Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review: Christmas With Tucker (A Dog Named Christmas 0.5) by Greg Kincaid

Title: Christmas With Tucker 
Series: A Dog Named Christmas 0.5
Author: Greg Kincaid
Genre: Family, Holiday Fiction
Published Date: November 2nd 2010 by Doubleday Religion   
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
The touching prequel to the bestselling novel A Dog Named Christmas

The sleeper hit of 2008, A Dog Named Christmas became a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie a year later, seen by more than twelve million people in the United States alone. Now, in Christmas with Tucker, Greg Kincaid brings back one of that book’s most endearing characters, sharing the moving story of George, a young boy dealing with the loss of his father, and the dog that comes into his life to offer him hope and a touch of courage.

It is the winter of 1962, and Kansas is hit with one of the worst blizzards in its history. It is during this cruel season that twelve-year-old George is called upon to endure more than even most grown men could withstand—the death of his father and the upkeep of the family farm that is his legacy.

When his mother and sisters leave for Minnesota, George has only his grandparents and the companionship of Tucker, an Irish setter, to help him persevere through these most difficult challenges. Can he find the strength to walk the road that leads to healing, finding his true self and ultimately becoming a man? A coming-of-age story for readers of all ages, Christmas with Tucker is a classic Christmas story about a young man’s love for his dog, his family, and his farm.
Now I will tell you all the truth that I did watch Christmas With Tucker movie first, because I had no idea that it was base of a book series. Until I look through my library catalog online for a good Christmas book to read over the holidays. And this book pop up which caught me by surprise because I really did love the movie so I decided to read the whole trilogy of A Dog Named Christmas series during the holidays. Which I absolutely love and enjoyed ever single one of them but I started to read first the prequel because I totally loved the movie. And of course the movie was somewhat different from the book and I love the book more than the movie but still the film was a really good movie, that I highly did love and enjoy to watching it during the holidays. Now I don't want to go into any details about this amazing book without spoiling it for anybody. But I absolutely loved and enjoyed everything about this book the concept was beautiful and heartbroken at the same time, the plot was such a wonderful hopeful and heartwarming plotline that in some parts of the books I was in tears, and all the characters was very well developed that I really love every single one of the characters. And Yes that includes the bad guys as well! I do highly recommend reading this amazing book series for the holidays because it is really and fantastic read for the Christmas holidays!
Growing up, my mother read to me and my sister every night and soon both of us were very good readers. I spent my childhood floating down the Mississippi with Tom and Huck, helping Atticus Finch defend Tom Robinson, and exploring Middle Earth with Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins. It was a rich time. When I wasn’t reading, my dog and I wandered for miles along stream banks, just pretending--the childhood precursor to adult creativity. 

In 1982, I started to work at a large corporate law firm. It was often tedious work and I wasn’t particularly enthralled with  the nuances of corporate law. Needing an escape, I returned to my old friends. I never had a book far away. I started writing my own stories. When my children were born, I combined reading and storytelling to keep up the family tradition of story time. Eventually, I returned to that small farm in Kansas where I grew up, now legally representing people with very different problems. Many of these clients were children in trouble. When I visited them in jails, halfway houses, and treatment centers, I was shocked to see one thing consistently missing from their lives and homes. Books were all too often nowhere to be seen. It was not a hard leap for me to know what these children were missing.

I have spent the last twenty years writing and advocating for literacy.  

During this period, my children suggested that I should write my stories down. My first book was Death Walk at Acoma, a young adult novel published in 1993. Although the book had little commercial success, I kept at it. Over ten years later, with a few unpublished novels in between, I wrote A Dog Named Christmas. It was made into a movie released by CBS as their Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation in November of 2009 and was viewed by over 12 million viewers. The movie won a Genesis Award for raising public awareness for sheltered dogs. The prequel, Christmas with Tucker, was release in November, 2010 and went on to the be one of the highest viewed original productions on the Hallmark Movie Channel in 2013.  I finished up this series of Christmas books with the 2012 book, A Christmas Home.  

In our culture, most of us don't have easy access to our own personal guru--a person that helps us to find and stay on a healthy spiritual path.  For myself, this meant spending the last twenty years with my nose buried in various spiritual and psychological texts trying to make some sense out of life on the planet Earth!  I'm not saying that I figured it out,  but I did want to share that journey with my readers that are interested in such things.  With this in mind, I spent over ten years working on my most recent novel, Tantric Coconuts.  It's the Cliff Notes to life, with a love story and dogs thrown in it to boot!   

Today I remain busy working at my law practice, writing, and advocating for childhood literacy and for a more humane world for our fury friends. I still live on that family farm, too!


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