The Border Collie Moss spends his days lying beside stacked bags at the Pragers' Garden Center, looking like a statue. He watches intently every time a car pulls into the parking area and occasionally even climbs into a stranger's vehicle.
Diane, the Pragers' baby-sitter, knows Moss is searching for someone, missing someone. She longs to help him. She wants to return him to the exuberant dog she knew a year ago, before he was injured and disappeared. She feels responsible for the change in him.
Diane has a hunch that if she can convince the Pragers to let her prepare Moss for sheepherding competitions, that'll perk him up again. He needs to work. But can the Pragers find time in their busy days to train Moss and Diane? Even if they do, will Moss work for Diane? Will he accept her?
And how will he and Diane deal with the frightening chain of events that is set in motion when Diane stumbles upon a skunk acting strangely -- twirling, snapping, staggering dizzily, even attacking a car...?
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Betty Levin is the author of many popular books for young people, including The Banished; Look Back, Moss; Away to Me, Moss; Island Bound; Fire in the Wind; and The Trouble with Gramary. Betty Levin has a sheep farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, where she also raises and trains sheepdogs. In Her Own Words...
"I started writing stories almost as soon as I began to read. They were derivative and predictable-as much a way of revisiting characters and places in books I loved as it was a means of self-expression. I don't remember when words and their use became important. In the beginning was the story, and for a long time it was all that mattered.
"Even though I always wrote, I imagined becoming an explorer or an animal trainer. This was long before I had to be gainfully employed. It wasn't until after I'd landed in the workplace, first in museum research and then in teaching, that I returned to story writing-this time for my young children. Then a fellowship in creative writing at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College gave me and my storymaking a chance. One affirmation led to another, and now there are books-and some readers.
"When I talk with children in schools and libraries, I realize that child readers are still out there. When they get excited about a character or a scene, a new dimension opens for them, a new way of seeing and feeling and understanding.
"Of course there is always one child who asks how it feels to be famous and to be recognized in supermarkets. I explain that the only people who recognize me are those who have seen me working my sheep dogs or selling my wool at sheep fairs. That response often prompts another query: Why write books if they don't make you rich and famous? I usually toss that question back at the children. Why do they invent stories? How does story writing make them feel?
"Eventually we explore the distinction between wanting to be a writer and needing to write. If we want to write, then we must and will. Whether or not we become published authors, we all have tales to tell and stories to share. Literature can only continue to grow from the roots of our collective experience if children understand that they are born creative and that all humans are myth users and storytellers."
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Book Description Greenwillow Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060005327
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800600053201.0
Book Description Greenwillow Books, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-199-72-0000000