Buddy's Tail

Buddy's Tail


Children - Preteen
178 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2012
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Molly Edwards for Readers' Favorite

As an owner of two young dogs, along with being a parent to two young boys, I am always looking for new and exciting children's books, mostly those with animals in them. When I read the description of K Anne Russell's "Buddy's Tail", I was excited to jump into a new middle grade novel filled with lovable, furry animals. What I found between the pages of this book was so much more than just a simple novel for middle grade readers. It is a book that is filled with creativity and a plot line that is very unique and gripping for readers of all ages. I found the writing style of Ms. Russell to be instantly engaging. Buddy, a not-so-average poodle, whose owners neglect him, goes without food more often than not, and just feels really ignored. But then Buddy gets some life saving friends, MacKenzie and Javier. Two very different dogs (a Border Collie and a chihuahua) pull together at a time of need for their dear friend Buddy bringing him scraps of food and friendship. Sadly, tragedy arises and Buddy dies but gets a second chance in life to be loved and honored for the amazing abilities he has as a dog. The reader gets to know Buddy through heroics and love, and often through abuse and neglect. When Buddy's second chance comes around, we want to take Buddy and all his furry animal friends and give them all a loving happy home.

This is beyond an ordinary children's book with a 5 star rating. It is something that everyone should read, young and old alike. It will grip your heart and never let you go until the last pages. You'll laugh, smile, be angry and cry, but in the end, the message of standing up for what is right, and taking on responsibility in a moving way will forever be with you. I highly recommend this book to all, and I am looking forward to what the author offers her fans next.

Alice D.

"Buddy's Tail" is a story that will bring tears to the eyes of everyone who reads it. Parents, grandparents, and guardians might want to think twice before having a young child read this extremely moving, delightful but often sad story. Buddy is a white standard poodle owned by the Swindells who don't take care of him after their daughter goes off to college. When the Swindells sell their home, Buddy hopes it is to DeeDee,the lovely gray haired lady who talks with him and befriends him in the Swindells'arid back yard. Sadly, Deedee is not the buyer and Buddy dies of malnutrition in the bottom of Swindell's drained swimming pool and goes to Haven, dog heaven, where he meets up with the story's narrator Mackenzie, the border collie. Buddy is given a second chance on earth and gets to live with DeeDee for six years during which he helps her rescue mistreated dogs in need of a good home. Does Buddy earn his dog wings or does he go off on his own side adventures?

"Buddy's Tail" is very well-written and guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes of anyone who reads it. Mackenzie, the narrator, is run over and killed by a man driving a Hummer in the middle of the book and it is her little sidekick Javier the Chihuahua who finally tracks him down after another hit and run accident. Haven, where MacKenzie goes, joined by Buddy, then in time Javier and Derek the brain-damaged dog, is created lovingly as a place where dogs no longer suffer or are ill treated. The plot of this lovely animal story proceeds smoothly to the book's end and all characters, canine or otherwise, are totally believable."Buddy's Tail" is a treat to read but keep a box of kleenex nearby!

Jean Brickell

Buddy is a heck of a dog. If you are not already a dog lover before you read the book, you will soon be. The dogs in this story have such distinct personalities that the story is quite fascinating. Buddy is ready to help his friends who are not so well off as he is and do not do so well either. He drags food out of McDonald's to feed his friends. His enemy is the driver of a Hummer that has already run over one of his buddies and Buddy vows revenge. After all his ups and downs the unthinkable happens, Buddy dies. End of story? We follow the further adventures of Buddy in Haven (dog version of Heaven).

This is an excellent story of kids but adults also will really enjoy it. The dog's adventures are so well-written that it could only be authored by a person who loves dogs deeply and who knows the unfortunate life some of them live. Buddy and his companions are true heroes, showing extreme skill in helping each other and in solving crimes. When Buddy moves on to Haven his adventures continue but in a different way. Some of the humans show poor judgment in caring for dogs but there are also those who treat Buddy and his friends with true kindness and love. The book emphasizes the importance of ethical care that should be used to care for animals and the very unfortunate things that happen to them if they are neglected or mistreated.

Joy H.

“Buddy’s Tail” is written through the eyes of Buddy, a standard poodle. Because of several different circumstances in his life, Buddy was neglected and left to live on his own. There begins Buddy’s journey with his canine friends that will love him no matter what. These furry friends watched out for each other, made sure their needs were met, and just ran and played with each other, being good friends throughout their life. The dogs went through a lot of difficult situations, but again, they were always there for each other. You will have fun as you read their story, about their friendships, and later on, how some of their lives come to an end.

You know, as I was reading this book, I kept forgetting that it was canines talking to canines, and not people talking to people. To me, it takes a special unique author to be able to do this to readers. I thoroughly enjoyed Kath Russell’s story of Buddy and his friends. With canine character that you have to fall in love with throughout the book, vivid details of the area in the southwest the story was set in, and the conversations of the dogs, it is difficult to put this book down. And I had to laugh when one dog would warn the other one not to pee on the furniture, or poop on a certain bush, or hike his leg up at a certain place. This is a great chapter book for young readers who love their canine friends. I don’t recommend it to the very young because of the death of some of the dogs, but for the 3rd or 4th grade and up, I highly recommend it.

Lori M.

Author K. Anne Russell had me hooked from the very beginning when Chapter 1 started out narrated by a dog and I realized that the story was going to be told from a dog’s point of view. The author must have a great sense of humor, because I chuckled when MacKenzie, the dog that tells the story, describes his Chihuahua friend Javier as “a little guy who had a crusader’s heart in a chili pepper package.” Hilarious! I found the story engaging and feel that it contains some great lessons that children will learn and a story line that they will enjoy. Russell dedicates this book to the United States Marine Corps Military Working dogs and their handlers.

"Buddy’s Tail" is about a dog named Buddy Boutonniere, a white standard poodle, who gets neglected and then left behind by his animal owners. He makes friends with the alley dogs who have learned to fend for themselves, to find food and rely on each other for protection. This story is inspirational, but not without its sad parts, such as Buddy’s best friend being hit by a car and killed and Buddy himself then dying. But Buddy is greeted by “The Good Shepherd,” a dog who grants him one wish. Buddy’s wish is to live, just once, with a family who really does love him and take care of him. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the book for you, so you’ll just need to read it and you’ll really want to because it is a great little read.