From Page to Screen: Old Yeller

I’ve talked on here before about my hesitance concerning depressing animal books for children.

There are a lot of books/movies that could be added to the list of depressing animal stories for kids, and Old Yeller is definitely one of them.

However, even though it is the granddaddy of all depressing animal books for kids, it is a story that I have a soft spot for. In fact, I’ve reread it a few times and always enjoy it. I can’t deny that it is terribly sad, but I think it has a lot of good things to offer before it rips your heart out and depresses you for days.

Though the book is something I have revisited on numerous occasions as an adult, I have not watched the movie since I was a child. I remedied that this past weekend.

As always, beware–some spoilers do follow.

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Discussion Thread: Animals in Literature

tiger

Bears, lions, and tigers, oh my!

Well, truthfully, it’s been more like dogs, cats, birds, and horses, oh my, here on the blog lately as we’ve been chatting about pet cozies and WWI stories about horses this month on Berryville Book Buzz. But that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

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Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse (1982)

War Horse

Joey is just a lovely, somewhat high-strung bay horse, living on a small Devon farm, with his beloved teenaged owner Alfred when World War I breaks out. He’s soon sold to the British military and, thus, begins Joey’s odyssey as a military horse for both the British and the Germans. Along the way, he meets several owners and finds himself doing everything from charging into battle to hauling artillery to pulling ambulance wagons.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

There’s a mystery sub-genre for all occasions and tastes. Literally. You want to read a mystery with food in it? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves some hardcore knitting? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves cute dogs and cats? Well, this post is for you!

Personally, as much as I enjoy mysteries, I’ve never really delved into these types of mystery sub-genres.

I’ve already talked about my hopeless track record in regard to food and mysteries.

Knitting and needle-crafts in general are not my friends, so that’s just not even an option.

But it’s really kind of odd that I’ve never gotten into pet mysteries because I really do like pets, specifically dogs. I’m currently owned by a 3-lb. Chihuahua named after a Roman emperor.

Even beyond my own personal enjoyment of animals, one of the first books I remember loving as a child featured pet detectives (sort of)–Bunnicula. Granted, they were paranoid and not always terribly competent pet detectives, but that was a huge part of their charm.

So, if like me you’re a newbie to the world of pet cozy mysteries, here’s a roundup of introductory titles to this oddly-specific genre.

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Notes from the Tween Book Club

As some of you know, in addition to managing the library’s blog, I also co-moderate our tween book club with my coworker Mary-Esther, which means we’re responsible for picking books, leading discussions about those books, and directing a related craft or activity for a group of 8-12 year olds.

This month marks my one year anniversary of working with the book club, and the experience has been a valuable one for me, not only because it’s fun but also because it’s given me some much-needed knowledge about the current scene of children’s books.

Confession: Before I started working with the tween book club, I always secretly dreaded when someone asked me to help them find books for kids this age. Not because I’m a monster but because I was so out of touch with what was current.

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