Dog Star — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
~ Henry Ford ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Anne R. Allen has such an important post HERE on her blog. If you have ever thought of using a little snippet of a song lyric in one of your books or stories, read this first. It could save you a LOT of trouble and money.

It’s important when writing to use all the senses to make your story as palpable as possible. HERE Ellen Buikema has a post on Writers in the Storm about How to Write the Sense of Smell. She has some great examples.

Conflict, conflict, conflict. Without it there is no story. HERE K. M. Weiland has a great post on How to Make Your Characters Choices More Difficult, which, you know, creates conflict. Enjoy!

I am happy to report the miracle medicine has really started kicking in. Most mornings, I can go for a short walk. I can drive and do a little shopping and run other errands. I should be able to start doing giveaways soon since I can get to the Post Office now and again. What a relief! Fingers crossed this keeps going in the right direction. On that note, I think we should celebrate with some puns. Hope you like them. Try not to groan.

What do you call a bear with NO TEETH? A gummy bear.
WAITER: “Do you wanna box for your LEFTOVERS?”DAD: “No, but I’ll wrestle you for them!”
I was thinking of going on an all-almond diet. But that’s just nuts!
My mom and I were arguing as to who gets to use the MICROWAVE first. Then things started to get heated.
SERVER: “And how did you find your steak this evening?”CUSTOMER: “Oh, it was easy; I just looked under the parsley.”
What did AUNT JEMIMA say when she ran out of PANCAKES“How waffle.”
“You have a ‘dad bod!’”DAD: “I like to think of it more as a father figure.”
It’s HARD TO SAY what my does for a living. She sells seashells by the seashore.
What do you call a HIPPIE’S wife? Mississippi.
I swapped our bed for a TRAMPOLINE. My wife hit the roof.

I always enjoy finding books for middle-grade readers that will give them exposure to a time in our history that they might not know about. When I ran across Dog Star by Megan Shepherd on the review list for the Portland Book Review, I was intrigued. Especially with Russia rearing its ugly head right now, and it seems as if Putin would like very much to regenerate the USSR. Very scary times. Anyway, I think Dog Star is a wonderful way to give kids a snapshot of the Space Race and the conflict between the United States and the USSR. I especially like that it is told from the point of view of a young Russian girl. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.

Laika is a stray dog living on the icy streets of Moscow, Russia, in the 1950s. One day, she is picked up and taken to a place with two other dogs. These dogs tell Laika that she will be trained to fly in space. Laika tries to escape until she meets a little girl named Nina, who comes to take care of Laika often. Laika and Nina become very close, and both dream of being together all the time. Nina’s father, a rocket scientist, tells Nina he will do his best to make sure Laika becomes the hero she deserves to be, but not everything is as it seems.

Megan Shepherd

Megan Shepherd has written a sweet novel based on happenings in the Soviet Union during the Space Race. It touches on problems with living under an authoritarian government, how that can affect family relationships, learning to recognize the truth, how governments use information to suppress their people, and more that should resonate with readers considering problems we are facing today. Young readers should find the Space Race a fun and interesting period to read about. The writing is great, the characters well-drawn, and the story very compelling.

Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

24 thoughts on “Dog Star — Review”

  1. So glad to hear things are improving for you, Rosi! I enjoyed all the jokes, and the book sounds really interesting, I love the setting and time period. However I’m not sure if I would be up to reading it, given how brutally poor Laika was treated by the Soviets! Thanks for the wonderful post and hope you have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the great links this week. The first one on song lyrics was eye opening. Everyone is out to make a buck!
    Dog Star sounds like a great story to be read and discussed. I’ll be tracking down a copy for some summer reading. Thanks for featuring it on MMGM.
    Your health news sounds promising. Keep going down that get well path!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. you know me… I can’t resist a good dog story. Dog Star looks like a wonderful book – definitely putting it on my list. And so happy you are doing better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so pleased you are feeling better and more like yourself, Rosi. You’ve had a tough time.
    Dog Star is certainly a very timely book right now. I’ve been looking for MG books that show the relationships between the US and Russia. Kids have questions. Will check this out! Just finished a book about the cold war. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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