Affecting, insightful, and informative account of a lovely service dog and her handler.

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PAWS AT WORK

A SERVICE DOG AND HER VETERAN

Short but powerful story for older middle-grade readers about a service dog and her handler by educator and coiner of the term “faction” (fiction based on fact) Ward (Letters Home, 2004).

On her second birthday, yellow Labrador retriever Maddie was awarded to Tom Ward, a Marine Corps veteran with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Trained as a service dog since she was 5 weeks old, Maddie spent an additional two weeks training with Tom before they traveled to his home in North Carolina. The story details the ways Maddie assists Tom—opening the kitchen drawers and refrigerator, picking up things he has dropped, sensing when he is tired or cold, etc.—while also providing guidelines for young children on how to behave around a service dog. Through photographs and text (sometimes told from Maddie’s point of view), the reader learns that a service dog should never be approached or touched when working with a handler unless the handler gives permission. Some information on the progression of ALS also emerges in the story. As fitting for a children’s book, the story not only shows how Maddie helps Tom, but provides a glimpse into their life together—going to the beach, dining out, playing ball, and having a late afternoon snack. The author—Tom’s spouse—also provides information on the service organization that provided them with Maddie as well as other useful links. While the text is well-written and provides important, heartfelt information, the photographs elevate this work. More than words possibly could, they convey the close relationship shared by Tom and Maddie. In addition, seeing Maddie in action clarifies how she provides various services to Tom. The only way the book falters is in Maddie’s canine commentary, which might amuse kids but jar an adult reader.

Affecting, insightful, and informative account of a lovely service dog and her handler.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-72960-1

Page Count: 62

Publisher: MHW Creative Works

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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