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Junior High Book Report

The Incredible Journey
by Sheila Burnford

The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford is a heartwarming story of three pets that were shown the way home by love. “Luath has taken them home—he has taken them all back to his own home!” said Mr. Longridge, as he now understood the animals. The story takes place in the fall of the 1960’s in Canada. The story tells how they leave their temporary home, face death, and return to their real home where their family is.

It is a strange thought that a cat, Tao, would leave home in the winter with two dogs, Luath and Bodger. They didn’t leave because they were mistreated or even treated too well. They left because their hearts told them that their family was coming home. The morning Mr. Longridge was leaving to stay with his brother, the animals escaped from the house and headed west. On this journey, the old, poor-sighted Bodger was almost killed by a bear. As soon as he recovered, the group continued. Since Tao caught food for the feeble Bodger, Luath, a Labrador retriever, had to catch his own food. He had never killed anything before, and he didn’t know how. He tried to catch a porcupine, but his sharp quills went into his jaw. His jaw became infected, and he couldn’t open it. When crossing a river, small Tao was swept up by the current and would have drown, but a little girl found him and fed him. When Tao was back to normal, he set out to find the others. Along the way, he was chased by a lynx. A young hunter shot the wild cat, and Tao continued to search. He found the dogs. Now they could complete their mission.

As they traveled, Mr. Longridge came home and saw that they were gone. He contacted the Hunters, the real owners of the pets. They had not seen them. Mr. Longridge was visiting the Hunters because it was Peter’s birthday. Little Elizabeth said she heard a dog. They turned to see Tao and Luath. Bodger slowly followed. They had made it home.

Nothing ever stopped these pets from getting home. No bear, no porcupine, and no river held them back. They had made up their minds that they were going home.

I loved this book. It has encouraged me to set a goal and never let anything stop me from reaching it. I think the author chose a good way to show that each person controls his own actions and can make his own decisions. 

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