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Big Honey Dog Mysteries #1: Curse of the Scarab (Volume 1) Paperback – September 18, 2013
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MOONBEAM CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARDS 2014 - GOLD MEDAL
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"...a delightful cast of characters, each with their own endearing personalities. With playful puns and creative twists on age-old clichés Hanna artfully addresses such moral topics as prejudice and stereotypes, gossip and rumors all rolled up into an page-turning mystery." - Literary Classics Book Reviews
"Dog lovers young and old will love this rip-roaring, bark-serious adventure... highly recommended" ~ Midwest Book Review
"I've read a few books marketed for middle-grades or younger this year and I have to say that this is hands down the best suited for those ages. It has a great plot, some truly well-rounded characters (with more depth than what I find in most adult novels these days), a fantastic storyline and a climax that will keep you on the edge of your seat."- Cory Balboni for LitChick Hit List
"I just adored this mystery. Although this is labeled as a children's book, rest assured even adults will enjoy going on Honey's spine tingling adventure. Well done, Ms. Hanna! Please, please, please keep writing more books. You have a huge fan following you now!" - Night Owl Reviews (Top Pick)
"H.Y. Hanna has delivered an animal story, an otherworldly fantasy, and a mystery, all wrapped in one, that is sure to please young readers. There is a magic to speaking to children and Hanna has completely captured it." - Patricia Reding for Readers' Favorite
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The central theme of the book is, of course, the rescue of the puppies that have gone missing. But an important secondary theme is prejudice. By the end of the story, many of the characters learn that their breed-based negative assumptions were far from true.
The author of these books lives in Australia, so expect to see some British-style spellings, phrases, and cultural references. She has included a glossary of British terms used in the second book ("A Secret In Time"), which will be especially helpful for American children.
One small word of caution (and a couple small <SPOILER> s): There is a little bit of violence, and in particular one scene that we found a little disturbing to read. In this scene, a cruel man at a dog shelter abuses one of the dogs in the story. Most readers over age 9 (the age this book is aimed at) should be able to handle it, and the vast majority of the book is not like that. There is also one noble death, and some reference to the cruel realities of one dog's past, when he was forced by humans to fight. But there is only that one scene that directly portrays pointless, cruel violence. If you are reading the book to a younger (and/or more sensitive) child, you might just want to skip that bit.
Adults and children alike will enjoy this story. The plot is detailed enough to hold an adult's attention and the characters and situations are humorous enough to engage a child. Some scenes are a little intense, but no more so than in a lot of children's literature these days! The story reads like a cross between Rita Mae Brown's "Ms. Murphy" series and "Bunnicula".
H. Y. Hanna has given her main character, Honey, an earnest, sincere voice and personality that will ring true to any dog lover. I can't wait to see more books in this series!!
I'm glad that the author made it clear that this is the first in a series of books. My only complaint with the story is negated by that fact. I would have liked to have seen more development of the minor characters, but it is normal in a series to spread the minor characters' back stories, motivations etc. over several books.
Overall a great beginning for a new series.
Before beginning this book I had expected it to be a typical dog mystery where the dog is the hero and leads its owner or partner to the criminal. I was a bit surprised by how little focus any of the books human characters received, but I loved this fact. I also had not expected, but also really liked, how much mythology was presented.
There were a few things I had a hard time understanding, such as how Anubis, in this book is not presented as a man with the head of a Jackal as is normal, making things just a little confusing for me, this was very minimal and did nothing to make me enjoy the book any less.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the way the dog, first introduced as Newbie, talked. I just found this to be annoying as he kind of talks like a snake and when he had larger speaking sections I often had trouble following what was being said because of all the s's.
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Author: H. Y. Hannah
Publisher: Wisheart Press
Genre: Mystery, Thrillers...Read more
Beautifully written story, the characters were so well described you could actually picture them all.Read more