Blue Star, by Norma Faulkner

Reviewed by V. Sterling


“That one couldn’t win a race if he was given a 30 minute start.”
Luke walked over to the cage. The dog pressed his nose up against the wire.
“Hullo, Benny. You miss Charlie and your friends I know, but you still have me.”
“But not for much longer, kid.”
Luke swung round. “So you’re going to sell him too?”
Frank snorted. “Sell him? No way. No one’d be mad enough to buy him, he’s going to Puppy Dog Heaven.”
“What do you mean?”
“Are you stupid kid? I’m going to put a bullet in his head.”

Blue Star is a charming tale of a boy’s faith in a “failure” of a dog. But there’s more to believing in an unwanted dog than just bringing him home. Blue Star is a racing greyhound and needs expensive care. Luke’s veterinarian father isn’t pleased to discover that Luke has bought the dog, especially as it seems Blue Star can’t earn his keep. Dr. O’Neill is more concerned about funding an ultrasound machine than will help many animals. Then the vet discovers why Blue Star loses races. But treatment is expensive. Can Blue Star be saved? Luke is sure of it but when Blue Star starts winning, his greedy former owner claims the dog back. Then tragedy strikes.

A satisfying story for animal lovers of all ages. For readers 10-14 years, published by Loranda Publishing.

Blue Star, by Norma Faulkner
Loranda Publishing, 2004

Long Leg Gloption, by Ann Harth

Jackson had a gloption for itches and one for skinned knees. He had a gloption that helped with math and a gloption that made you want to eat cabbage. He even had a gloption that stopped Aunt Clara’s lipstick from sticking to your face.

Jackson is the only wizard at Deep Puddle Primary School. He makes gloptions – which are thicker and smellier than potions – for all sorts of problems. So when his friend Simon has a problem with a bully, Jackson decides to make a special gloption that will help Simon grow. Perhaps, though, using a grasshopper as the model for Simon’s new legs is not such a good idea.

Long Leg Gloption is a fun fantasy title, suitable for readers aged 8 and up. The funny story, good sized font and cartoon-style illustrations of Stephanie Cheek make it accessible and appealing for children making the transition from picture books to longer offerings.

A fun read.

Long Leg Gloption, by Ann Harth
Loranda Publishing, 2004