S: Lydia Wuorinen Period 4 Reading
BC: Praise for Huck | ''A story of how healing the love of a pet can be and of faith that good things can happen when people pull together--a true, feel-good read.'' -Patricia Cornwell | ''This dog story made me feel good about people, families, and New Jersey.'' -Roy Blount Jr. | ''This story takes place in the most familiar places--a doctor's office, a family's kitchen, a suburban high school, and the woods out back. It's a modern-day myth that happened to be true. It's a story in which wonderful things occurred because people believed in themselves and in one another. It's a story about the power of love to change our world.'' -Caroline Kennedy
FC: Written By: Janet Elder | Mixbook By: Lydia Worinen | Janet Elder lives with her son Michael Elder and her husband Rich Elder. Together they own an apartment in New York. Since Michael was four he has wanted a dog. So he is trilled when he receives a golden cockapoo. He names the dog Huck after Twain's character Huckleberry Finn. When the Elder family goes on vacation they leave Huck with their relatives, the Clark family, who live in New Jersey. Only a few days has passed and they learn that Huck has run away. They fly back to New Jersey to look for Huck.They must unite a town in ability to find Huck. But will they be too late?
1: A dog is a bundle of love wrapped in fur." | Copyright 2010 by Janet Elder All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Broadway Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Broadway Books and the Broadway Books colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Catologing-in-Publication Data Elder, Janet The remarkable true story of how one lost puppy taught a family--and a whole town--about happy endings / by Janet Elder SF429.M57E43 2010 636.72'80922--dc22 2010002021 ISBN 978-0-7679-3134-2 Printed in the United States of America First Edition
2: A regular mammogram and sonogram checkup turned into a nightmare when Janet Elder was diagnosed with a invasive lobular breast cancer. It came up unexpectedly and took the whole family by surprise. "''The sonogram confirmed what the mammogram had shown: a mass in my left breast with the distinctive shape of a cancerous breast tumor. The doctor said,"the cancer is slow moving, but the tumor is large. You will need surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment.'' (page 27) This shows what Janet will go through and tells the reader that her long hair will be shaved off (for the surgery). I used this as one of my five ideas because, as you will later learn cancer was the main reason that the Elders purchased a dog for their son, Michael. I also used it because it is the second greatest conflict in the story and the book spent a few chapters dealing with this topic. This chapter of Janet's life has a happy ending, as Janet survives the treatment and is declared cancer free by her doctor.
3: "A childhood without a dog is a sad thing. | Idea 1: Janet Elder is diagnosed with invasive, lobular breast cancer
4: Idea 2: Michael gets a dog. | This is a moment where Michael, Janet's son, who has wanted a dog since the age of four finally, gets his wish, though the tipping point that led his parents into getting him a dog was not his pleading, but the fact that his mother had cancer. As Janet said, “I didn't want him to spend the next six months worrying about me, overhearing conversations with words in them like survival and depressed immune system; I wanted him to be excited about getting a dog.” (page47) So they go to a breeder and purchase a golden cockapoo. Michael decides to name him Huck in honor of Huckleberry Finn. Thus, a new member of their happy family is added. This moment in the novel is important not only because Huck is one of the main characters of the book. This scene also shows the severity of Janet's situation; she is planning for her son to have a friend to help him go through a tough situation that could end up with his mother dying from breast cancer.
6: Idea 3: Huck runs away.
7: Recently after Michael purchases Huck the family decides to take a vacation to Tampa, Florida. They ask Michael's aunt, Barbara Clark, her husband Rich and their daughter Darian to look after Huck while they are away. Happy to help, the Clarks accept and the Elders bring Huck to his temporary home. Checking that a few holes by the fence have been filled, they prepare to leave. On their way to the airport Janet ''had a terrible sense of foreboding. I though it could be many things or it could be nothing at all. But it was there, a dull ache that I decided to ignore, hoping it would just go away.'' (page 98) Rich assures her that everything is fine so they get on their plane and start to relax. Not even a few days later they receive a phone call from Barbara and learn that Huck was able to squeeze through a forgotten, open hole below the fence and has run away. Distressed the Elders catch the first flight home to search for their beloved companion, Huck. This quote explains and foreshadows the doomed vacation, stating that Janet felt that they should not leave Huck. This event is significant because it is the main conflict of the story and the novel's climax. Taking this point out of the book would be to destroy the novel. If Huck hadn't run away this book would not have little to no plot or meaning.
8: Idea 4: The whole town searches frantically for Huck. | This is the most dramatic and intense scene in the whole book even though it is the falling action in the plot. It also includes heart-warming scenes that people commit out of the goodness of their hearts. For example one woman saw Huck and didn't even want to collect the reward for her information, ''We just saw your dog. If you go right now, you'll find him. He's standing in the woods with another dog. Go to the woods on Deer Trail. Go now.''!” “ ''Thank you, thank you so much.'' Rich yelled into the phone. And before he had a chance to get her name, or tell her that if we found Huck, the reward would be hers, she hung up.” (page 209) This shows that the woman didn't care about the $1,000.00 reward, but of the safety of their lost cockapoo. This is just one out of many people who responded to the hundreds of fliers, yet didn't want to collect the reward. This exemplifies the beauty of kindness, as Huck was found because of their willingness to call in with information and help out for free.
9: "''You can always get a hug from a dog when you are feeling sad.''
10: The most loving animal ever: a dog. | Idea 5: Huck is found.
11: “''Mike has Huck in his arms.''” Rich and I went tearing around to the other side of the yard. Michael was hugging his dog, his best friend, his most trusted confidante, the pet he had longed for his entire young life, the antidote to his mother's brush with death. ''I love you Huck. I missed you so much. Where have you been boy?'' he said sweetly.'' (page 276) This is the grand finale, where the Elder's lure Huck to them with food and are able to capture him in Michal's arms. Without this chapter the book would be a cliff-hanger and a reader wouldn't know if Huck died, was never found, or made his way home. The quote summarizes what happened in these last few chapters, with the exception that they had used this tactic to lure Huck to them multiple times and had failed. In the end they never gave up hope on Huck and tried again and again until they succeeded; in finding a boy's best friend.
12: Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. | Hope | Relief | Joy
13: Friendship | Love