This review is going to be pretty short and simple, just like these two books. I thought these books were really cute. Laurie Halse Anderson is probably better known for her young adult books (WINTERGIRLS, THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY… etc.) However, this series is her children’s series, based around Maggie, whose grandmother owns a veterinary hospital that is connected to their house.
The first book, FIGHT FOR LIFE, is about Maggie, her friends, her grandmother, and her cousin Zoe, who are desperately trying to save a rash of sick puppies who are being raised an abominably poor conditions in a puppy mill. In addition to this, Maggie is also dealing with the fact that she hates school. No matter how hard she tries, she simply cannot improve her grades. She reads, but cannot absorb any of the words, and mixes up spelling and letters. (No it’s not a spoiler that I believe she is dyslexic.)
The second book, HOMELESS, is told from the perspective of Maggie’s friend, Sunita, who also volunteers at the veterinary hospital where Maggie and her grandmother work. Sunita desperately wants a cat, but her mother believes they are dangerous. It doesn’t help when Sunita and her friends discover a large colony of feral cats who are mean to the local children and animals. Animal Control has been called to take the cats away, but Sunita convinces them to go through a TVSR program, in which they treat all the feral cats for disease and spay/neuter them so they can be released back into their home colony. Sunita hopes that by taming one of these feral cats, she can convince her mother to let her keep one.
Both of these books were definitely geared towards children, but they were also pretty educational. I learned what IV in IV drip for! (intravenous drip) I also really liked the overall story, though of course it wasn’t nearly as captivating or heart-wrenching as my typical YA reads. I won’t be continuing on with the series, just because there are so many books (17?).
I gave FIGHTING FOR LIFE and HOMELESS 3 out of 5 stars.
I’m not going to do a “spoiler” section of this review, because it’s not entirely necessary.