BULU by Dick Houston


African Wonder Dog
Age Range: 10 & up
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A deeply moving account of a soulful dog. After Anna and Steve Tolson moved from England to an isolated home in Zambia to found a wildlife education center, they wished for a good dog, but they had been warned that no pet could be safe there. In spite of this, they adopted Bulu, a Jack Russell terrier–cross puppy, who readily adapted to life in the bush but never relinquished his supreme belief in himself, willing to challenge even lions and elephants to protect his “family.” That family grew to include numerous orphaned wild animals that the Tolsons fostered during Bulu’s life—with his tender loving care lavished upon them. While this effort portrays major events in the dog’s life, it also includes information about conservation issues in Africa and the Tolson’s dedicated environmental-education work with children. The only downside: Houston’s fly-on-the-wall reporting style includes dialogue and details that can only be surmised; he later apologizes for changing “the sequence of certain events” and combining “similar episodes” in order to “maintain the integrity of the story line.” As fiction based on fact, thoroughly absorbing. (glossary) (Fiction. 10 & up)

Pub Date: May 25th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-84723-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2010


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