Review: Huck by Janet Elder

November 14, 2011 Memoir, Non-Fiction, Random House 4

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; Reprint edition (October 4, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0767931351
  • Source: Publisher

Michael was a preschooler when the pleas for a  dog began.  He went as far as creating a PowerPoint presentation covering the reasons why he needed a dog.  Despite his incessant begging, his parents Rich & Janet stood strong. They simply couldn’t juggle what is required to do to own a dog with their already crazy lives. Living in New York City made things harder; walking a dog wasn’t as simple as letting the dog out back or taking a quick walk around the park. It required leaving their small apartment, venturing down dozens of floors & venturing out into the busy city streets.

The pleading continued into Michael’s youth and young teen years.  It wasn’t until a life-altering event changed the family’s life that Janet decided: We need to get Michael a dog.  The new puppy would bring happiness and contentment back into their lives.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, The Elders welcome Huck, a red-haired toy poodle, into their lives.  He was full of energy and life, instantly winning the hearts of the entire family.

A few months later, Michael & his parents decide to head to baseball spring training.  They leave Huck with Janet’s sister, a family used to owning and caring for pets.

It’s not until a few days into the trip that they receive the phone call: Huck slipped through a space in their fence and escaped.  Not only is Huck in an unfamiliar area, Michael and his parents are hundreds of miles away.

It is within these first few moments that the Elders start to feel the true power of human kindness.  It doesn’t stop there. Once they get home, throughout their search of Huck, they meet dozens of people, willing to devote their free time & energy to help find Huck.  From random people on the road to police officers, the Elders are given a glimpse of the human kindness that still prevails in today’s world.

Let it be known that I typically don’t review “pet books.”  Books about animals of any sort usually have me sobbing within minutes.  I have a special place in my heart for dogs (and cats!). Yet for some reason, perhaps it was Huck’s adorable image on the book cover, I said yes.

Even before Huck is introduced to the family I had a vested interest in this family.  They were a strong family, one that continued to stand strong despite the tests forced upon them. When Huck came around, he provided their lives with a love they’ve never felt before.  When he ran away, they were forced to deal with yet another heart-breaking blow.  Yet, they continued to stay strong, powered by the generosity of complete strangers, and they trudged on.
Huck is a truly heartwarming book, a perfect read for this time of year when everyone is reflecting on the gifts they have in life. I read it in an afternoon, on almost one sitting (I did have to get up and walk my own dog, Jack, a few times.) Highly recommended for all pet-lovers, those overcoming breast cancer, or simply someone just looking for a heartwarming, hopeful read.

The publisher has provided me three copies of HUCK to give away! To enter, please fill out the form below. Open to US & Canadian residents only. Good luck to all who enter!

4 Responses to “Review: Huck by Janet Elder”

  1. Anita

    I’m quick to boohoo and sob over animal stories too, but I agree this one looks good. I do like the idea of giving as a gift, it might be great for one of my friends. Thanks Jenn for such a lovely review!

  2. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    When I see the head of an animal on the front cover, I cover my eyes and run the other way. But if the dog doesn’t die, and eventually gets back to his family, I’m OK. Otherwise I cry for days. It is ugly.

  3. Lori Strongin
    Twitter: LStrongin

    I’m with you–heartwarming pet stories have me sobbing in minutes! It’s the reason why Homeward Bound was one of my favorite movies as a kid.

    (And, as if to prove the point, my Catzilla Monster is trying to sit on my keyboard and lick my face off as I’m trying to write this.)

    Thanks for the giveaway op!