An emotional ride for pet lovers that provides some valuable instruction on citizen action and kindness.

Angels on a School Bus


Debut author Ray tells the story of what she calls one of the largest dog rescues in American history, when animal lovers in Montana united to save more than 100ill-treated canines from a vagrant breeder.

The author was living in Butte, Montana, in the fall of 2008, when a school bus driven by a drifter broke down within the city limits. A local custodian sounded an alarm over its contents: more than 100 large dogs, mostly white German shepherds and huskies. They were crammed in and living in filthy conditions, as part of the driver’s misguided scheme to use them as Iditarod sled-pullers in Alaska. After the man was arrested by police for animal cruelty, city animal control officers seemed unable to solve the dog problem, so concerned residents created “Camp Husky,” a grass-roots emergency service for caring for the diseased, frightened canines. Many of the female dogs were pregnant, so the team soon had some 200 dogs to place with new owners. Ray pays tribute to the volunteers behind Camp Husky and also takes whacks at the bureaucrats of the city’s Animal Services, portraying them as people who simply didn’t want to do their jobs and who had a number of the dogs summarily killed, claiming inaccurately that they were wolf or coyote hybrids. The bulk of the book is sentimental in tone, providing an anthology of tales of particular, adopted dogs, their rehabilitations from trauma and sicknesses, and the affections they ultimately had for their new owners (although, sometimes, initial adoptions didn’t work out). This anecdotal material, however, tends to overshadow the book’s theme of how DIY action worked when government action didn’t. Also, Ray doesn’t strongly weigh in on the controversy regarding the use of pet-breeding enterprises when shelters are overfilled with animals. Her closing chapter, though, effectively widens the scope of the book to argue for improved animal welfare and humanitarianism across the spectrum—and few will argue with that.

An emotional ride for pet lovers that provides some valuable instruction on citizen action and kindness. 

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5173-5752-8

Page Count: 294

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2016

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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