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Duffy Barkley is not a Dog (Tales of Uhrlin Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review


5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful book!, September 9, 2010
By 
Susanne "Wyoming Diva" (Cody, WY USA)This review is from: Duffy Barkley is not a Dog: Tales of Uhrlin Book One (Paperback)
What a wonderful first book! Ms. Goode creates a refreshing and intriguing story with a most unlikely hero: a young boy with cerebral palsy. Duffy is a positive, hopeful character who learns to overcome his own doubts and physical shortcomings to save the world in the alternate reality into which he has 'fallen' while on a visit to a mysterious aunt after his sister is gravely injured in a school shooting. 

Readers will be delighted by echos of other literary traditions as well as deeply moved by the themes/problems the author presents that face our young people in schools today, such as bullying and violence. Her skillful weaving of events in Duffy's 'real' world and the mirrors of these events in the 'alternate' world also keeps the reader grounded and interested to see what happens next. 

For me, the best parts of the book occured Duffy treated the villain with grace and compassion, rather than utilizing a punitive, judgmental tone. Though Duffy is still a child in our world, he develops and demonstrates maturity, wisdom, and humility in the alternate world and he chooses to bring those characteristics back with him to change his 'real' world as well. 

Highly recommended!

5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, very hard to put down, January 20, 2011
By 
McCollonough Ceili "M.Ceili" (Nashville, TN) 
This is a wonderful book that blends real life and fantasy together to create a wonderful coming of age story. I think young adults ages 13 and up would love to get their hands on this book.

From the Author

I have been blessed with the time to be able to write, while also having a job that allows me to be around school  kids and spend a lot of time talking with them about what they are interested in and reading the books that they like as part of my work.


Since I also love to write books at the middle school level and higher, and my novels are fantasy novels that interest several kids in any class I am teaching, this has given me a lot of feedback and stimulated new story lines to develop.

 I only hope both Duffy Barkley Novels bring other people some of the joy that they have already given to me.

I became a special Ed teacher, after being raised with a younger brother, who has down's syndrome.  I also had been bullied a lot as a student myself and the experiences I have had as a teacher and family member of a special needs kid, and as a victim of bullies, are both a large part of the framework of these novels.  But my Duffy, a boy who has Cerebral Palsy, and is bullied, is not handicapped or willing to be a victim.  He won't accept the word, "No."


 One of the most pleasurable parts of writing, Duffy Barkley is not a Dog was the interaction with my sons and nieces and nephews and students as I wrote and rewrote  the book.  I wrote it with the enthusiastic feedback from a lot of people and I want to make sure they know how grateful I am that they also, loved the boy who won't take "no" for an answer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 710 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace; 1 edition (September 22, 2010)
  • Publication Date: September 22, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004478F5M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,642,238 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Before I ever dreamed of being a writer, I was a storyteller. I remember that the games I used to play with my brother and the neighborhood kids were not games of football or frisbee, but games of imagination. We would, in reality, be riding our bikes in circles around the block and the city park - but the whole time we would be following my imagination as the bikes became wild mustangs with names like "Singing Moon." We would wrestle a sled to the top of the monkey bars and sit balanced there while I told of our adventures in outer space aboard our spacecraft. We would clamp the metal roller skates to our tennis shoes and dart around the full basement, but we would be people who had been born with bone wheels on our feet and had become inventors simply to deal with the needs that created, a way to transport pants onto our bodies, a way to zip up mountains and so on.

My brother was surprisingly willing to allow me to direct the play, even following my cues when I ordered, "Now you say . . ."

Then I lost my confidence in my stories. The kids at school did not understand how I played, and I became a bearer of "Dixie Fleas" who had to have invisible disinfectant sprayed on any desk I had occupied before another child would sit there. At school at least. I lost my voice.

Then Jr. High - our school blended with two others to create classes where not everyone knew I was outcast. Some people actually asked to see what I was writing all the time behind the curtain of my long red hair. Amazingly, the comments were positive and they asked for more. But I was still timid and mostly believed that my stories were not as good as the books I loved. After all, there was nothing coming from my pen that didn't share aspects with things others had written.

So as I grew, I wrote poems and stories and tucked them away, I had to write but the only writing I shared was the letters I wrote by the mailtruck load to friends and family.

