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Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings
     

Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings

3.9 66
by Janet Elder
 

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Huck is a page-turning, unforgettable true story of the tenacity of one small dog, the unexpected, extraordinary kindness of strangers, and a family’s devotion to each other.
 
Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A

Overview

Huck is a page-turning, unforgettable true story of the tenacity of one small dog, the unexpected, extraordinary kindness of strangers, and a family’s devotion to each other.
 
Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog is a Sad Thing.” His parents, Janet and Rich, were steadfast; bringing a dog into their fast-paced New York City lives was utterly impractical.
 
However, on a trip to Italy, a chance happening leads Janet to reconsider, a decision then hastened by a diagnosis of breast cancer.  Janet decides the excitement of a new puppy would  be the perfect antidote to the strain on the family of months of arduous treatments for her illness. The prospect of a new puppy would be an affirmation of life, a powerful talisman for them all.
 
On Thanksgiving weekend, soon after the grueling months of treatments are over, Huck, a sweet, mischievous, red-haired, toy poodle joins the family and wins everyone’s heart.
 
A few months later the family ventures to baseball’s spring training, leaving Huck with Janet’s sister in Ramsey, New Jersey.  Barely twenty-four hours into the trip, Janet receives the dreaded phone call: Huck has slipped through the backyard fence and run away. 
 
Broken-hearted and frantic, the family catches the first plane to New Jersey to begin a search for their lost puppy. It is a race against time, for little Huck is now lost in an area entirely unfamiliar to him, facing the threat of bears and coyotes, swamps and freezing temperatures, rain and fast cars. 
 
Moved by the family’s plight, strangers – from school children to townspeople to the police lieutenant – join the search, one that proves to be an unyielding test of determination and faith.
 
Touching and warm-hearted, Huck is a spirit-lifting story about resilience, the generosity of strangers, and hope.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is an aura of happy innocence—a kind of euphoria— pervading this book....Elder shows us humanity in its best light and we are uplifted."  
—The New York Times

“It’s about hope, it’s about fear, it’s about triumph … I guarantee you, you’ll feel better about everything after you read this.” David Letterman

"This story takes place in the most familiar places – a doctor’s office, a family’s kitchen, a suburban high school, and the woods out back. It’s a modern-day myth that happened to be true. It’s a story in which wonderful things occurred because people believed in themselves and in each other. It’s a story about the power of love to change our world."
—Caroline Kennedy
 
"A story of how healing the love of a pet can be and of faith that good things can still happen when people pull together – a true, feel-good read"
Patricia Cornwell, author of the Scarpetta series and dog lover
 
"Huck is the Dewey of the canine world. The dog is a delight— even my cat Norton would have been charmed (after a hiss or two) — and the book itself is lovely and inspiring. I rate it 5 barks."
Peter Gethers, author of The Cat Who Went to Paris and The Cat Who'll Live Forever
 
"Janet Elder's wonderful story of Huck reminds us that the best stories about dogs are really about people or, in this case, community. Few things in America these days can bring people together more than a shared love of dogs. Dogs enter our lives for all kinds of reasons, and Huck entered Janet Elder's life for one of the most important. This is a wonderful story, gripping and heartwarming. And I can't say I've ever read a dog story with a more meaningful or uplifting ending. You are likely to cry some happy tears."
Jon Katz, author of Soul of a Dog: Reflections on the Spirits of the Animals of Bedlam Farm

"This dog story made me feel good about people, families, and New Jersey."
Roy Blount Jr.
 
"Puppies have always been better than people. Now comes a book where a puppy makes people better people. Pet it, feed it, even read it. You'll love it—-and become a better person."
Dan Jenkins, sportswriter/novelist

Amy Finnerty
It would be saccharine to suggest that any good can come of having cancer, or that a warm puppy alone can embody salvation for a traumatized family. But there is an aura of happy innocence—a kind of euphoria—pervading this book. The people of Ramsey, as depicted here, are earnest and kind. We meet a man who is "madly in love" with his wife; a selfless teenager; one helpful citizen after another. A complete stranger, offering to pitch in with the search for Huck, tells Rich, "It feels like I've known you all my life." Elder shows us humanity in its best light, and we are uplifted.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Elder, a senior editor at the New York Times, shares a touching story of how a missing dog can bring out the best in people. Elder's son Michael longs for a dog and, over the years, his parents offer him poor substitutes, including fish and butterflies. But after Elder is diagnosed with breast cancer, she decides to grant her son's wish. The family becomes besotted with the toy poodle they name Huck, and the little pup with his perfect blend of "sweetness and naughtiness" develops a circle of admirers wherever he goes. While on vacation, the family learns that Huck has run away from the dog-sitter's New Jersey home. What follows is a town-wide effort by complete strangers, teenagers, storeowners, and multitudes more that confirms the basic goodness in people and prompts a very happy ending. Elder is a gifted writer whose story is sure to tug on heartstrings and leave readers with a renewed belief in the kindness of strangers. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In this simple story, Elder's (senior editor, New York Times) only child longs for a dog for years, but his busy New York City parents constantly refuse. Eventually, Elder and her husband relent when she is diagnosed with cancer and has to undergo chemotherapy, hoping that a dog will give the boy something positive to look forward to. Huck, a toy poodle, eventually joins the family and immediately becomes a much-beloved member. After Elder's recovery, the family takes a celebratory vacation, leaving Huck with trusted relatives, but the dog gets loose and wanders for days in the unfamiliar suburbs. Fearing the worst, the family manages to marshal the entire Ramsey, NJ, community to help find him. Thanks to the efforts of neighbors and strangers, Huck is found. VERDICT Despite the spoiler in the title, this story is told with page-turning, heart-stopping intensity and heart-wrenching emotion. It is likely to restore one's faith in the goodness of humanity. Most lost-dog stories are fictional; this is real. Dog lovers and other patrons looking for a heartwarming memoir will be most satisfied.—Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A city family discovers the kindness of country strangers in its search for a lost puppy.

