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Kjelgaard was a prolific author who wrote a plethora of adventure stories about the outdoors, animals, and boys. I particularly love Bruce , Gray Dawn , and Treve. This is a collection of some of the funniest, and most poignant, dog stories Herriot wrote.

Follow My Leader is a heart-warming story about a middle school boy whose life is shattered when he loses his eyesight in an accident. Thanks to his supportive family and friends, Jimmy soon bounces back and learns to navigate life blind. But the real game-changer is when he meets Leader, his guide dog. Great book that offers a window into life with a disability. Where the Red Fern Grows can be a love-hate experience for dog lovers since it has a bittersweet ending.

If your child is sensitive to animal dying, steer clear of this one.

A homeless dog encounters a little red hen and a lonely man, and all their lives are changed. This one is worth buying a used copy! SeaMan is based on the true story of the dog who explored the west with Lewis Clark. The gentle Newfoundland is always a favorite with dog lovers who appreciate his loyalty, courage, and personality. Historical fiction fans will also enjoy the attention to historical detail in this book. Did you know Dalmatians was originally a novel? When Scout appears half dead in the water, no one knows where he came from. Jeff nurses him back to health but eventually has to make a tough decision about where Scout really belongs.

Warning: there is a slight fundamentalist Christian flavor to this book since the family is Baptist. Nothing anti-Catholic or heretical though. Marguerite Henry is the queen of horse writers. Barely a teenager, young Ralph goes to work as a hand on a cattle ranch.


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He soon learns that the key to sucess is having the right string of horses and learning to work with them. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley is a beloved classic about a boy and a horse. Shipwrecked on a desert island, Alec and the Black forge a friendship that survives their return to civilization. The themes about resilience, self-reliance, trust, and friendship always resonate with kids. Smoky the Cowhorse was a Newberry Medal Winner about a wild mustang and a cowboy.

Will Smoky give up his freedom in return for friendship? National Velvet by Enid Bagnold is another old equestrian classic, this time about a girl and a horse. Horse-crazy Velvet breaths all things equine but money is tight. I love My Friend Flicka more as an adult than I did as a kid.

The sequel Thunderhead is excellent too! His fond memories of the escapades of his animal friends are strung together into an engaging book. The reader also learns quite a bit about the likes, dislikes, and peculiarities of Great Horned Owls. Teenaged Sam flees his overcrowded city life and decides to learn to survive on old family property in the wilderness of the beautiful Catskill Mountains.

Fun for adults and children alike, this series follows the escapades of the orphaned baby animals Sam cares for in his wilderness sanctuary. Animals You Will Never Forget is a wonderful collection of excerpts from articles and books by the best animal writers and naturalists of the 20th century.

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An anthology that is worth tracking down a used copy of for your family library! When a down-on-his-luck painter receives a mysterious package from an Arctic explorer, life takes an unexpected turn.

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James Alfred Wight, better known by his pen name James Herriot, wrote a wonderful series of books for adults, in addition to several collections for children. Drawing on his years of experience as a veterinarian in Yorkshire, Herriot wrote his memoirs beginning with All Creatures Great and Small. These memoirs take the form of a series of loosely connected stories, mostly anecdotes about the animals and owners he encountered.

This poem really captures the spirit with which Herriot approached creation, always marveling at its wonders and seeing the hand of the Creator. In a spirit very similar to St. Francis of Assisi, Herriot cares for each animal, great and small, he encounters.

He embodies a great example of stewardship of creation, often helping animals whose owners have no way to pay for his services. His great love for nature surpasses the boundaries of Kingdom Animalia. He also loves natural beauty, often describing the breathtaking vistas of the Yorkshire dales with the affection of a lover.


Herriot writes of a different generation and lifestyle. He describes a now old fashioned way of life based on hard work and simple pleasures. Both Herriot himself and the farmers he encounters endure back-breaking work, whether birthing cows or forking hay. They enjoy good food, family time, and the occasional treat of an outing to a concert. The lack of technology and slow pace of life is a shock, perhaps a necessary one, to the twenty-first century reader.

Happier in their simple pleasures?

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Community is of great importance to Herriot. Neighborliness is an important quality in an isolated, low-tech community- even if the nearest neighbor is a mile away! The farmers are almost always hospitable and kind, taking care of the vet with a cup of tea and a seat by the fire after a call. In return, Herriot and his partner Siegfried often extend credit to cash-strapped customers. He recounts his charming, clean story of falling in love with Helen, his future wife. This is no more graphic than the description of a few kisses. On the other hand, the young veterinary student, Tristan, is a wild college student who is described as having several lady friends.

Nothing graphic again, but the insinuation is that he knows them rather too well. Tristan is also described as being frequently drunk. Usually the consequences of drunkenness are portrayed as unpleasant: embarrassment at the least, or even a lost client.

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But occasionally Herriot does recount a drunken episode with a humorous twist. The only other caveat I have about these books is the occasional foul language.

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The farmers are earthy men who swear when angry. Anyone who appreciates a masterfully told anecdote with a lilting rhythm punctuated by impeccably timed punch lines. Anyone who loves animals and nature. Anyone who likes autobiographies, comedy, or a sweet love story.

Really, I find it hard to imagine anyone not enjoying these books. I wholeheartedly recommend them for teens and adults who are looking for a light-hearted series. Most teenage girls go through a stage of craving romance novels. Beware of letting your daughter even browse the romance section of your library these days though!

She will be bombarded with sensual images on covers and graphic content within. What should you look for in a romance for a Catholic teenager? What is true love? Either mix a solution of 1 part peppermint oil to 10 parts water and use as a spray or scatter cotton balls saturated with peppermint oil throughout the infested area. The University of Oregon Extension Office warns that before using these home remedies, you should test each one on small portions of your plants.


The truth is that every gardener has his own special remedy that works to remove pests from the garden, and not many of them have been scientifically tested enough to know how well the repellents work. Garlic and pepper oil may work for some gardeners but not for others. Some home remedies can harm the plants or the animals, such as tobacco. Nicotine oil is fatal to pets and humans in large doses.

Do not use home remedies that contain products that are harmful to the plants, pets or humans in the area. Julie Richards is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for over 30 years, and published a variety of e-books and articles on gardening, small business and farming. She is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her bachelor's degree in English. Skip to main content.