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An inspiring tale of hope, courage and fellowship, featuring an old war hero, his clever granddaughter, and one exceptional "puppy"

"Save Mishka!"

Mishka (the book) is like a warm cup of tea on a especially cold winter day. It has all the trappings of a perfect middle-grade fiction, written in a language that charms, excites, and comes alive in its simplicity, featuring an entire community of people—young and old—who all have a thing or two to learn about hope, bravery and the true power of teamwork from the guileless new girl in town and her adorable "little puppy" who isn't really quite a puppy...

I breezed through this book, having all sorts of warm and pleasant feelings for all of its small and big victories. A few spots could use some minor spellcheck, but overall the story reads smoothly and flows at a decent pace, letting each scene just play out uninterrupted with every well-placed word, humor, and payoff.

I adored its good characters and got too busy laughing at the quirkiness of its evil doers to really loathe anyone (that vegan hitman cracked me up!). And don't even get me started on Mishka (the character)—

Mishka, the overgrown puppy who loves cakes and only wants to play, but always ends up getting misunderstood by the cowardly thugs he "rough-and-tumbles" with.

Mishka who grows too huge for Natasha's bed, but never too big for anybody's heart.

Mishka who endears himself to the people of Horridgrad, without much effort other than being his sweet and instinctively playful self, and who eventually rouses the town, especially its little children, to take a stand and aspire for great change.

Don't get me wrong, though. The villains of this book may not be threatening in their often hilarious dumbness, but the power they have over Horridgrad and the things they have done and can still do, has effectively kept me worrying—almost in a panic—that something may still turn out horribly wrong for everyone I have come to care about. But maybe that's just me no longer trusting in the conventional "happily-ever-afters."

What I did not doubt, though, is this book delivering a satisfying end, which is exactly what it did for me. ♥

Reviewed by

I am a casual reader, always on the lookout for new books to read. I try to find the good in every story and will rave about what has touched me deeply as a reader and a writer. If something did not work for me, I can be very honest in saying so and explain 'why' to the very best of my ability.

New starts

About the author

Mike Maroney started off as a low budget filmmaker, but after trying to make a 50 million dollar action film on a zero budget realised storytelling on paper was cheaper. view profile

Published on July 30, 2019

Published by

30000 words

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by