Ellie’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Novel, by W. Bruce Cameron (Macmillan, $16.99, 205 pages, 2015, ages 8-12, grades 3-7 and also for adults!)
The Best from A New York Times’ Bestselling Author
Ellie is a little German Shepherd Dog who trains to become a search and rescue (SAR) dog who ‘does Work’ and plays “Find,” then tells her unique story in Ellie’s Story. The dog is one author, using her own words to relate her life to the other author (yes, a book can have two authors!), W. Bruce Cameron, who has such a way with words that a DreamWorks movie for young and old, based on A Dog’s Purpose,Best in Show came out more than 15 years ago.
The dog world was agog with excitement.
However, . . .
Controversy quickly sprang up right before the movie’s debut about the filming of the movie, the competency of the American Humane Association representative, and whether animals were harmed (emotionally) during the filming.
As a result, some dog people decided not to see the movie.
However, the book is a gem!
It has been said that the only thing constant in life is change. Ellie is a good dog who understands change and accepts it when it is inevitable, a good lesson for our children as well as for us. She must leave her family, go to school to learn her job (and learns her purpose along the way) - and even switches homes in mid-stream!
The Dog Wrote It: A Novel for Humans
Ellie’s Story is taken from part of the novel, A Dog’s Purpose. For a preview, here is one book video, and another (moms and dads may want to preview the previews first, though).
Do We Rescue Dogs, or Do They Rescue Us?
Of course, being a search and rescue dog, Ellie learns to find people and, therefore, save them, but she also has a greater purpose: that of saving people who are neither lost nor injured but only lonely. Can a dog really do that? Can Ellie?
And Even, . . . A Bonus
A pre-reading guide as well as a post-reading guide (questions) are included in the back of Ellie’s Story which can be used by the family or the classroom according to Common Core Standards but the real bonus is the list of activities like Make a 'Dogs are Awesome' Poster and Talk Like a Dog.
If you loved or even liked the Spencer Quinn series about Chet-the-dog and Bernie*, Ellie’s Story ranks right up there with those eight “dog’s view” books. Though not a murder mystery, Ellie’s is an adventure story with a hero and people who love dogs.
After Ellie’s Story, you and your children will want a dog, will want a search-and-rescue dog, or will want to be a dog!
Soon: Bailey’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Novel