Birth of the Doggone Hero

Charlie the Doggone Hero

Children - Grade 4th-6th
124 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

A frightened slave girl's fervent desire to have a companion she can communicate with on her journey to the unknown is the catalyst that gives an aggressive-looking but lovable dog the rare gift of speech. Dawg, as our canine friend is known by the captain and the crew of the vessel on which they are sailing, has a kind heart and wishes to help his new friends out of their present predicament. But there is little he can do in his present situation until he meets a kind lady who takes more than a passing interest in him. Find out if Dawg can be of service to his friends in J.A. Strike's Birth Of The Doggone Hero.

J.A Strike taps into the rich and storied culture of New Orleans to give us a children's novel about a brave dog who is the perfect version of man's best friend in Birth Of The Doggone Hero. The story may have been written with young readers in mind but it is crafted well enough to interest much older readers. Strike's attention to detail is simply incredible as he spares no effort to breathe life into a simple story. Supposedly minor aspects of the novel such as the language with which the story is told are elevated to the point where the authenticity of this nineteenth-century adventure is not in doubt. The characters are equally original in their presentation as their conversations reflect the era of the story's setting impressively. The illustrations are lovely with the pictures at the start of each chapter providing a guide as to the direction of the story as well as beautifying an interesting book. Young readers will have no problem falling in love with Strike’s book just as I did.

Gabriella Harrison

Birth of the Doggone Hero: Charlie the Doggone Hero by J.A. Strike narrates the adventures of an observant dog. He is initially the guard dog of a captain aboard the Wild Cat, but he encounters two slaves on the ship who change his life, and his luck further improves when he stumbles upon the home of a kind woman when he leaves the Wild Cat. She takes him in and frees him from the life he previously lived with scaring people. He is renamed Charlie. Now, Charlie finally gets to make a difference in the world and help people instead of terrifying them. Given the chance to repay the two slaves he met earlier, he decides to be brave and use his newly acquired gifts, as failing to do so could have dire consequences for them. However, he must act quickly.

Charlie is an appealing and observant character who is great at cheering people up. He is helpful and will teach children to look for ways to improve the world around them by making genuine efforts to assist people. Charlie the Doggone Hero by J.A. Strike is an adventurous children’s book with simple and relatable characters that will encourage children to stand up against injustice and evil. The prose is straightforward and will motivate children to read this book by themselves. It is especially good for children who like adventure, superheroes, and animals. It is also a lovely option for parents and guardians who want to teach children about bravery and compassion.

Jennie More

Birth of the Doggone Hero by J. A. Strike is a children’s book about a small dog captured by a sailor when he was only six months old and taken with him over the seas. One day, his master transports a special cargo, enslaved people, to New Orleans. Dawg grows fond of the little slave girl named Callie and promises to protect her, while the little girl’s companion, Mammy, grants Dawg the special powers to speak. Once they dock, Dawg and Callie are separated, and he goes on a mission to find his friend. While Dawg is lucky enough to find a new loving owner, Ms. Lily, Callie is not so fortunate. With the help of love, friendship, family, and some magic, Dawg goes on an adventure with his new family to find and save his friend Callie.

Birth of the Doggone Hero by J. A. Strike is a delightful, heartwarming, adventurous, and imaginative story. Dawg is charismatic and inspires devotion in everyone he meets, including the reader. The story is beautifully written, easy to read, and flows well, keeping you entertained. I loved this book. J.A. Strike is an exceptional children’s author. I loved the unique storyline with some magic mixed in with the adventure. I was particularly impressed by how the author transformed a sad story of slavery into one of hope. Though Callie and her Mammy experienced hardship, the story is uplifting and inspiring, executing a flawless balance between the extremes. Birth of the Doggone Hero is undoubtedly one of the best children’s books I’ve read in its category.