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Jack London's Dog
     

Jack London's Dog

4.6 5
by Dirk Wales, Barry Moser (Illustrator)
 

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 5-9

What might have happened to the dog that belonged to Jack London during his days in the Yukon? Jack the dog was the inspiration for Buck in The Call of the Wild , and was left behind when London returned to California. Wales uses his imagination and knowledge of both London's life and the life of gold rush dogs to tell this tale. Using simple but eloquent language, he details Jack's new life with rough and brutal owners, his rescue by a compassionate man, and finally his legendary status as the Avalanche Dog and beloved companion to a nine-year-old girl whom he rescued. Slow paced at first, the narrative builds toward a dramatic rescue and satisfying ending. The book is handsomely designed and illustrated with Moser's relief engravings, which give a stark reality to the scenes. This stately story may not fly off the shelves, but it deserves a place for its own unique qualities and serves as a fine companion piece to The Call of the Wild .-Kathryn Kosiorek, formerly at Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH

Kirkus Reviews
Based on an episode from writer Jack London's life, this is a tale of a Yukon dog named Jack, which London may have known during his brief participation in the Alaskan gold rush. As the story begins, London meets the big dog and they spend the short days and long nights of the Alaskan winter together. When London falls ill and returns to California, he leaves Jack in the North Country to other masters, and the story cuts back and forth from the exploits of the dog to scenes of London writing The Call of the Wild. Jack the dog achieves a measure of fame for heroically saving two people caught in avalanches, while Jack the author does likewise with his writing. Overwrought, amateurish prose drags the narrative down: "The snow formed a white tongue, lashing down the slopes driven by the wind as if the wind itself was after something or someone, though there was no person or animal to be seen." Moser's lovely engravings and a generally high production value give this volume visual interest, but that's not enough to rescue the whole. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780963245939
Publisher:
Great Plains Press
Publication date:
09/28/2008
Pages:
60
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.55(d)
Lexile:
960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Customer Reviews

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Jack London's Dog 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, this is one of those books that your children will pass down to their children. The beginning of the book is a bit slow, but worth the work to arrive at the last suspenseful chapters.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Jack London's Dog uses an intriguing idea to model a story - what might have happened to the dog who introduced Jack London to the Yukon and was the inspiration for Buck, the hero of Call of the Wild? Author Dirk Wales, an avid admirer of London's, takes the real character of Jack the dog, an animal who lived with London briefly during the Yukon Gold Rush, and imagines what happened to the dog after London was forced to leave due to illness. The story opens with a brief description of Jack's (the dog) life on Split Up Island, the hardships and cold that both man and beast endured. Soon, Jack London arrives on the island and takes a liking to the sweet dog. The two become inseparable until illness forces London to leave the cold, unforgiving climate and return to California. Jack the dog dearly loved London and was confused by his sudden absence. Jack is eventually adopted, or more accurately, stolen by two unscrupulous brothers and taken away to endure adversity both physically and mentally. Fortunately, kindness returns to Jack's life in the form of Jake Jamison. Jamison, like London before him, adores Jack and treats the dog with love and respect. Together the two face unending cold, wolves, and avalanches. Eventually, word of Jack's prowess at rescuing avalanche victims spreads all over the Yukon and he becomes known as 'The Avalanche Dog.' Jack London's Dog is a fresh look at the incredibly difficult lives of those who swarmed to the Yukon during the gold rush days of the late 1890s. The short, concise sentences the author uses, "Dogpaws like windmills whirling into the whiteness of the snow," or "They seemed to know their dependence on loved or hated men," are visually effective, although they may pose some difficulty for children who are in the suggested age category, but are weak readers. Fortunately, for those children who enjoy this succinct and thoughtful style, the story wins out and holds interest for this short (60 page) story. I did find the ending incomplete, and it left me wondering what would become of Jack. The illustrations by famed illustrator Barry Moser are absolutely marvelous and indeed, a big draw for this book. His black and white relief engravings capture the emotions perfectly - you can feel the cold wind blowing in each and every picture. Quill says: A good history lesson for kids wrapped in an engaging story about a dog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joie7994 More than 1 year ago
I recommend Jack London's Dog because it tells the story from the most unique viewpoint possible: the heroic dog. Jack (the dog) meets Jack London and they become great friends, but I find myself disliking the character of Jack London when he returns to California and leaves Jack behind (excuse me, I'm a sweet dog who loves you and saved your life, so uh, why are you leaving me???). Although he was left behind, Jack is still remembered by Jack London, his "friend". Jack meets a new friend named Jamison and becomes known as avalanche dog, the heroic dog who can save the victims of avalanches even when they are buried under layers of snow so thick, he can barely walk through it. One of the reasons I like Jack's character so much is the way he sees people. He has a way of sensing more of people's personalities and true nature than what the people openly reveal. In the efforts of keeping this review as spoiler-free as possible, I shall just say that I liked this book, you will too, and READ IT!