Monday, July 29, 2013

White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan, Book Review

By: Patricia MacLachlan
Published by: Simon Kids
Released on: March 19th, 2013
Ages: 8 & up
Source: book from publisher to review
4 Owlets: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. There is always the sweet smell of dog and a warm body looking to cuddle or play. There is always a new dog to be saved and loved. Fur flies everywhere. It covers everything. Zoe’s house is never silent.

But the house across the street is always silent these days. A new family has moved in and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doesn’t even want to try.

Zoe knows that saving dogs and saving boys are different jobs, but she learns that some parts are the same. Both take attention and care, understanding and time. And maybe just a bit of white fur flying.

White Fur Flying is a wonderful middle grade read about friendship, love, and learning to trust. It's a heart warming story about family, and friends both human and of the fur kind. I loved the family dynamics and this story. Zoe hails from a close knit family. Her Mom rescues great Pyrenees dogs, her dad is a vet, and she and her sister Alice do whatever they can to help out with the craziness of it all. 

The story centers around Zoe and her family, and the recent activity that's taken place at a  neighboring home. Once vacant, now a not so nice  Aunt, Uncle, and a nephew who doesn't talk have moved in. Phillip doesn't talk to anyone about anything, that is until he meets one of Zoe's family's rescue dogs. Phillip has been through a lot lately, and what exactly he's gone through isn't mentioned in the story, but it's enough to make Zoe and her sister want to befriend him. Normally that something that Phillip has gone through is what I'd want to have explained in a story, but given this is a children's book it makes sense not to explain it,  because not all kids find out exactly what it is that effects other kids around them. I liked that Patricia stayed true to that in this story. All we know is that his parents got into some trouble and he's staying with an Aunt and Uncle who come across as mean. As the story continues we learn that Phillip's aunt has a different way of showing her love and worry for him. 

I loved that Zoe, and her sister Alice become friendly to Phillip without being overbearing and forcing Phillip to open up to them. Instead, they accept him for how he is, and patiently wait for the moment he may decide to talk to them. I loved the role the dogs play in the story. Through Zoe's mom's rescues dogs, Phillip finds his voice, Zoe finds a friend, and her entire family pulls together the night a storm rolls in and Phillip has gone missing, as well as one of Zoe's family dogs.  I remember reading my first Patricia MacLachlan book when I was in 5th grade, and I have been a fan of hers ever since. I enjoyed this book. It's a quick read that even reluctant readers will enjoy. 
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~