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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Dusty the Island Dog by Linda Heavner Gerald is the heartwarming story of Dusty who was left alone after her mother died. Dusty lived in Abaco, Bahamas and her first home was on the steps of a seasonal condo. The owners lived there only six months during winter and her mother always located food and took Dusty to the site. They had great fun together and went on strolls on the beach and the golf course. Her mother would wake her up in the mornings with kisses. Things changed one day when Dusty's mother disappeared and she couldn't find her anywhere. Dusty was terrified when she realized her mother would not come back. It was at that time Winston came into her life and Winston made her happy. Dusty felt safe when he was around her. They became inseparable but then things changed.
This is a story of love, betrayal, friendship, hope and belief in God. Dusty teaches readers the importance of carrying on in life despite pain and loss, loving each other, and being kind to each other. The illustrations are adorable and bring Dusty, Winston, the other characters, and the scenes to life. It is an excellent book for children as there are a lot of life lessons that can be learned from it. It is a good story for reading aloud sessions in classrooms to help children realize how important it is to be honest, truthful, and kind to others. Dusty's and Winston's characters have been portrayed well and Dusty's story will move readers.