Location: Oregon, United States of America

Position: Parent

Animal Attraction

Long has it been rumored that boys enjoy reading books of a factual, informational nature. Whether they seek books about wars fought long ago, sport racing, or hiking, they seem to be drawn to the books that will inform them about what they like best. If you are the parent or teacher of a boy who is interested in animals and wants to learn more about them, a good author for them to read may be James Herriot.

Factual Storytelling

Although Herriot did not have a career as a writer, he did spend his whole life collecting a series of events and memories that later translated into several delightful stories. Herriot lived in the world of animals as a veterinary in a rural part of Great Brittan. He practiced veterinary medicine on all sorts of farm and domestic animals, often turning to, what we would see today as, odd or abnormal methods. These “odd” situations were just the sort of things that fueled many of his humorous stories. Although his stories may seem outdated or disconnected with our life today, they still smack of wholesome, good writing with a strong factual foundation as they follow his life experiences as veterinary, husband, father and solider in the Royal Air Force.

Cats, Dogs, Hogs and more

While your son may not be truly intrigued by farm animals, you may find that he is a dog or cat lover. If this is the case you need not fret, Herriot in the course of his career treated many cats and dogs, and there are two books dedicated just to stories about these two animals: James Herriot’s Cat Stories andJames Herriot’s Favorite Dog Stories. These two delightful books are dedicated to the storytelling of many of his smaller and slightly more domesticated patients. If after reading these two volumes you son is intrigued by Herriot’s life and stories there are hundreds of other stories about his experiences treating farm animals.

Whether about cows, horses, sheep, or dogs, these true animal stories will vary from hilarious to sad as the author writes about everything from helping animals in birth to putting down a family pet. While these stories are colorful and entertaining, they may not be for very young boys as the factual details can sometimes be a little gruesome and the natural storytelling tone may not immediately catch the attention of a young boy.

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