

Thunder Dog

A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.

It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael’s bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was “on the clock” nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael’s hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.

With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.

In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael’s office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.

But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America’s darkest days.

My Review: I requested this book from Booksneeze because I’m very interested in Guide dogs. My sister used a service dog for a couple years, and during that time I decided I wanted to train guide dogs. I currently have a golden retriever that I’m training as a service dog, and I’m hoping to train her puppies as service dogs (it’s still in the beginning stages though).

I loved this the book because of the relationship between Mike and Roselle. Mike Hingson, the author, did an excellent job telling his story of how he survived 9/11 and what it was like being blind and growing up.  It’s so hard to describe the feeling I got when reading it – it was  heartwarming and moving. I finished it in two days, if that helps!

To sum it up, I loved it. I’d give it 5 stars. And friends, please read it!

 

The Penderwicks

A Summer Tale of Four Girls, Two Rabbits, and A Very Interesting Boy.

In Jeanne Birdsall’s humorous novel (Knopf, 2005), four motherless sisters—Rosalind, 12, Skye, 11, Jane, 10, and Batty, 4—their absentminded professor dad, and the family dog share a summer retreat on the Massachusetts estate of Arundel. Owned by the frosty Mrs. Tifton and her lonely son, Jeffrey, Arundel’s pretentious mistress treats the oddly-matched Penderwick sisters and their doting father as social misfits. Feisty Skye and sensitive Jeffrey become best friends, drawing the reluctant Mrs. Tifton and the entire Penderwick clan into a series of hilarious misadventures, including runaway pets, an encounter with a bull, and a first crush. The sisters are determined to help Jeffrey escape being sent to the Pencey Military Academy, Where boys become men and men become soldiers. Susan Denaker’s gentle narration of this 2005 National Book Award winner perfectly captures the subtle humor and charm of each character. Fans of Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family or Maud Hart’s Betsy-Tacy novels will love this updated version of a comfortable childhood adventure. Just the ticket for an extended family car trip.
My Review: I started reading this by myself, but liked it so much that I started reading it aloud to my family. I would describe it as a younger version of Little Women. It was really good – my family hated when I had to put it down. I’m hoping to get the next two books to read aloud.
In short, another five star book. This would be great for a family read aloud, but I suggest doing voices to keep the lines separated (my sisters had a hard time keeping track of who is who sometimes).
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