The interweb was all atwitter yesterday about an “article,” (and I use the term loosely) that denigrated Book Expo, publishers, the state of literature, and book bloggers in an impressive feat of unfounded ridiculousness. It took 24 hours for my comment to make it through moderation, and then…
The Book Lady: In which I respond to That Ridiculous Post
Hotel for Dogs
by Lois Duncan
narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Hotel for Dogs is the story of two children who have been re-located across the country to a suburban home on the East Coast and, encounter a number of dogs that complicate their lives. Lonely, living as guests in their fastidious great aunt’s home, trying to fit in at school, and defending themselves against the neighborhood bully, twelve-year old Bruce and soon-to-be-eleven year old Andi struggle to adjust in/to their new environs. To matters more difficult, some dogs come to Bruce and Andi’s attention, dogs that need care. Unable to shelter the dogs in their aunt’s home, Bruce and Andi come up with a plan…
Hotel for Dogs is a children’s book that plays out fairly realistically when it comes to portraying the relationships between all the characters. The parents are authority figures, not best friends in disguise; The threats of the bully provoke concern; Bruce and Andi are average kids, not precocious child prodigies… The overall feel of the book is somewhat Disney-fied though: the children a have a bit more autonomy than children would have in real life, there’s a surprise revelation about prissy old Aunt Alice and, of course a HEA ending.
Katherine Kellgren raises the bar when it comes to narrating children’s titles. Character voices are delivered expertly and without condescension. The range of her character repertoire is excellent not only in terms of vocal range; but in terms of conveying the right emotion behind the lines. Ms Kellgren doesn’t pull back and what she delivers is a compelling story. [So compelling, in fact that my eight-year old insisted on sitting in the car until the story had finished.]
There is no bad language, sex or extreme violence; but there is tension, white lies and, the kids do things they know are wrong. One of the dogs is hand-struck by a bully. Parents may need to explain film cameras, slide projectors and, animal shelters (why Bruce and Andi are reluctant to surrender the dogs to a shelter.)
Other Stuff: I purchased a digital dnload copy of this title through iTunes.
This book qualifies for the Where Are You Reading? Challenge
hosted by Sheila at her blog, Book Journey. Hotel for Dogs is set in the fictional town of Elmwood, NJ.
Also, even though there are dogs on the cover of the book, it doesn’t make you cry and, no dogs die in the story 🙂
Book Expo’s Sorry Turn
I deliberated as to whether or not to respond to Daniela Hurezanu’s article. It really doesn’t deserve the dignity of a response; but I couldn’t resist. I commented. Or at least I tried to. Unfortunately the site was “unable to receive my comment at this time” and it just returns me to the article with a new validation question. Maybe the site’s servers aren’t scalable/can’t handle the influx of responses. Maybe they’ve closed the thread already. Whatever. I am disinclined to sit around all day and wait for their Comments System to come back up. So, for my followers, here are my brief comments:
A Response to Daniela Hurezanu’s Article
Clearly, you were not at the Book Blogger Convention. Admittedly, your article does not claim that you had attended; but to comment on the nature of the Convention, its participants and practice intimates that you were at least familiar with it. If you were though, there is no way you could have written the last paragraph of your piece. Before you write about a topic, you should do your homework. Generalizations, especially ill-informed ones, deny your credibility as a writer.
Some Helpful Hints:
Look up the term “Mommy Blogger” and use the term in a sentence correctly;
Interview publishers, authors, bloggers and blog readers to determine why blogging is an efficacious promotional factor;
Investigate the roles that promotional bloggers have in expanding the reach beyond the already converted.
Hmm, maybe I should write the article. I’m more qualified than Ms Hurezanu. I was actually there.