Do you know Honey the Great Dane? Well, she, or to be more specific, her person, Hsin-Yi, just wrote a book. I was really excited for her when she got the Kindle version published, knowing that it was a dream of hers. And now it's out in the US in paperback format. I may have the first copy in captivity!
CURSE OF THE SCARAB
by H. Y. Hanna
Honey the Great Dane is miffed at her person, Olivia, for going away and leaving
her with a Pet Sitter, who comes with a pesky puppy in tow. Olivia coos that
Bean, the Great Dane puppy, looks just like Honey did; this is disloyal in so
many ways! So, when it's finally time to take the Pet Sitter and Bean for an
afternoon walk, Honey is greatly relieved. She takes Bean and the Pet Sitter to
the Dog Park, where she can romp off-leash with her friends. On this particular
day, in addition to Bean, there are two other new dogs in the park: Newbie, a
rather ugly dog of uncertain breed, and Max, a retired Pit-Bull. Then, when it's
time to leave, Bean has disappeared, leaving nothing but a scarab in her place;
Honey's friends, Tyson, the Jack Russell Terrier, Biscuit the fat Beagle, Suka
the Husky and Ruffster, a medium sized dog of mixed heritage, help with the
search. And, worse yet, they meet an imperfect 16 week old puppy in a pet store
who confirms that there are a large number of other puppies missing, and scarabs
have been found at the sites of all of the disappearances. Noney's friends suspect Max, the Pit Bull, because Pit Bulls are supposed to be mean, but Honey doubts that Max is involved. Honey also has a very distinct fear of cats, which she must overcome. There are plenty of
mysterious occurrences, heiroglyphics to be deciphered, and run-ins with the
colony of Feral Cats. Ms. Hanna writes entirely from the dog's point of view,
using references one can imagine a dog might make, such as the myth of the moon
being made of liver, or exclamations such as "Howling Hyenas!"
This is a
very well written book. It
would be appropriate for middle school kids, and for older kids who love dogs.
There is a fight at the end of the book, which would make this book somewhat
inappropriate for children under age 10, unless read with a parent who could
explain how the fight was good in the context of the larger events surrounding
it. I didn't know who was taking the puppies, or why, until it was revealed in
the book, and had no idea where they were being held or how Honey and friends
would retrieve them, which is the hallmark of a very good writer. 4/5
Happy Weekending, everyone!