Monday, January 29, 2018

Fans of Balto and Other Real-Life Dog Stories Will Fall in Love with Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen -- This Middle-Grade Novel Arrives on Store Shelves February 6th (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Penguin Random House

"Touching, charming, playful, and based on real events, this moving tale by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann tells all about "the wonder dog" who took America by storm."

(Also available in Kindle Format)

Yesterday I shared 11 new children's books for young readers.  Today, I wanted to put a wonderful book for older readers (8-12+) on your radar if you or your child is looking for a fun new book to pick up and read.  What first caught my attention about this book is that is was based on a real-life dog stories.  Before Lassie and other movie dogs, there was Strongheart, who took the Silver Screen by storm back in the 1920's.  This book is all about this real-life canine story, perfect for middle-grade series.  Even if you have a stubborn reader, they will be drawn to the book as it is a heavily illustrated novel and not just words.  And, who doesn't love a heartwarming dog story?  If you are fans of such movie dogs as Balto and Lassie, then you will definitely want to learn all about Strongheart.  

My oldest daughter, Savannah, is a huge dog fan, and was excited when I showed her this book.  Even though she is only 7.5, she has been enjoying this book as part of our bedtime reading together.  It is nice when I get to read a book that has been on my radar and that my daughters can also enjoy.  We are halfway through this book, and have a hard time putting it down at night-time.  Based on real events, you can't help but find a special place in your heart for this silent movie dog who took America by storm and paved the way for future dogs to grace the big screen.  

If your middle-schooler is a dog-lover, or has been itching for a new book to read and loves historical fiction books, then you will want to check out Strongheart, when it arrives on bookshelves February 6th.    This is one book we will be passing around to family and friends to read and enjoy, and know they will love this heartwarming page-turner, just as much as we have been each evening, as we learn more about this amazing canine movie star of the 1920's.

More about this book:

"For fans of Balto and other real-life dog stories, here's a heavily illustrated middle-grade novel about a canine movie star of the 1920s, dramatically told in both words and pictures by an acclaimed author and a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator.

When movie director Larry Trimble travels to Berlin searching for his next big star--a dog!--he finds Etzel, a fierce, highly trained three-year-old German shepherd police dog. Larry sees past the snarls and growls and brings Etzel back to Hollywood, where he is renamed Strongheart. Along with screenwriter Jane Murfin, Larry grooms his protégé to be a star of the silver screen--and he succeeds, starting with Strongheart's first film, The Love Master, which is released in 1921. Strongheart is soon joined by a leading lady, a German shepherd named Lady Julie, and becomes a sensation. 

But when Strongheart is accused of attacking a girl, he must prove his innocence--and it will take his best acting skills to do so. 

About the Author:

Candace Fleming is the prolific author of The Family Romanov, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and the recipient of both the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Young Adult Literature; Amelia Lost, which received four starred reviews; The Great and Only Barnum, nominated for an ALA-YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and a Publishers Weekly and Booklist Best Book of the Year; The Lincolns, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award recipient; Our Eleanor, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Ben Franklin's Almanac, a James Madison Honor Book. She is also the author of many highly acclaimed picture books, including Oh, No!, illustrated by Eric Rohmann, and middle-grade books, including Ben Franklin's in My Bathroom! and The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. You can follow Candace Fleming on Twitter at @candacemfleming and visit her at

About the Illustrator:

Eric Rohmann is a painter, printer, and fine bookmaker. He is the author/illustrator of the Caldecott Medal-winning My Friend Rabbit and the Caldecott Honor Book Time Flies. He and Candace Fleming have collaborated on numerous acclaimed children's books, including Giant Squid and Oh, No!, recipient of three starred reviews. Visit him at

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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