Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs

When seventh-generation circus performer Luciano Anastasini fell from a high wire and ended his acrobatic career he didn't want to leave the circus.  Instead, he started a dog act.  Rather than casting his performers from breeders, he chose problem dogs from shelters, creating a diverse and hilarious act.

Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs by Micheala Muntean with photographs by K.C. Bailey and Stephen Kazmierski is my April book for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2012.

This tale of a man and his dogs finding a second chance in each other is told in simple, easy to understand terms without glossing over the difficulties in the lives of both.  The dogs were rescued from everything from families without enough attention to give them to a life of starvation on the streets.  In addition to the inspiring story of their salvation, there is a valuable lesson about allowing each dog to demonstrate their own strengths rather than trying to force them into a mold.  The story is illustrated with colorful photographs showing both full performances and behind-the-scenes shots of training and life on the road.  Luciano's Pound Puppies recently performed at St. Louis' own Circus Flora, making this a great read for kids who were delighted by their act and want more.

Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs is published by Scholastic Press and retails for $16.99 (hardcover).  I read my copy by picking it up from the shelves for a few minutes.  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

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