A Home for Shimmer by Cathy Hopkins
|A Home for Shimmer by Cathy Hopkins|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Amy doesn't want to move into a cold farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, but when an adorable pup is abandoned on her doorstep, things start to take a turn for the better. Can the Westall family turn their dream of opening an animal rescue centre into a reality?|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: January 2015|
|Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Great cover-art is often a compelling factor in making a purchase decision, so who could resist the lure of a fluffy white retriever pup, with a shiny black nose and smiling eyes, beckoning readers to pick up the book and read her story? A Home for Shimmer is the story of a bond between a girl and her pup and the many obstacles that they must face to stay together.
The plot of the story reminded me of the recent BBC series, Our Zoo. The Westall family arrive in the small Village of Compton Truit and move into the dilapidated Silverbrook Farm, hoping to start a new life in the country. The young daughter of the family, Amy, soon has an idea to turn the farm into an animal rescue centre, but many obstacles seem to block their way, including the reserved locals, who seem aloof and distant toward the newcomers. The family also have financial problems and need to find a way to raise money quickly before their dream turns into a nightmare.
The quest to build and animal rescue centre takes up the bulk of the storyline and despite the title, Shimmer's story is more of a side-plot, with the titular pup finally putting in her first appearance in chapter five. In truth, I found the title misleading, as there was hardly anything in the story about finding a new home for Shimmer.
What I did like about the story was the feeling of optimism and the message that you can achieve your dreams with dedication and hard work. This is a positive message for young readers and will hopefully inspire them to work hard at achieving their goals. The book also focused on relationships and I liked the way that Amy made friends with people with different backgrounds and personalities.
The book will appeal to anyone who loves animals, as it is upbeat and heart-warming in equal measure. The characters are well written and Amy is a likeable protagonist. Shimmer, of course, is completely loveable. The author described the village setting really well and I enjoyed the contrast in the seasons from the bleak, winter 'Trump Town' at the beginning of the book to the bustling and vibrant beach scenes in the summer months.
The story may be a little formulaic and predictable, but it has a heart of gold and is sure to be a hit with young animal lovers everywhere.
- Note to the book editors: Shimmer briefly changes sex from female to male at the beginning of chapter 12. Oops.
Bookbag loved the tearkjerker The Hero Pup by Megan Rix, about a boy and his pup. You might need your hankie at the ready...
You can read more book reviews or buy A Home for Shimmer by Cathy Hopkins at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Home for Shimmer by Cathy Hopkins at Amazon.com.
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