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Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings
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Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,276 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
Huck is a page-turning, unforgettable true story of the tenacity of one small dog, the unexpected, extraordinary kindness of strangers, and a family’s devotion to each other.

Michael was four when his relentless campaign for a dog began. At seven he made a PowerPoint presentation, “My Dog,” with headings like “A Childhood Without a Dog isa Sad Thing.” His parents, Janet an
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Broadway Books (first published September 28th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 12, 2012 Vonette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love dogs, and I have previously enjoyed books about animals -- especially true stories like this one. So, I was expecting an enjoyable read. However, the book was only OK at best--and at times even a little annoying. The author clearly does not see life from the perspective of the average, not-from-New-York-City person. It gets irritating at times how amazed she is by the way ordinary people live and act outside the city.

"Huck" might have made a decent short story, but the author has padded
Aug 03, 2011 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, if for no other reason, then I loved the cover picture which so reminded me of Dublin. But unfortunately, I couldn't. So many reasons why. First, the author Janet Elder is writes for the NY Times. Which would lead you to believe that she is a good writer. She may be a good "reporter" but writer, no. I found the writing tedious. Very laborious. Really do I need to know every whine your son makes and every back story of how each couple who offered to help you met. Plus, ...more
Jan 30, 2011 Heidi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a drawing here at Good Reads. When I won, they asked me to make sure to review the book on Good Reads but they may change their mind.
I hate to say it had to be one of the worst books I have ever read. I hated the condescending attitude of the author to all things not in New York City - as if the rest of the country was just set up as a theme park for New Yorkers to visit where everything is wonderful, time goes slowly and no one has any cares. Believe me - non-New Yorkers do
Mar 01, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I put off reading this book for a long-time because I wasn't sure my heart could take a bad ending for a family and their pet. I wish I hadn't waited - this book was wonderful and not quite what I expected.

The story begins as a family's young son lobbies heavily to have a dog for a pet. Eventually his parents relent. They make the decision to get a dog in the wake of the mother's breast cancer diagnosis, reasoning that if she does not survive then her son will have someone around to comfort him.
Nov 21, 2010 Judywi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat disappointing. The dog on the cover is adorable, and if you are any kind of animal person at all it is a hard book to resist reading, based on that alone. However, the writing and story were so-so at best. After the author and her family completely give their hearts to a new puppy in their life, they leave "Huck" with relatives in New Jersey while they take a vacation. Sadly, the dog runs away, and the family cuts short their trip to mount a full-scale search campaign for the missing do ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Jelder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wrote HUCK to share with readers a remarkable true story about a lost puppy, a family's devotion to each other, and the unexpected kindness of strangers. The advance praise from Jon Katz, Caroline Kennedy, and others has been wonderful. So too have been the reviwes from people like Jen,a mother in Pennsylvania who read an advance copy of HUCK. She had long grown cynnical about people but said that reading HUCK had restored her faith. I felt happy, sad, excited, and scared reading this book, of ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Elhara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this tale and finished it quickly.
Upon reading what others thought I began to agree with many reviewer's criticisms. There was a lot of time spent describing people, events etc that hadn't much importance. I suppose that may have seemed like padding. Some reviewr's didn't appreciate the whole story revolving around a dog hunt.
But upon giving it some thought I am sticking with my rating. It is a true story and it read like one. I don't think the aurhor, Janet Elder, padded the s
Ronald Roseborough
Huck is not just a story about a lost dog. It is a book about surmounting the odds, winning in the face of adversity, and not giving up. It's about finding strength in yourself and those around you. A boy who won't give up on his dream to find his dog. A mother who won't give in after being diagnosed with breast cancer. A man who will not give up on his love and faith in both his son and his wife, no matter the tragedies they face. It's about tears, pain, and great joy. It's about the love a fam ...more
Richard Finkelstein
I found Huck to be an extraordinarily moving and beautifully written work. It both lives up to its subtitle, while at the same time providing a good old fashion tale of suspense, excitement and hope. It was a great read from start to finish, and it reassures you that all those anonymous people you pass in the street everyday are probably very good people and good samaritans willing to extend themselves and lend a helping hand.
Pat Buzby
David Letterman did two segments with this author so I got the book expecting something more of an Edgar Sawteel story but this very short vanity book was a little disappointing. Reading the credits made me realize that Janet Elder and Regina Lasko Letterman are friends, thus the good plug on national television. It was quick, cute renewal of faith in the kindness of strangers but not much more.
Sep 01, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rescue, dogs
Janet Elder's memoir, "Huck," is a delightful story of love and courage.