Then, the books I loved fell into a wide range, but one category completely claimed my heart. The Narnia Books, A wrinkle in Time, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I wanted to write about my own creation of a world, but it felt like they best stories had been told and so were off limits.

That is when I found the Harry potter series. Like most people, I loved Harry and Company, but I was astonished at how so much of their story were elements from other stories. It was old stories re-told in a new and delightful way, not because no-one had mentioned a castle or a three headed dog before, but because of the compelling friends we could make in that world.

So I started thinking of the stories we all love. They are different but they are all the same in one thing, Harry potter, Narnia, Cheers, Lord of The Rings, Friends, MASH, Star Trek. The addictive stories we beg for more of, have the kind of friends where you felt safer and more included than you had ever felt at home, friends you had always wanted, who made you look around with a lump in your throat, wishing you could stop time? They were a group of imperfect, overwhelmed and harassed people who became winners because they didn't have to face the overwhelming odds, alone. Even in the face of dark wizards, popular girls, bad hair days or War, they had each other's back. When one of them had a weakness, another had a strength to balance it out. When one was a jerk, someone else saved the day, and forgave them eventually.

So I started realizing I needed to develop characters we could love, before creating the world for them. Then I walked into a Big Dog Outlet store and there was a wall of Punny T-shirts about Hairy Pawter and the Goblet of Fur, Or The Sorcerer's Bone. I was amazed that an author could be popular enough to be infiltrating the public mind like this, and thought I'd love to have the Big Dog shirts make fun of my character.

That is when I started to dream of a boy, with Cerebral Palsy, who walked with crutches and so had a kind of 4 legged gait. He was 9 years old and named "Duffy Barkley" but he definitely was not a dog. He , survives tragedy in the form of a school shooting in which his younger sister is seriously injured. Falling into a new world, he regains his health but finds himself the focus of historic prophecy. While trying to deny his place in their prophecies he discovers his own abilities & changes his life & that of others in both worlds. He enjoys being physically strong but must give it up to save the villain, and find his way back to save his sister, Izzy.

My book has those friends we all want. Now times are turning more difficult again. The world needs that kind of support. We need a source of encouragement so that we can find a way to be that kind of support when we are needed. As times are dark, people look for a reason to laugh, love and hope again.

Duffy Barkley is not a dog, a middle grade fantasy, gives you those friends, that escape, that voice of hope in the darkness. Duffy is alone, handicapped, desperate. He is picked-on, lost, & yet, never defeated. In the most alien of places he finds friends. In the most dire of emergencies he finds courage. In the most evil of villains he finds compassion and a solution. In giving away what he most needs, he gains everything.

Now I have to find away to share him with todays kids. Duffy and the other books I have since published are my chance to show that there is still beauty in this world and we can create more of it. I can be found on blogspot at both http://echo-echosvoice.blogspot.com and http://duffybarkley.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Betty L. Dravis VINE VOICE on January 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This heart-warming, bittersweet story is about a nine-year-old boy named Duffy Barkley who is physically challenged by cerebral palsy. He's cruelly taunted by classroom bullies, playing on his name, calling him a dog...and much worse.

The poor, sweet little boy courageously stands up to his tormenters, all the while putting on a brave front. The saving grace in Duffy's life are his parents--who love him and work hard to keep him as comfortable as possible--and his little sister Izzy.

Duffy and Izzy adore each other, but when something happens to place her in a coma, his parents reluctantly send him to live with a mysterious aunt until Izzy is out of danger.

When Duffy accidentally falls into a fantasy world while searching through the aunt's attic, strange new adventures await him. He meets the most fascinating, bizarre creatures imaginable...but this author brings them alive by her skillful use of descriptive words and believable dialogue.

Why is Duffy hailed as a hero in this bizarre land? Why is he sent on a quest that will save the people? How does he overcome his doubts to learn all that's needed to succeed? And what help does he receive from a magical white tiger and other unusual friends?

But most important, why are Duffy's parents forced to send him to his aunt in the first place? Does he ever return home? And what will he find when he gets there? How is his sister faring? One thing for sure: if Duffy returns from his alternate reality, he'll be a much wiser boy. It will be interesting to see how he uses his newly acquired skills in his real world.

