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

by Janet Elder
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Overview

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

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307716163
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 09/28/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 304,729
File size: 3 MB

About 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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Reading Group Guide

Readers’ Guide
Huck by Janet Elder
 
Warning: some plot points are revealed in the questions below.
 
1. At the start of Chapter 1, Janet says that “no talisman was as powerful as a dog named Huck.” What special powers does Huck possess? How does he help Janet, Rich, and Michael during Janet’s breast cancer treatments?

2. How does Janet describe her breast cancer diagnosis? How does she react to the news?

3. Janet talks a lot about how Huck brought such joy to their lives after a difficult time. What has been something that’s gotten you through a difficult time in your life? How and why did it help?

4. Was anyone to blame for Huck’s running away? Were you surprised that Janet and her family immediately flew home? Would you have done the same for your pet?

5. How does Janet support Michael during the time period when Huck is missing? How does she walk the line between allowing him to hope for the best while preparing him for the worst?

6. As soon as Janet and Rich start to notify members of the Ramsey community that Huck is missing, they receive an outpouring of support. Do you think they would have experienced this response in any other town? What if it had happened in New York City?

7. Why do you think dogs, animals in general, can be such a powerful force in bringing communities and families together?

8. Is there a hero in Huck? Who is it?

9. What did you think of the journalistic style of writing used by the author? How did it affect your reading experience? 

10. One of the most important themes of Huck is the power of community, of neighbors helping neighbors. Can you think of a time in your own life and your community where there was an outpouring of help? How did that make you feel about your town, your neighbors?

11. This book, thankfully, has a very happy ending. Do you believe in happy endings in life?  Are they more common than not?  What does that say about your pessimistic or optimistic nature?

Customer Reviews

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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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