Spotting the Leopard

( 2 )

Overview

A leopard is loose on Papa's land...

H.J. Harper would do anything for his older sister, Jessie. But what can he do, when she wants to become a veterinarian and their father won't send her to college? Jessie is trapped, just like the leopard H.J. saw in the Oklahoma City Zoo. Then the leopard escapes. As it slowly makes its way toward the Harper fields, H.J. comes up with an idea to save the leopard and help Jessie fulfill her dream. But will it work?

"Myers has created another ...

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Overview

A leopard is loose on Papa's land...

H.J. Harper would do anything for his older sister, Jessie. But what can he do, when she wants to become a veterinarian and their father won't send her to college? Jessie is trapped, just like the leopard H.J. saw in the Oklahoma City Zoo. Then the leopard escapes. As it slowly makes its way toward the Harper fields, H.J. comes up with an idea to save the leopard and help Jessie fulfill her dream. But will it work?

"Myers has created another bittersweet tale that celebrates average people and the courage they muster to follow their hearts."
- Kirkus Reviews

In the late 1930s, H.J. Harper is intent on finding a way to help his older sister become a veterinarian and on tracking down a leopard that has escaped from the zoo in Oklahoma City where his father is working on a W.P.A. project.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna Brumby
Myers delivers a solid story as a sequel to her previous novel, Red-Dirt Jessie. Jessie's younger brother, H.J., is the hero of this exciting tale set in Oklahoma near the end of the Depression. Well-paced and plotted, the story balances realistic descriptions of family relationships and boyhood pranks with less-believable, but rousing elements. H.J., anxious to help Jessie realize her improbable dream of attending college and becoming a veterinarian, becomes fascinated with the leopard, Lucky, he sees at the Oklahoma City zoo, especially when the big cat escapes its dismal cage to become a hunted wild animal once again. H.J. is a nicely drawn character, an authentic combination of mischievous prankster, caring brother, concerned animal-lover, and self-reliant young man. The book combines excitement and heart to make for an interesting, quick read.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-When H.J. sees a caged leopard at the Oklahoma City zoo, where his father works for the WPA, he sees that "misery just dripped from that animal." H.J. is a pretty typical young adolescent, except that he makes a keen connection between the sad cat and his sister Jessie (who was first introduced in Red-Dirt Jessie [Walker, 1992]). Finishing high school, Jessie yearns to become a veterinarian, though their dad, who's never known anyone who went to college, says: "There ain't no way...and it ain't even sensible." Despite such odds, H.J. finds a way to aid the leopard when it escapes its confines and appears (somewhat incredibly) in their own woods, and he also helps his sister to reach her goal. Subplots include the tale of H.J.'s gullible uncle, who loses his business to a con artist, and the boy's evolving if mischievous relationship with his schoolmates. The setting is well defined, and vivid details provide a vivid sense of slow rural post-Depression recovery. The characters are colorful, but some are better developed than others. H.J. and his father are most compelling. Despite the potential excitement of the plot, predictable dialogue and extremely even pacing prevent the tale from realizing its full energy. Those readers who loved Red-Dirt Jessie will nonetheless look forward to H.J.'s continued adventures and Jessie's success.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Kirkus Reviews
It's back to the bucolic Oklahoma landscape Myers (Fire in the Hills, p. 161, etc.) evokes in her newest novel, a sequel to Red- Dirt Jessie (1992), set in the era between the Depression and the outbreak of WW II.

H.J., now a teenager, narrates; Jessie is finishing up high school in town; Mama holds down the homefront while Pa, lucky enough to be hired by the WPA, spends weeks away from the family he loves, earning enough for the luxuries of an extra homemade pie and marbles for Christmas. When Jessie announces that she wants to study to be a veterinarian, sparks fly between her and her father, who can't raise the tuition. The manner in which money fulfills dreams: H.J.'s Uncle Delbert, who owns a successful motel, loses everything to a con man. When a leopard escapes from a nearby zoo to their green pastures, H.J. identifies strongly with it, and tries to help the animal remain free; Lucky is shot and H.J. reels in pain. The novel ends with a zoo official's offer to help Jessie so that she can study at a nearby college. Just as readers of the first book may have suspected, neither H.J. nor Jessie will be trapped by their circumstances; love, support from parents and friends, and their own determination will lead to the fulfillment of their dreams. Myers has created another bittersweet tale that celebrates average people and the courage they muster to follow their hearts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493792597
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 1/16/2014
  • Pages: 148

Meet the Author

Author of 19 books, Anna Myers writes historical and contemporary fiction for young adult readers. Anna Myers has been honored many times for her outstanding writing. Anna Myers' novels show the human side of history by using fictional characters to tell a story of everyday people caught up in monumental events [School Library Journal]. Anna loves to talk to classroom groups.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2002

    this book is okay

    this book is okay because i read it but it was a little boring to me but i would still recomend this book to a friend if they are interested in these kind of books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2000

    Good book

    The book Spotting the Leopard was a good book. I think it teaches people to understand animals and help them. Spotting the Leopard was about this boy who was trying to save a run away leopard, Lucky and help his sister to go to college and become a vet. Well, things didn¿t work that well, but things still worked out. It is a really good book, and I mean it. I just love animals, especially cats. Since Leopard are in the cats family. It¿s really interesting that a boy would give up everything just to help a leopard. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves animals. I would rate this book 8 ½ from 1 to 10. I think this book would change the way a person thinks about an animal. Like, Kate thinks no one like animals, but after she read this book, she¿ll understand what a person would do to help an animal. Even though I rated 8 ½, I have some criticisms to make. First I don¿t think the situation with Uncle Delbert and Mr. Summer doesn¿t really have to do anything with the book. And another criticism I will make is that I am not that sure what time period this happened. The author could explain more about the background to give us clues about what time period it happened. Over all, I think this is a great book.

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