“Take a boy, a dog, and a burro, add a broken home, a new home, and a girl with an attitude, stir, and you have a story of beginnings and endings, friendships and heartaches.
In Author Wanda Snow Porter‘s novel, REMEDY, for MG/Tween readers, thirteen-year-old Tim McGrew, his mother, and his two older sisters go to live with his grandmother, Geema, when his father and mother separate. Not only does Tim, a city boy and his city dog have to leave the home he’s lived in his whole life for a ranch in the middle of nowhere, he won’t be able to play baseball and to top that off, his mom says he’ll be home schooled. Tim reacts to the situation like most boys his age would. He’s confused; he‘s angry; he‘s sad. Although he loves Geema, he wants his old life back and has hopes that his mom and dad will get back together. To make matters worse, Geema adopts a wild burro and expects Tim to tame her. His dog, Tiny, runs away and Tim is afraid something bad has happened to him. What else can go wrong in Tim’s life?
REMEDY is a story of family and love. It’s also a story of understanding and acceptance. One thing that adds to the enjoyment of the story, for me anyway, is seeing the story from the point of view of Remedy, the burro. The author shows the reader Remedy’s fears at her new home through the eyes and thoughts of the burro. I’ve never been around burros, but through Wanda Snow Porter’s descriptions and clever ways of sharing Remedy’s thoughts with the reader, I find them, Remedy at least, to be fascinating animals. This book would make a great addition to school libraries and classrooms to help students deal with their own situations in life, perhaps, and also to introduce them to methods of training a burro to ride and pull a cart. I wouldn’t be surprised if young readers discovered they like burros, too.