Last year, while looking through the many shelves of books at the Ridgefield Library book sale (I really love that book sale), a book with a dog on the cover caught my attention. I love dogs. I really love Newfoundlands. This children's book had a beautiful Newfoundland on the cover, so I knew I needed to read it.
In "Star in the Storm" by Joan Hiatt Harlow, we meet Maggie, a little girl who lives in Newfoundland Canada with her family and her beloved dog, Star. When two dogs chase a local resident's sheep off a cliff, they mistakenly blame Maggie's dog Star. The sheep owner gets the constable involved and pushes for a rule to ban all dogs who are not sheep herding dogs. Maggie is upset and does not want to give up her beloved dog. Her family wants to send him away to family members who live far away, but Maggie can't bear the thought of him being so far away.
Maggie finds a place to hide Star, but there are challenges keeping a giant dog hidden. Will Maggie succeed in keeping Star hidden?
When a ship crashes off the coast, the waves are too strong for smaller boats to get to the boat to rescue the passengers. No human is strong enough to swim through waves that powerful to get a rope out to the ship to create a pulley system to bring the passengers to safety. Maggie knows her dog is an amazing swimmer, and if anyone could make it through those waves to bring a rope out to the boat, it would be her dog. Does she risk his safety and the possibility of the constable shooting him because he is an illegal dog to save the passengers? Or does she keep him hidden and hope they can find another way?
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I especially enjoyed the afterword in which Joan Hiatt Harlow shared some of the true stories that inspired parts of the story in the book. I definitely recommend this book to all young dog loving readers.
Photo by Jessica Collins