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“Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.” More
Summary: When we left Thunder, he had found a new home in Desolation and made new friends. As we open this book, we find Thunder is still happy. In fact, he is ecstatic to learn that his mother and brother survived the wreckage of Majestic Mountain. After they reunite, Thunder’s Mom urges them to leave Desolation and move to a “Tortoise Reservation” where they will be part of a protected species. With little more than a few days' supplies, Thunder and his Mom set out. The trip was daunting. The challenges seem insurmountable. Will they make it? This is the second book in the series that chronicles the life of Thunder, a tortoise.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, family reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 7 to 12; read yourself: 8 to 13
Young Reader Reaction: This novel had a very interesting storyline, often gluing me to the book for long periods of time. Since it is written from the perspective of a young tortoise, it provides us with a new perspective of the world. The book raises serious questions about the way we treat animals. While cars and motorcycles are perceived by us as objects of convenience, they are feared by animals as deadly objects that kill and cause destruction. While we humans ignorantly expand our towns and cities into the natural habitats of animals, animals like Thunder end up losing their family and have to travel hundreds of miles to find a new home. When we pick up animals from the wild and keep them as pets, we are robbing them from the family that they belong to. In reading this novel, I could not help but feel sorry for the animals that suffer everyday due to our own selfish actions. While I liked this novel for its message, I disliked its use of dialogue. Most of the dialogue in the novel is bland and trite, thus decreasing its appeal towards certain readers.
Adult Reader Reaction: Like the first volume, the author uses a turtle's vocabulary to tell the story. This time, though, he includes a glossary of "turtle terms." This is a big help to younger readers who might find the words too technical or over their heads.
Pros: The author picks up where he left off. This sequel is as good as the first book. The books easily lend themselves to discussions of “everyday” situations that occur with siblings, their friends, or classmates. I would highly recommend this book to children between 8 and 15 years of age. While the message behind this book applies to people of all age groups, the simple use of language and dialogue in this novel makes it too easy for older teens to read.
Cons: None, really. The author addressed the potential issue of vocabulary being beyond his audience.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. Together, the books provide a parent or teacher with a simple and effective story to use as to help their children or students understand and resolve “real” issues and problems.
Educational Themes: Thunder and his friends are lovable, memorable characters. There are all kinds of lessons to be learned, friendship, sharing, care for one another, appreciating personal differences, importance of habitat to all of the earth’s inhabitants and more.