JOCK'S ISLAND by Elizabeth Coatsworth


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Jock was a border collie and ""the care of the flock was bred in his bones. The sheep were his occupation and their safety his honor."" He was trained to work Old Tom with a strict justice not tempered by affection. His volcanic island in the North Atlantic was evacuated when eruption threatened. Jock returned to a village populated only by abandoned animals. He kept right on working -- and what a story this makes! The tragic possibility of death by starvation, the cats reverting to the wild, are the grim part of the picture. Heart-catching comic relief for the reader comes in the scenes of Jock earnestly struggling for the welfare of his idiot flock. At the point of reader despair, the one young man who was not on hand for, or aware of, the island's evacuation, finds and befriends the magnificent dog. For the first time, Jock encounters the power of love. There's much more here -- excellent detail, powerful storytelling in simple, beautifully balanced sentences, (providing no trouble for the advanced readers in this age group) Jock's story should take its place among the great dog stories.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1963
Publisher: Viking