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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Animals v. Samuel Willis is a work of fiction in the drama subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Will Lowrey. The book follows the animals of Plum Grove, a farm in which animal liberation has been won only for one of the cows to turn up dead with the evidence pointing squarely at farmer Samuel Willis. As a court is convened to ascertain the truth, rooster Millard P. Tibbitts has the job of prosecuting the farmer, but the stream of witnesses is unusual and his opponent charged with defending the farmer is cunning.
This was a wildly imaginative take on the courtroom drama that engaged me completely in the legal back and forth as the animals sought justice for one of their own. The ongoing debate about the virtues of veganism given the questionable ethics of animal agriculture is given a fresh set of eyes as this work paints a detailed picture of a repressed group exercising liberty for the first time. Author Will Lowrey’s cast of characters paints a clear picture of a diverse group that is still figuring out what to do with the freedom they now have, with a whimsical approach to characterization creating an insightful view of a community in healing. Overall, The Animals v. Samuel Willis takes a concept that could easily turn into a frivolous children’s book about animals on a farm and gives it a decidedly mature spin with a considered and astute message about due process and the needs of a community recovering from oppression.