Friday, April 10, 2015

Book Review: The Great Escape by Susan Day

The Great Escape: Book 1 in the Astro's Adventures Series
by Susan Day
Publisher: Susan Day
Published: Dec. 1, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

| Age Level: 8 - 12 | Grade Level: 3 - 8
If you and your family love dogs you are going to love this fun children’s story. The characters are all based on real dogs and cats and, just like your pet at home, they will warm your heart. They are unique and a bit flawed but you’ll love them all the same.

The story is about a secret organisation exists without detection and operates right under our very noses. Its sole purpose is to save dogs from neglect. This is the first book in the Astro Adventure’s series and it will delight and entertain your family with its fast moving plots and funny storylines.

This tale of spies and mystery is full of twists and turns. The secret organisation is manned by a tunnel digging terrier who carries a diamond encrusted nail file. A large dog for which the complexities of door handles are a complete mystery and who, instead, opens everything with his head. As well as, a commando, khaki wearing Blue heeler who is armed with a hunting bone and a smell grenade. And that’s just to name a few!

In this great children's book, The Great Escape, we meet Astro, possibly one of the most spoilt dogs in the world, who calls on this secret organisation to save him from what he falsely assumes is imprisonment.

Commander Rocky, head of The Organisation, decides to teach Astro how lucky he is by taking him to the one place all dogs dread, The Check Out! It is a place where unwanted and rejected dogs are sent – never to be seen again! However, things don’t go to plan and Commander Rocky learns that below the shallow exterior of a grey shaggy dog is a brave, kind hearted hero.

A hero called Astro. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Astro is a spoiled dog who thinks he is being tortured because his owner won't take him for a walk off leash for a couple weeks when he injures his already hurt leg. He gets in contact with the Organisation and they make plans to liberate him from his cruel incarceration.

Upon finding out that Astro was not bring mistreated, Commander Rocky becomes angry and to show Astro a lesson, has his operatives take Astro to The Checkout, otherwise known as the dog pound where many dogs meet their early demise. Astro learns just what a wonderfully blessed life he truly leads and is determined to help other dogs to have the same opportunity.

This was a cute early novel for children just starting to read chapter books. Children who love animals (dogs in particular) will surely have fun reading about the world from a dog's viewpoint.

There were several drawings included in the book. They appeared to be drawings coloured with pencil crayon and added some interest to the story. I liked the pacing of the book.

I did feel that the characters were not all that well developed and even by the end of the book I couldn't remember which breed of dog each of the operatives were. Despite this, I still believe Astro's Adventures will interest young readers new to chapter books, particularly those with a love for dogs. I gave this book 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Susan Day is passionate about children's literature and wants to inspire children to follow their dreams. She created the Astro’s Adventures series and is currently illustrating other titles for children.

Susan travelled around the world twice before she was seven years old. It was the sixties and the cheapest way to circumnavigate the globe was by cruise ship. It seemed only fitting that the wonderful events she experienced and the places she visited on these journeys be recorded for history. Thus, her story telling skills began. Firstly, to Rupert Bear, her lifelong companion, and then to a host of imaginary friends and finally to her pet dog once the family finally set down roots in Australia. 

Each book Susan creates encourages and promotes the wonderful art of story-telling with organic illustrations that reach to the very essence of the reader portraying similar character traits that their pets share.

Susan shares her home with the dogs, in particular, Rocky, Stella, Alfie and Digger, three rescue guinea pigs, two bossy cats and a very patient husband. 

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