Shelby’s Story

a runaway adventure

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“Shelby’s Story – A Dog’s Way Home Tale” by W. Bruce Cameron and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey is a book about a dog named Shelby and her adventures.  The first setting that Shelby is in, she is in her owner’s backyard with her siblings and her mother. One day Shelby and her sister decide to go under the fence to the outside world to grab a piece of chicken.  Luckily the mom was watching, yelled at them, and they came back.

Another day, later on, they again go under the fence and out into the street.  They start to wander around the neighborhood and immediately learn a few important things.  The first one being that cars are bad for dogs. The next thing they learn is that plastic grocery bags have food inside them and can be torn apart.  

One day Shelby’s sister is captured while they were out roaming the streets.  Shelby goes to a landfill and spends a year or two there where she is well fed and able to survive.  This was just the beginning of a series of places and experiences the two dogs would encounter.

Being targeted towards a younger (maybe 10-11 year old) reader, the story is easy to read with some difficult words and concepts for the younger readers to understand.  While there are not really pictures in the story, there is enough details that you can imagine what each of the characters looks like.

I didn’t necessarily find the book to be very exciting, but there was enough action to pull the reader into the story.  I am so-so on this book. I don’t strongly recommend, it but I also don’t advise against it. This is a book about second chances and new beginnings. I think they could have improved on the storyline by adding in more characters and interactions between the characters instead of focusing on the thoughts of Shelby being the only point of view.  There is only so much that Shelby attitude can be portrayed as. A dog’s attitude is like Hey I’m here, I’m happy, give me attention. It doesn’t trigger a lot of emotion.