When Jessica Bryant pesters her wealthy parents to allow her to have a dog as a pet, the answer is a resounding “No”; but they soon come to regret their decision when their home is broken into one evening whilst they are out and their daughter kidnapped and held for ransom. The kidnappers, in the form of four seedy and incompetent characters wearing Disneyland-type masks, take her hostage and keep her incarcerated in a place from which there appears to be no escape. However, they have reckoned without the resourcefulness of our heroine, and the courage of a wonderful stray dog who comes to her aid and whom she names ‘Murdo’. And so begins an exciting and humorous accounting of the couples’ adventures together as they consistently foil and outwit the abductors whilst on the run together. This is a lovely story of the friendship between a girl and a dog, bringing out themes of responsibility, camaraderie, redemption, salvation and self-sacrifice. It includes some wonderful dialogue sequences as Jessica teaches her new four-legged friend how to communicate with her, with additional delightful conversations between the animals when a rabbit and a sparrow join forces with them in an effort to outwit the kidnappers and restore Jessica safely back to her parents’ home. Written with young teenage readers in mind, this is a light easy read containing some very moving sequences, and which cannot fail to lift the hearts of anyone who reads it, irrespective of age.
The Race for Flugal Farm
The Race for Flugal Farm is the first book in a trilogy that charters the lives and adventures of the inhabitants of the Riding Stables at Flugal Farm. Times had been hard recently for George Flugal and his wife, and this inevitably resulted in him having to sell the majority of the school's horses until he was left with just four: Pogo, Biff, Troy and an ex-racehorse called Chance. Chance, who along with a young stablehand Rachelle Perkins, a dog named Nugget, a pig called Nigel and an old family friend Uncle Dave, make up the Flugal's extended family. When they find themselves facing the possibility of having the farm, their home, repossessed by the bank, and bought out by the odious Mr Williams, have to pull together to enter a carriage drive in order to win the prize money, and save their way of life.