One-Eyed Jack by Paula Miller


ChildrenOne Eyed JackChristian fiction One Eyed JackPaula Miller; Blooming Tree Press 2005WorldCatIllustrated by Chris Forrest

Nate lives with his Ma and Pa, brother and sister, and Grandpa Albert on a ranch in Montana in the 1880’s.They’re a normal wilderness ranching family of the time. Nate is ten and is able to join Pa to ride looking for lost cattle for the first time. He’s excited and proud to be helping Pa like this. On their way from the trip, they hear a small crying noise. Nate finds a tiny puppy stranded alone, shivering and hungry. He begs Pa to keep it.

Pa doesn’t like dogs. He hasn’t liked them since he was a child. He doesn’t want to bring this puppy home. But he agrees to even though he doesn’t want to. He, Billy, and Mabel Sue name the puppy One-Eyed Jack and nurse him back to health. Jack grows into a healthy, ornery puppy. Pa watches closely, ready to get rid of Jack if there’s any problem.

Nate asks God for help raising Jack and for Pa to accept the growing puppy. It took a lot of pleading to keep Jack the day he broke loose and followed the family to church, barking during the pastor’s sermon! Nate knows Jack will be a good dog. How does he convince Pa that not all dogs are bad?

This children’s book has more than a fun story. Paula Miller has included songs and lifestyles from the time period. Nate has to watch the traps and collect the dead animals – something today’s child will probably never see. He even takes a fox pelt and turns it into a scarf for Mabel Sue.

One-Eyed Jack is a young chapter book for the 7 or 8 year old, and a read-aloud book for those who can’t quite read yet. Chris Forrest’s black and white ink drawings are cozy and go along with the story. Miller’s message of faith in God is strong and woven in Nate’s everyday life. Children will enjoy One-Eyed Jack and Nate and his family’s life in 1880’s Montana.

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Author provided for review

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