I’ve been wanting to compile a list of my top fav animal books for some time, but have always been too caught up in cooking/baking.
Starting with number 5 is Ralph Helfer’s true story called, “Modoc.”
- Image from Kirkus Reviews
“Modoc” tells a beautiful (and true) story about a young boy and his elephant, Modoc. Born on the same day, little do the two know that they are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Helfer writes in a magical way that transcends you through the depths of time. Readers must be prepared to laugh, cry, and stay up late as you will inevitably find yourself being unable to put this great read down. Definitely a must read.
When thinking about this book, I literally get butterflies. This book is like trying to explain the mountains to someone who has never seen them. You literally need to just dive right in. According to his website, Childs is, “… a writer who focuses on natural sciences, archaeology, and remarkable journeys into the wilderness.” His hands-on experiences provide readers a view about non-human animals that may otherwise never encounter.
Childs dismisses false perceptions, such as crows being “dumb birds.” Childs shares a story of coming upon a community of crows and observing them using tools and changing the tones of their calls to communicate with others nearby. Whenever someone challenges the intelligence of an animal, I reflect back to this book and share Childs’ stories with them. Sentient beings far and wide are highlighted in “The Animal Dialogues.” You will walk away from this book with a new (or recharged) connection to the world beyond human animals.
Number 3 – “The Daily Coyote” by Shreve Stockton
I read this book during a tumultuous transition. Words cannot express how much it meant to me. Ironically, Stockton begins her journey in “The Daily Coyote” under a relatable life changing period. After the first few pages, I was hooked me on Stockton’s drive for independence. A woman leaving one big city, heading for another, only to find herself rooted in rural Wyoming. She comes across a young coyote whose parents were recently killed. She felt she had two options, either adopt the coyote or let him die. She chose to take him in.
At no point does Stockton advocate the housing of wild animals. She emphasizes the danger involved and at times questions whether or not taking Charlie in was a good idea. Stockton develops an interesting and powerful relationship with Charlie, and the reader gets to come along for the ride.
Number 2 (tie) – “The Call of the Wild,” and “White Fang” by Jack London
If you don’t know who Jack London is, you should seriously consider visiting your local library. For those of you who are too lazy, here is Wiki’s bio on him. “The Call of the Wild” and “White Fang” are somewhat similar. “The Call of the Wild” was released first, then “White Fang.” London had a wonderful way of writing from the non-human animal’s perspective. “The Call of the Wild” takes you on a heart-wrenching journey about Buck, a dog who is forced into being a sled dog.
“White Fang” is about the life of White Fang, who is part wolf and part dog. White Fang has a daunting life, filled with nasty fights initiated by humans. The climax of the story is when White Fang meets Weeden Scott…I don’t want to say much more. London’s books are classics and should be read by all!
Number 1 – “The North Runner” by R.D. Lawrence
R.D. Lawrence is one of my all-time favorite writers. My mentor introduced me to his work, which includes other great novels like “Paddy,” “The Ghost Walker,” and “The White Puma.” I cannot seem to get enough! He seems to carry an understanding of animals that many today lack. Through his stories, he shares of animal intelligence, bonding with human and non-human animals, and much more. “The North Runner” is comparable to London’s “White Fang,” but there are added elements that allows readers to connect on a deeper level. Most of this story is based upon true events yet it seems as if the story could be taking place right at this very moment.
These are my top 5. Do you have any favorites??