My Dogs in the Northland (The Good Dog Library Book 1)

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The kids get the chance to practice reading and build confidence reading out loud, with the dog creating a comfortable atmosphere to do it. Even kids who can't yet read can benefit, Smith said, by doing a "picture reading," where they use pictures and recount stories of their own creation to the dog.

Kinning, who also brings Betty to Woodbury's Middleton Elementary School to read with second-graders, said when she starts out the school year some kids are unsure about the strange dog, but "now they're just loving her up and petting her. Newport's program has recently had a resurgence after their previous therapy dog Jasmine could not continue due to an injury. In February, Dakota was introduced, and in March, volunteer Michael Revellow and his dog Willow stepped in to offer a second night of the week.

Newport Library volunteer Denise Fulmer, who volunteers Tuesdays when Willow is around, said she's definitely seen an uptick in kids coming to the library on dog nights. A lot of the same faces come in, but there's new ones around as the program grows too. There have been a couple of no-show nights, but that remains rare.

Nicole Smith said her kids "didn't used to ask to go to the library, but now they have to come. Her daughter Savannah Swift, 5, couldn't get enough of Willow, nestling into her side and patting her head while reading a "Dora the Explorer" picture book to her.

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Bella Hove, 9, who Revello said is one of the program's most active readers, said the dogs are just fun to read to. The Newport program will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer from p. The Washington County Library system program is complete for the summer, but will begin again when school starts.

The Call of the Wild, a short adventure novel about a sled dog named Buck a cross between a St Bernard and a Scotch collie will be one of the strangest, and most strangely potent, narratives in this series.

Call of the Wild, The (unabridged) – Naxos AudioBooks

Its author was a one-off, too. Jack London was a maverick, macho young man, the son of an itinerant astrologer and a spiritualist mother.

As a boy, he led a criminal life, specialising in the piracy of oysters in San Francisco Bay. As a writer, he blazed briefly, lived hard and dangerously, and died from drink and drugs aged just 40, having written more than 50 books in 20 years. To George Orwell , he was "an adventurer and a man of action as few writers have ever been". A devotee of Kipling's Jungle Book , London found his literary voice writing about a dog that learns to live at the limit of civilisation.

Reading group: let's tackle three Jack London stories this November

He was inspired to embark on his dog story as a means to explore what he saw as the essence of human nature in response to a wave of calls to American youth urging a new start for the turn-of-the-century generation. London's mythical creature became his answer to the complex challenges of modernity.


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The reader discovers Buck, a domesticated prize dog, as the effete pet of a Californian judge. When he is stolen by his master's gardener to settle some gambling debts, Buck passes through a sequence of owners representing the highs and lows of humanity.


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Sold into a kind of canine slavery as an Alaskan sled dog, Buck ends up in the Yukon of the s Klondike gold rush, a milieu familiar to the writer. Eventually, he becomes the property of a salt-of-the-earth outdoorsman named John Thornton who recognises Buck's qualities and with whom the dog enjoys a deep, and affecting rapport.

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Among many adventures, in extremis, Buck saves Thornton from drowning, but when his master is killed by Yeehat Indians, he gives in to his true nature, answers the call of the wild and joins a wolf pack: "Man, and the claims of man, no longer bound him. He is expressing his belief, which owes something to Rousseau, that humanity is always in a state of conflict, and that the struggles of existence strengthen man's nature.

The 100 best novels: No 35 – The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)

But what projects The Call of the Wild towards immortality is London's urgent and vivid style, and his astonishing identification with the world he's describing.