All those questions and more are answered in this enchanting, coming-of-age book by author Dixie Goode...in a most delightful way.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Susanne on September 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful first book! Ms. Goode creates a refreshing and intriguing story with a most unlikely hero: a young boy with cerebral palsy. Duffy is a positive, hopeful character who learns to overcome his own doubts and physical shortcomings to save the world in the alternate reality into which he has 'fallen' while on a visit to a mysterious aunt after his sister is gravely injured in a school shooting.

Readers will be delighted by echos of other literary traditions as well as deeply moved by the themes/problems the author presents that face our young people in schools today, such as bullying and violence. Her skillful weaving of events in Duffy's 'real' world and the mirrors of these events in the 'alternate' world also keeps the reader grounded and interested to see what happens next.

For me, the best parts of the book occured Duffy treated the villain with grace and compassion, rather than utilizing a punitive, judgmental tone. Though Duffy is still a child in our world, he develops and demonstrates maturity, wisdom, and humility in the alternate world and he chooses to bring those characteristics back with him to change his 'real' world as well.

Highly recommended!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jdwok on January 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book for any age. Duffy and the reader both discover that your weaknesses can become your strengths, and love is always the answer, even when it seems there is no answer. I strongly recommend it. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it so much, I bought the sequel Duffy Barkley: Seek Well (Tales of Uhrlin) which I am reading now.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Stepaniak on March 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a graphic designer, I was put-off by the cover design Dixie Miller Goode chose for 'Duffy Barkley Is not a Dog'. And, so the saying goes, I should have never judged a book by it's cover. After reading, I love the cover design. It's clearly from the mind of Duffy, and it's fitting.

I don't know Dixie, I've never met her, and I didn't want to read her book, UNTIL, she wrote a review for mine. Dixie not only wrote a review for my book, she also sent me a private message, letting me know that I had made a few mistakes when editing it. Her review and her message were so well written, I decided that I had to give Duffy a try. I am so glad I did.

This book not only tugged at my heart strings, it yanked on them. There were tears of both pain and joy dripping from my eyes throughout. I have to admit, at one point I wanted to close my eyes and make the horrible life that Duffy was living into a distant memory, but I kept going. Because the story was so intriguing, that I HAD TO.

Not only did my best friend's brother have cerebral-palsy while we were growing up, my daughter's name is Isabel and she is almost 6-years-old. WOW, could the story line have been any closer to my heart? I don't think so.

Even if you have not had the life experiences that I have had, you will find this story unforgettable. It will influence how you look at a handicapped child or their parents and especially their siblings. You will want that child to have an escape from their difficult reality. As I did for Duffy and do for every child I see struggling.

I LOVE this story and cannot wait to read the sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SRINIVASAN RAGHAVAN on September 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Review from my wife Harini:

4.5 stars! Duffy Barkley is one of the most interesting young heroes I have read about. Afflicted with cerebral palsy, this nine year-old is witness to a horrific school shooting in which his beloved little sister Izzy is seriously injured. Duffy's distraught parents pack him off to a great-aunt's house while they focus their energies on their daughter. Blaming himself for not saving Izzy, Duffy creeps around the house miserably... a sad beginning to a story. Suddenly, the band strikes up! Duffy finds himself in another world. He is hailed by the funny creatures who live there as a saviour, and finds to his horror that he has to help solve a problem of planet-size proportions before he can get back to his world and try to help Izzy. Duffy sets off with his new friends Ah,ee and Whee-oh (love the names and the creatures themselves!) on an odyssey, meeting and making friends with many different kinds of people from Ivor the flying white tiger to the Bison people to Seabee the underwater princess and her folk. Their mission is to find the powerful Smelter, who is hellbent on making everyone and everything equal, and stop him before he devastates the planet. A difficult enough mission, without the added condition that he can only be stopped with love!

I thoroughly enjoyed this inventive book, which is sad, funny, touching and full of surprises. I loved the characters, especially Duffy, the parallel universe of Uhrlin complete with its own mythology, and the subtle messages about bullying and belonging. It is one of the few books I've read that are written from the point of view of a disabled child. It does a great job of making this point of view accessible and understandable to others.
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