Elder's son, Michael, lobbies heavily to have a dog for a pet for several years until his parents relent. They make the decision to get a dog in the wake of Elder's breast cancer diagnosis, reasoning that if she does not survive then her son will have someone around to comfort him.

Elder, of course, survives. However, in the meanwhile she and her family have fallen madly in love with Huck, the red toy poodle they purchase fo
Marissa Dobson
Huck is an interesting story about a families search for their missing dog. I don't know about you, but I am a huge dog lover. I have three wonderful dogs and if one of them was missing I would search until I find them. So Huck hit home for me. I couldn't picture going through what this family went through, but they never gave up hope of finding their dog which is amazing.

Michael is eleven years old, and for his whole life he has wanted nothing but a dog. He feels that dog will be his best frie
Brandy Bacala
Ok, I'll admit it...I totally bought this book because of the cute puppy on the cover. Huck's scruffy little face and the words "remarkable true story" had me falling hook, line and sinker. But the front cover is probably the best part of this book, and I was really disappointed by the time I finished Huck.

It's a simple story about a dog that gets out the fence and the days after in which the family puts up lost dog signs. The author includes a lot of unnecessary detail about every person she ta
Jul 11, 2011 Lisse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel the better story here would've been focusing on a woman and her family overcoming cancer, not the short loss of their dog. Huck is a cute little dog who gets lost while his family is on vacation, and while it's great how many people come out of a small town to help this family find their dog, it doesn't seem any kind of overwhelmingly new or out-of-the-ordinary to me. As my mom said, what she found extraordinary was not how people came to help this family, but how odd this NY family found ...more
Mar 03, 2011 Robi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a very short book, a quick read, charming as might be expected about any book about an adorable little dog that's lost. However, as short as the book was, it could have been even shorter without some of the details added in to "plush" it out. For instance, the explanation of hanging up flyers was something to the effect "I held the flyer with my left hand, took a nail and hammered it in with my right hand." She could have said "I hung up the flyers" and we all could have pictured how it w ...more
Mar 12, 2014 Sandie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Living in New York City, the last thing Janet Elder and her husband would consider was getting a dog. It wouldn't be fair to the animal as their hectic lives just wouldn't work for a dog. But it was their son, Michael's, biggest desire. He asked for a dog every birthday and every Christmas and talked about having one incessantly. As much as they loved Michael, they just couldn't budge on their decision.

Then came the news every women dreads. Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she knew s
Eleana Springman
This is the very cute story of a poodle puppy named Huck. Michael Elder always wanted a dog, he even put together a Powerpoint presentation making his case when he was 10. But, since his family lived in New York City his parents felt like a dog would be too stressful. However, when his mom Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer, they decided having a dog might help Michael cope with his mom's illness. So, they got Huck, a red-haired toy poodle that everyone in the family came to love. When the f ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
In essence, this book is about a family from NYC who get a dog, said dog runs away, and then they find it.
However, it took 6 CD (over 7 hours of listening to the story) to tell a "tail" that would have taken me 15 minutes to recount to my friends.

However, having said that, this is a sweet story, and the writing is fantastic. The author does a great job of character development and painting a vivid picture. It would be the kind of story that I would pass to my grandmother to read.

