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Bulu: African Wonder Dog Paperback – May 10, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375847243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375847240
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–8—This is the story not only of a remarkable terrier but also of the natural African landscape and the people who wish to educate others about the value of animals. Bulu, "wild dog" in the local Nyanja language, was at first unresponsive and unlike the other puppies in his litter. Steve and Anna Tolan were warned about having a pet in the wilds of Africa but they saw something different in him. He soon became a part of the family and helped as the Tolans set up a wildlife education center in Zambia. Bulu acted as a foster parent to orphaned animals and survived against great odds. With vivid descriptions of the land and encounters with wild animals, this book will appeal to dog lovers as well as to readers who like adventure. Easy to read, with short chapters and black-and-white photographs throughout, this true story will hold the interest of even the most reluctant readers.—Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the Nyanja language, bulu means “wild dog,” and that’s what Steve and Anna Tolan named the beloved little Jack Russell mix they adopted. Disregarding warnings about the dangers of raising a dog in the bush, the Tolans moved from England to rural Zambia to fulfill their lifelong dream of setting up an animal rescue and conservation center. What they never imagined were the incredible bonds Bulu would create, and the roller-coaster adventure of his life in the wild. He nursed and protected other animals in their care and had amazing radar to sense when dangerous predators were close. On various occasions his wanderlust led him directly into confrontations with attacking lions and a spitting cobra, in which he barely escaped with his life. Bulu’s energy, high spirits, and loyalty to his masters make the book read like a praise song to dogs. Houston’s account is an animal-lover’s delight, complete with the action-adventure of surviving the bush, fighting poachers, and spreading a message of conservation. Grades 5-8. --Anne O'Malley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I read this book in one sitting.
Louise Jacobson
This book had me laughing at Bulu's antics and crying especially after the lion attack on this brave terrier.
Jeffrey S. Barrett
It's an easy read and very enjoyable.
Mom of four

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Cusick on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Bulu: African Wonder Dog" by Dick Houston tells the true story of a couple in Africa and the amazing dog they adopt.

Bulu was never supposed to survive. He certainly wasn't supposed to survive a lion attack and other harrowing events, but he did, and you'll be delighted to read about each of Bulu's adventures. But for me, the brightest moments of the book come in the story of how Bulu became a "foster parent" to many of the African creatures his owners brought home-from warthogs to baboons to bushbucks.

As someone who adopted a dog a few months ago, I found lots of humor and warmth in Bulu's story, and I was brought to tears more than once. As a public library director, this is the type of book I want on my junior fiction shelf: easy-to-read, full of adventure, engaging, and educational (with a great message about conservation).

The book is written at a junior level, but that just means it also is a great easy read for adults looking for a heartwarming tale.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dieter R. Hauser on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a page turner. Once you start reading you won't want to put it down. This amazing dog beats all the odds of surviving in the African bush country and goes beyond that by adopting orphaned babies who would not have survived without him. Bulu is unique among heroic dogs -- real or fictional. His environment is about as hostile as one could imagine for any dog, let alone a small dog like Bulu. His courage, endurance and wiliness makes Bulu a true wonder dog. This is a story which will become legendary in Africa and around the world. Bulu will not only take his place among the greatest of iconic dogs, he will be a symbol of pure fortitude and of the spirit of devotion for all dogs. Bulu: African Wonder Dog
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Kay on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bulu's story is one of courage, loyalty and adventure. Steve and Anna Tolan have left their home in England to start a wildlife rescue center in Zambia. Against all advice for anyone living in the African bush, they adopt what turns out to be a true wonderdog. Bulu, a Jack Russell terrier mix and runt of his litter, grows into one of the bravest, smartest and most caring dogs you will ever read about. Not only does he repeatedly risk life and limb to protect his owners, he also nurtures the center's animal orphans as if they were his own.

Dick Houston does a wonderful job of weaving together the many amazing tales of Steve and Anna, the founding of the Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre and their adventures in the wild of Zambia with Bulu. The book is a quick and exciting read that educates while entertaining.

I don't understand why the book is categorized as juvenile. Although fine for young readers it will appeal to more mature readers as well.

I'm looking forward to the movie!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith Price on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Based on a true life story. Bulu: African Wonder Dog is a great read for young and old alike. I would recommend this book, written for adolescent readers - to adults as well - it is a heart thudding, incredible true-adventure story of love, loyalty and strength. It is also a tribute to a fantastic couple and their very special big hearted dog, Bulu.

When Anna and Steve Tolan bought home their new puppy, Bulu, they knew there was something different about him. That was okay, because there was something different about them too...

Retired UK police officers, they left their home in Great Britain to build a dream. To build and run a wildlife education centre for the children of Zambia's South Luangwa Valley, to teach them about the value of wildlife and how to conserve this last great African wilderness. This story written by Dick Houston has deftly captured the Tolan's enormous task of moving countries, climate and lifestyle. At it's heart it is an adventure story. As Steve and Anna's dream grew into a reality, Bulu took everything around him in his stride. A runty puppy grew into a beautiful and exquisitely gentle dog. He was also courageous - and his many near fatal brushes with wild animals from lions to snakes is a testament to his tenacity for life. His adoption of the many rescued wild bush orphans- and his care of them makes for a deeper understanding about animal relationships. Bulu's story opens a door that we perhaps prefer is left firmly shut - one where animals have their own lives, adventures, freedom and desires. Read it, gift it - this book deserves a wide audience and I am so glad I have read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary W. Lipp on February 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How this little guy survives is a miracle in itself. You won't be able to put this book down once you get started. Excellent read!!
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By Mom of four on April 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
If you love animals, this is a great story. It's an easy read and very enjoyable. Reminiscent of "Where the Red Fern Grows." Moved us to tears. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic Book! Very addicting, couldn't stop reading! Loved it!!! I was on the edge of my seat at times! A Must Read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This simple true story is filled with truly heart wrenching moments. Hulu, a Jack Russell Terrier, exhibits the heart of a lion and the intelligence of an elephant as he becomes the foster father of multiple species of jungle orphans. A wonderful story filled with joy but punctuated but the reality that in life we also must face triples and, sometimes, death.
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