An inspiring collection of rescue tales ideal for dog lovers and armchair detectives.

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SCENT OF THE MISSING

LOVE AND PARTNERSHIP WITH A SEARCH-AND-RESCUE DOG

The unique dynamic between man and “man’s best friend” is passionately explored by a search-and-rescue dog handler.

Dallas-area Rescue K9 Unit volunteer Charleson shares memories, information and anecdotes, each one representative of a stage in the progression of her police work. In the opening chapters, the author, who had been training for three consecutive years with a local search-and-rescue (SAR) team, trails alongside rescue dogs and their able handlers in cases like the desperate search for a missing child or rummaging through the debris from the disintegrated space shuttle Columbia. The author’s years of experience with the unit soon qualified her to “train and run beside a search dog.” She details her history as a flight instructor introduced to the rescue profession by circumstance and the bittersweet dissolution of her marriage. Soon after her qualification, Charleson accompanied her dog-in-training Puzzle, a bouncy Golden Retriever puppy, on an airline flight, much to the delight of passengers and crew alike. Puzzle’s breed, she notes, is notorious among dog-rescue circles for their “drive, stability, commitment to working with a human, congeniality, and nose.” As Puzzle matured, he began interacting well with the author’s own assortment of pets, but proved somewhat of a challenge at home. However, his intensive rescue training eventually calmed him down. The honing of supreme nose-driven skills, trailing and tracking capability, rappelling from heights, water and fire rescues and human-remains detection are all key abilities for Puzzle, yet Charleson also had to train herself with equal determination. While the common threads of canine companionship and humane compassion run consistently through the book, the author wisely grounds her journey in reality, writing that SAR work is serious business and “not a hobby or a Sunday pastime.”

An inspiring collection of rescue tales ideal for dog lovers and armchair detectives.

Pub Date: April 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-15244-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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