The list author says: "I have found the following books, which include classics, Newberry Medal award winners, and less famous reads, to be rich in insight and inspiration. The task of growing up has never been easy; these lovely stories illustrate how the bulding of relationships between animals and children in their vulnerable years can ease the transition to adulthood and teach some invaluable life lessons along the way."
"Rochelle Kelly Vail has accomplished a great feat with this story--through some well drawn characters, she has captured the voice and yearnings of various domesticated animals, demonstrating their ambivalence regarding their precarious relationship with humankind. Should they trust us or should they not? This book is destined to be a classic read in the vein of Black Beauty."
"Anna Sewell nailed this portrait of the sad, barbaric life of working horses at the turn of the century. Black Beauty never lost his yearning for his mother or his belief in what more life had to offer."
"Jerry Spinelli knows the gentle yet fierce hearts of young boys, especially that of the main character here who must fight the biggest struggle of his young life: go along with the peer pressure that will determine his fate or protect and stay true to the little bird who wants nothing but his friendship."
"This haunting classic about wayward, misunderstood youth and their unexpected friendship with a rancher's buffalo stole my heart at a young age. I learned a mighty lesson along with those castaways about staying true to oneself, regardless of the price."