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White Fur Flying Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 6
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442421711
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442421714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-5-Life is never dull for Zoe and Alice. Their mother rescues Great Pyrenees dogs until a new home can be found and their father is a veterinarian. Enormous dogs are always roaming their family's rural home and white fur is always flying everywhere. When the sisters meet their new neighbor, Phillip, they are left with many questions. Phillip has gone silent. What happened that would cause him to stop speaking? Does he believe that he is the cause of his parents' problems? MacLachlan shares with young audiences a touching story of compassion, trust, and patience. She weaves the themes of family and friendship throughout the narrative, peppering her well-paced plot with sufficient tension and avoiding an overdramatization of its climax. Like many of the author's best stories, this one is told simply and gently with touches of light humor. The clear prose, combined with the brevity of the narrative, make the book an ideal selection for young readers, reluctant readers, and animal lovers everywhere. Children will feel satisfied as they discover that both dogs and boys can be rescued, and many will be pleasantly surprised that they can also rescue one another.-Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicagoα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

MacLachlan delivers yet another understated, quietly inspirational chapter book with this tale of a boy who emerges from his shell via some canny canine intervention. Young Zoe lives in the country with her family of four and an ever-shifting cast of Great Pyrenees dogs, which Zoe’s mom rescues, trains, and then gives away to new owners. Kodi is the only dog to live with them constantly, and he mourns each time of one his companions leaves. Enter nine-year-old Phillip, sent to live with his aunt while his parents resolve an unspecified dispute. Phillip will not speak to anyone—except Kodi. “Maybe that is what Kodi and Phillip know about each other,” says Zoe. “They’re both left behind.” Preternaturally wise (and sometimes stilted) kid dialogue aside, this is tailor-made for beginning readers looking for a gentle handling of powerfully felt emotions. There is only one dramatic incident of note—Phillip disappears during a hailstorm to chase after a dog he’s come to love—and it is swiftly tidied up for the inevitable, but sweet, happy ending. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The long shadow of the Newbery-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall (1985) continues to make each MacLachlan offering something of an event. Grades 2-4. --Daniel Kraus

More About the Author

Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

In Her Own Words..."One thing I've learned with age and parenting is that life comes in circles. Recently, I was having a bad time writing. I felt disconnected. I had moved to a new home and didn't feel grounded. The house, the land was unfamiliar to me. There was no garden yet. Why had I sold my old comfortable 1793 home? The one with the snakes in the basement, mice everywhere, no closets. I would miss the cold winter air that came in through the electrical sockets."

"I had to go this day to talk to a fourth-grade class, and I banged around the house, complaining. Hard to believe, since I am so mild mannered and pleasant, isn't it? What did I have to say to them? I thought what I always think when I enter a room of children. What do I know?"

"I plunged down the hillside and into town, where a group of fourth-grade children waited for me in the library, freshly scrubbed, expectant. Should I be surprised that what usually happens did so? We began to talk about place, our living landscapes. And I showed them my little bag of prairie dirt from where I was born. Quite simply, we never got off the subject of place. Should I have been so surprised that these young children were so concerned with place, or with the lack of it, their displacement? Five children were foster children, disconnected from their homes. One little boy's house had burned down, everything gone. 'Photographs, too,' he said sadly. Another told me that he was moving the next day to place he'd never been. I turned and saw the librarian, tears coming down her face."

"'You know,' I said. 'Maybe I should take this bag of prairie dirt and toss it into my new yard. I'll never live on the prairie again. I live here now. The two places could mix together that way!' 'No!' cried a boy from the back. 'Maybe the prairie dirt will blow away!' And then a little girl raised her hand. 'I think you should put that prairie dirt in a glass bowl in your window so that when you write you can see it all the time. So you can always see what you knew first.'"

"When I left the library, I went home to write. What You Know First owes much to the children of the Jackson Street School: the ones who love place and will never leave it, the ones who lost everything and have to begin again. I hope for them life comes in circles, too."

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The story is very sweet.
Heidi Grange
If you are an animal lover, specifically someone who loves dogs, then I suggest reading this book.
I love Patricia MacLachlan's books.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PhoenixRider on May 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Don't judge a book by it's cover," is an unnecessary statement as the adorable illustrated cover was what drew me to "White Fur Flying" in the first place. The story is a short, sweet, lightly emotional but full of childhood impact of a scared and lonely boy and the girl and her rescue dogs who bring him out of his shell and back to happiness. Like many of MacLachlan's works, her writing is always insightful and heartfelt, as it is here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan on April 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Patricia MacLachlan's books. This book ranks right up with Sarah, Plain and Tall; and Word After Word After Word in the feelings it touches. A child writer, combined with Big Dogs is a perfect combination.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked the story because of the relationships between the children and their neighbor and how they managed to get the new rescued dogs and the little boy to begin to trust them. When the silent boy, Phillip, follows Jack, a rescued dog, the dog ends up keeping Phillip safe. I think I like Alice best because of her imagination. She always tells the truth but she often adds a bit more than the real truth.

Student Reviewer: underwood_bcl
Age at time of review - 9
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