Hickory and Kemp continue their outstanding work as guide companions, smoothly guiding readers through the life and times of...


An account of two Seeing Eye dogs that guide their visually impaired partner through the chaotic streets of New York.

Burlingame (A Symphonic Crazy-Quilt of Designs for Stages and Screens, 1997) shares how two Seeing Eye dogs returned mobility to his life when he became legally blind. After a frightening experience navigating busy city streets armed with nothing but a white cane, the author contacted The Seeing Eye in Morristown, N.J. There, he met Hickory, his first canine companion. Hickory and Burlingame share numerous everyday adventures—making friends, dining out and attending the opera—which continue until Hickory’s retirement. Afterward, Kemp takes over. While many of the events are fairly ordinary, the memoir is anything but dull. Part of the intrigue comes from understanding how day-to-day life unfolds for the visually impaired and their helper dogs. Readers also get to learn about the process dogs go through to qualify as Seeing Eye companions. What makes these experiences even more fascinating is that they are told from the perspective of the two dogs. Burlingame plays “scribe” to Kemp and Hickory, who relay their experiences as only dogs can. While the book doesn’t hide the difficulties that result from loss of sight, it maintains an overall humorous, hopeful tone, thanks to the boundless cheerfulness of its canine narrators. They are distinctly canine in their thoughts and actions, often expressing a lack of understanding for certain human interests, like opera, and woefully lamenting the standard concerns that come with being a dog, like suffering through restricted diets that prohibit the consumption of miscellaneous “treats” littering the sidewalk. Both dogs also have their own distinct voices, lending to their believability as narrators. Hickory, having been socialized with a family whose father taught literature, seems a little more cultured, occasionally displaying knowledge of classic literary characters. Kemp, on the other hand, is more of a common dog with a youthful, inexperienced tone, which he demonstrates through a lack of understanding about the meaning of certain terms, like “puppy proof.”

Hickory and Kemp continue their outstanding work as guide companions, smoothly guiding readers through the life and times of Seeing Eye dogs and their partners.

Pub Date: July 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1477446027

Page Count: 234

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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