Perhaps, comi
Chuckernaut Goddeeris
Holy crap. One of the few books involving a dog that doesn't end sadly, but man that section in the middle is definitely sad. Frequently I went through at least 3 conflicting emotions per page but this was a captivating story nonetheless. This story will restore your faith in humanity, if only for a few days. It's a true story about one family finally getting a dog for the only son. Before you get to the crux of the story - their unending hunt for the puppy who escaped from their dog-sitters dur ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Kate11 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2011 Malia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog
Heart warming always a treat to read good pet stories.
Barbara Wood
I wish I could say that I loved this book. Maybe because I read it so slowly - it was really my "read a page before bed or in the middle of the night" book. I generally love books about dogs, such as A Dog's Purpose, etc. but this one got so bogged down in journalistic mini-bios of everyone the author encountered, that it felt like just fluff to keep the story moving. I also didn't develop love for Huck, as a dog owner who has had difficult dogs in the past. I could feel the frustration, each ti ...more
Amanda Morgan
Another story by another journalist about their undeniably fabulous dog. That was my initial thought when I picked up this book.
I soon realized I was a bit off in my estimation of “Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family—and a Whole Town —About Hope and Happy Endings.”
This story really is less about how fabulous the red-colored toy poodle named Huck is, and more focused on how fabulous the small New Jersey townspeople are when Huck goes missing.
Janet and Rich E

Janet and Rich Elder’s son, Micheal, had been begging for a dog since he was four. Their busy jobs and hectic New York City lifestyle prevented them from caving for years. When Janet discovers she has breast cancer, though, she decides that 11 year old Michael should finally have his dog to help cope with the illness and the stresses it would bring. Huck, a toy poodle puppy comes home and steals their hearts away.Shortly after his arrival, the family goes on a vacation to Florida and they,
Jan 22, 2012 Tea rated it it was amazing
This is a heartwarming true story about a family and a new, Red Poodle pup. There are the parents and Michael, their son. Michael has wanted a pup it seems like forever. After his mother is diagnosed with cancer, she spends more time thinking of what will keep Rich, her husband, and especially, Michael, her son, less consumed by her chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In other words, she becomes totally selfless. It's not difficult to decide a pup would make the best addition to the family bec ...more
Pamela Barrett
May 01, 2011 Pamela Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Elder had pleaded with his parents for years to get him a dog—but the answer was always no. “No you are too young, no we live in an apartment in New York, no we are too busy to care for a dog.” His mom, Janet, had these reasons and more and his dad Rich always agreed. Still Michael tried many times to prove how important it was for him to have a dog. When he was 11 years old the family took a trip to Italy and even then, they pointed out how hard it would be to travel if they had to care ...more
Ms. Z
This is a book for dog lovers. Janet Elder's son Michael, has begged for a dog for years, even going so far as to create a powerpoint for his parents explaining why he should have a dog. When Janet is diagnosed with breast cancer, she and her husband Rich decide that the time has come for Michael to have a dog, once she completes her cancer treatments. Enter Huck, an adorable 4 month-old red toy poodle puppy who comes with instructions from the breeder to keep him on leash when he's not in a fen ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Jen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-non-fiction
It has been many years since I have read a book in under two weeks, which should be point enough for how wonderful and delightful and heart-wrenching this book is. Huck will make you fall in love with you, break your heart, and then fill your heart with so much love and hope that the harrowing journey will be worth it.

Janet Elder takes her readers on a personal, emotional journey -- offering the invitation into her life, the lives of her family members, and the lives of kind strangers she meets
Jun 07, 2013 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2013 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awwwwww ...go ahead, you must be heartless if you can look at that face without a sigh. Maybe it's because I have a daughter who is crazy about dogs, but I've been noticing a lot of dog books out there lately. Huck: The Remarkable True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings is another in that genre. The story is basically about a family whose only son begs for a dog to no avail. The mom gets cancer, fights cancer, beats cancer, and then finall ...more
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