A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection.

MERLE’S DOOR

LESSONS FROM A FREETHINKING DOG

Wilderness writer Kerasote finds his place in the pack with the help of a sociable dog.

While camping with friends along the San Juan River, the author was approached by an emaciated Labrador retriever-mix. Merle, as the stray would come to be named, “looked back to the shore, and let out a resigned sigh—I was to learn that he was a great sigher.” Then he boarded Kerasote’s raft. At journey’s end, the author took Merle home to Kelly, Wyo., a half-mile square of private land nestled among Grand Teton National Park, the National Elk Refuge and the Gros Ventre Wilderness. In this rural setting, Merle’s obvious desire for independence led Kerasote to install a dog door: “Why should I treat Merle—who had become the best of friends—like an indentured servant, at my beck and call in return for food and lodging simply because he didn’t have an opposable thumb with which to manipulate the knob on the front door?” Each day, Merle (soon nicknamed “the Mayor” by neighbors) would exit through the dog door and into the heart of the village, eagerly making his rounds. A careful observer with far-reaching interests, Kerasote reflects on everything from canine decision-making to the possible origins of dog domestication to animal consciousness. In this idyllic corner of the West, the two find love (both human and canine) and friendship, forging a remarkable bond that endures until Merle’s death. His passing—and the author’s bereavement—are recorded with Kerasote’s customary discernment.

A thoughtful look at animal intelligence and the human-dog connection.

Pub Date: July 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-101270-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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