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Night of the Howling Dogs

by Salisbury, Graham


Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780385731225]

Book Review

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Gr 5–9—While camping out on the south flank of Kilauea, Dylan endures taunts and threats from older, glowering Louie, newest member of his Boy Scout troop from Hilo and with whom he has had a previous encounter. A campfire ghost story sets a suspenseful mood, which is heightened by the suggestion of some paniolos—Hawaiian cowboys who have camped out nearby—that the Goddess Pele, in the form of a dog Dylan has repeatedly seen, foretells trouble to come. That night there's an earthquake, then a bigger one. As the boys struggle to regain their senses, they are struck by a tsunami. Louie and Dylan, relatively uninjured, work together to find and help the others. Dylan swims out to rescue their dazed and injured scoutmaster and Sam, who desperately clings to a small rubber air mattress. Louie and Dylan undertake an arduous hike along the shore to obtain help. Spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter, the troop is rescued. Dylan and Louie may not have become best friends, but they've reached an appreciation of each others' strengths. An author's note explains the details of the story that are based on true events. Like Ivy Ruckman's No Way Out (HarperCollins, 1989), Salisbury's tale of courage, strength, and survival is appealing, exciting, and insightful.—Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA

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Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 0385731221]

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From BookList, August 1, 2007, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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*Starred Review* Senior patrol leader of his Hilo, Hawaii, scout troop, eighth-grader Dylan looks forward to camping on the coast in the shadow of a volcano. But when he hears that Louie, aátough, troubled kid,áwill be joining the scouts on theátrip, Dylan remembers when their paths crossed once before, and his anticipation turns to dread. Dylan's sense of foreboding is justified tenfold. After a difficult trek to their campsite, an earthquake jolts the ground and shakes boulders down from the cliff. Then aátsunami engulfs the area. Even in the midst of disaster, Dylan finds that support can come from unexpected directions. A strong sense of place informs the plot as well as the setting of this convincing story. Ináan unusually compelling author's note, Salisburyáwrites ofácamping on the site of the 1975 natural disaster at Halape with his cousin, who lived through it as a Boy Scout. Inspired by that earthquake and tsunami, this vivid adventure soon strips away every vestige of normality, leaving characters dependent on their wits, their skills, and the mysterious spirits of land and sea for their survival. Salisbury weaves Hawaiian legend into the modern-day narrative to create a haunting, unusual novel that will practically booktalk itself. Phelan, Carolyn.

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