Since the subtitle ofNew York Timessenior editor Elder's pet memoir alludes to happy endings, it's hardly giving the plot away to say that her prodigal subject—a small, red-haired toy poodle—was eventually brought back to the fold. Much of the book chronicles the logistical and emotional struggles of the four-day search-and-rescue operation that Elder, her husband and her son initiated in and around Ramsey, N.J., immediately following Huck's untimely escape from Elder's sister's home. During that trying extended weekend, these Manhattanites experienced the warmth of countless Bergen County residents as many joined them in bracing against the chill of March to seek out the lost Huck. "We learned a lot about the heart of a small town and the extraordinary level of concern one stranger can show another," writes the author. "We learned a lot about ourselves, too, about tenacity and grit and our devotion to one another." It's fairly standardDewey-type fare, but what makes her account peculiar is the framing. Elder acknowledges that "Huckis a part of the chapter of my life titled cancer," but she prefaces the minutely detailed search and reunion with young Huck with a jarringly vague gloss of her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer just prior to Huck's arrival in her home. Peppered with tedious encyclopedic descriptions of numerous would-be rescuers, this journalistic tale somehow overlooks salient details of her treatment and reckoning with a life-threatening illness. Such sanitization makes the memoir most appropriate for a YA audience.

Overly sentimental, this feel-good story may leave adult readers wanting.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780767931359
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/04/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
507,084
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.86(d)

Meet the Author

Janet Elder is a senior editor at The New York Times. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, Richard Pinsky, their son, Michael, and the family dog.

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Huck 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book on an airplane and finished i three hours. Im 12, and i have a poodle. When i read the story i really connected with Michael. My poodle means everything to me and if he got lost i would search relentlessly until i found him. And its actually comforting to read about all the generous people that were willing to help. I should hope the people in my small town would do the same for my family if my small vulnerable toy poodle got lost. All in all, this book is one of my top 10 favs along with Dewey and Homer's odessy, i also have two cats so i love those books too. I recommend them to all who loved Huck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was almost in tears when I finished Huck written by Janet Elder. This book is about Janet Elder, her relentless 12-year-old son Michael, and her husband Richard Pinksy. Michael, like myself, starts a relentless campaign for a canine companion seemingly as soon as he comes out of the womb. This touching story tells about Janet's close call with breast cancer and how she and her husband purchase an auburn-colored and micheivious toy poodle named Huck(short for Huckleberry). Huck was charming from the start with his little 9-pound self and shaggy "puppy cut". Then, when a much needed vacation comes up, Huck is left with Barbara and Dave, Janet's sister and brother-in-law, expierenced dog lovers and owners in a small New Jersey town called Ramsey. A devastating call is recieved on Rich's cell phone that Huck has slipped under the fenced-in backyard. Janet, Rich and Michael, who live in New York City, are starting to get used to a slow-paced vacation in Tampa Bay Far from their city lifestyle but their vacation comes to a close and abruptly ends as they fly back to New York and then drive to Ramsey. By some chance happening, after gruleing searches and putting up flyers, they find Huck thanks to many kind and considerate strangers. This book is truly inspiring and well-written. The happy ending topped it all off. I loved this book and recomend it to adults due to advanced vocabulary. Five stars out of five!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm 11 and I read this book a few months ago and its the best book ever I really like all the detail and emotion in Huck
Joclyn Rhone More than 1 year ago
Huck left me re-reading again and again. Janet Elder has crafted a truly amazing tale.
Sophie Mcintyre More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh at times and cry at others. Once the real story line was revealed i could not put the book down! Great read espeically for dog lovers
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Huck is not just a story about a lost dog. It is a book about surmounting the odds, winning in the face of adversity, and not giving up. It's about finding strength in yourself and those around you. A boy who won't give up on his dream to find his dog. A mother who won't give in after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A man who will not give up on his love and faith in both his son and his wife, no matter the tragedies they face. It's about tears, pain, and great joy. It's about the love a fam...more Huck is not just a story about a lost dog. It is a book about surmounting the odds, winning in the face of adversity, and not giving up. It's about finding strength in yourself and those around you. A boy who won't give up on his dream to find his dog. A mother who won't give in after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A man who will not give up on his love and faith in both his son and his wife, no matter the tragedies they face. It's about tears, pain, and great joy. It's about the love a family finds in a dog, a town of strangers, and most of all in themselves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very sad but beautiful
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The puppy on the front is really cute and adorable. I wish i had a puppy as cute as that.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very heart warming! Those of you who didnt like it read it again you read it wrong! Love this book.
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Patrick Dickey More than 1 year ago
This+book+was+very+adictave%21+I+couldn%27t+put+it+down%21+I+am+like+a+major+dog+freak%2C+so+i+could+relate+to+her+son%21+Some+parts+at+the+begining+may+make+it+unsuitable+for+younger+children%2C+but+if+u+lov+dogs+u+must+read%21+I+love+Huck%21+It+was+one+of+my+favorite+books%21
TEST NOOKUSER More than 1 year ago
I+liked+the+part+with+the+dog
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Susan Rowell More than 1 year ago
have klennex near by for this one
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