January 25, 2015

Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog: Champion of the Strays Blog Tour: Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the official blog tour for Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog blog tour! Today I have my review of the book, along with a guest post by the author - and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog: Champion of the Strays
Author: Allen Paul
Genre: Children's Chapter Book/MG Fiction
Release Date: June 16, 2014


Bestselling and award-winning author Allen Paul has created an endearing character in Honey, a swamp dog who gets rescued at the moment she's about to get shot. Taken to live at Banbury Cross Farm with other rescued Dixie Dingos, her quick cuts and darting turns soon draw notice; she's then trained for agility championships, the most popular of all canine sports. From the start, Honey forms a deep bond with Miss Jane, who saved her in the nick of time. Her trainer is Ace, a worldly wise black man who manages the farm's kennel. Honey forms another deep bond with Miss Jane's partner, Mr. Billy, a skilled horseman who delights Honey by quoting famous rhymes.

The story is told by Honey in a charming southern voice. She's just turned one (equal to a 10-year-old girl or boy) when the story begins. At its center is a haunting mystery: Why are swamp critters turning up dead with a wild look in the eye? Many believe a big coyote named Geronimo scares them to death. When two dead dingo pups are found, Honey becomes convinced that her pack, which is still in the swamp, could be next. Somehow she has to get them out. The plot thickens when several small pets get killed in the nearby town. Rewards are posted and a group led by the trapper Topper Guy, who nearly shot Honey, head for the swamp. Twelve innocent dingos mistaken for coyotes get shot. Miss Jane confronts Topper Guy and demands that the killings stop. The upshot is a high stakes bet: Topper Guy wagers his guns against Miss Jane's favorite horse that Honey won't win at the Sportsman's Championship. How Honey fares in that contest, and how the mystery killer gets caught, make for a thrilling read that kids at heart of all ages will love. 

In the end, Honey learns an unforgettable lesson that her pack, which now includes humans, comes first. Based on a true story, this book will appeal to middle grade readers and adults. On July 17, 2013 a front-page article in the New York Times cited new genetic evidence suggesting that the Dixie Dingo (registered as the Carolina Dog) is the oldest breed in North America, predating European settlement by many centuries. They were Native American camp dogs but are not related to the Australian dingos. Many Dixie Dingos still live in southern swamps. With their antenna-like ears and muscular build, their look is quite distinctive. Dixie Dingos are excellent pets who form deep bonds with humans. 

Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog is a heartwarming novel that readers of all ages will enjoy. It follows our main character, who just happens to be a dog named Honey. Honey lived in a swamp until she's saved just before getting shot. After that incident, Honey trains to win the upcoming agility championship. While Honey's training for the championship, things are going terribly wrong in her swamp. Other animals are being killed and nobody can figure out who is behind it all. It's up to Honey to figure out the identity of the killer - while competing in the Sportsman's Championship. Will she be able to figure out who's behind the killings? Will she end up winning the championship?

This was a really cute chapter book that will appeal to readers of all ages. It's great for younger children who are advancing in their reading abilities, as well as for younger middle graders. The main character is a dog named Honey, who turns out to be a great lead for the story. She has great personality traits - she's kind, smart, and determined to help others and do the right thing. The book is told from Honey's point of view, which makes her all the more accessible to a younger reader. Getting to see, hear, and experience all the things throughout the story from her perspective makes her easy to identify with for all readers. The book is full of action and tons of adventure - with even some mystery is thrown into the mix. There's also some pictures and illustrations throughout the story, which the make Honey and the rest of the plot all the more real for the reader. Kids will find solving the mystery behind the swamp critter murders exciting and will love to cheer Honey on as she competes to win the championship. I definitely recommend this book to kids on an intermediate reading level who are starting to read chapter books, as well as younger middle age children who enjoy a great story with heart.

Top Six List - Things you would change about your high school years if you could go back in time.

1. Study more
2. Not take myself so seriously.
3. Participate more in drama and theater productions.
4. Assess my athletic skills more realistically by realizing earlier I’d never be a professional baseball or basketball player.
5. Not be so arrogant and headstrong.
6. Avoid driving at high speeds.
Allen began his career as a reporter with the Associated Press in Raleigh, NC. Later, he wrote speeches in Washington for a congressional committee chairman, a member of the president’s cabinet and the chairman of one presidential campaign. He was in Poland gathering material for his first book when the Berlin Wall fell. That book – Katyn: Stalin’s Massacre and the Triumph of Truth – became a bestseller in Eastern Europe. It earned warm praised from the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Review of Books and many other media outlets.

He was a Fulbright Fellow in Poland in 2010-11 and collected material there for a novel based on a daring mission of the Polish underground at the end of World War Two. It will be published in 2015.

His first book for younger readers (middle grade) was inspired by his own dog, Honey, whose breed – the Dixie Dingo – is probably the oldest in North America.

Allen holds a B.A. degree in English with a minor in History from Guilford College, and a Masters of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He and his wife, Betsy, live in Raleigh and have two grown children.

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You can purchase Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog: Champion of the Strays at the following Retailers:
(1) Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Honey the Dixie Dingo Dog: Champion of the Strays by Allen Paul. (1) Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


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