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Dink has four sisters who can make his life miserable, but not even four sisters can keep him from being the happiest boy alive. He is finally getting his very own horse, a real cowpony. His dream is right on track until his sisters take over. His perfect cowpony somehow turns into an old, broken-down, half-starved, retired circus horse. Excitement quickly turns to disappointment and resentment until Dink learns the meaning of love, loss and family even one full of girls which can be the nicest thing in the world.
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Jolene Lewis writes, "I knew from the time I was in third grade that I wanted to be a writer. I wrote plays on the playground, assigned my friends parts, and then directed as I carried the lead role, of course. The others on the playground were coerced to become the audience when either we had polished the performance or some had grown tired of practicing (usually the latter). I was an avid reader devouring library books before the ink had dried on the checkout card. I was especially influenced by Walter Farley books. I read them all. Anything with horses I grabbed off the shelf. I wrote romantic fiction in high school but had a real interest in persuasive essays and speech writing because I was argumentative at that age (my husband says I still am). I graduated from Banquete High School in Texas where I fell in love with my husband. I received my degree in English and Speech from Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas. Before moving to Healdton, Oklahoma, I taught British Literature at Lincoln High School in Port Arthur, Texas, and found that I loved poetry more than I had thought. Poetry forces one to be concise. Tennyson remains my favorite English writer, followed closely by Milton. I received my Masters degree and moved back to Texas to teach at Pampa High School. When, my family moved back to Oklahoma, I resumed my position at Healdton and gained National Board Teacher Certification. . I taught composition for a number of years for Murray State College. I once read in a writers magazine that aspiring writers should never be teachers because after the demands of teaching they would not have the energy to write. I ignored that advice because teaching was as much in my blood as writing. I wanted my students to experience the same love of language that I have. Today I am especially proud of my students who are exceptional writers, but I knew I would never fulfill my dream of becoming a writer if I taught both day and night. The plague of a writer is that the head is always full of possible plots and characters that sometimes interfere with real life; it s hard to focus on mundane, but necessary, tasks at hand when words are ganging together inside the brain. My suggestion to others who can t get the words out of their heads: put them on paper and find an audience. I miss the college students, but slowing down has given me a new drive to fulfill my dream of writing books for children. I live happily with my husband Don, a school superintendent, and 16-year-old son Tyler. My four older children are married with families. Joni Atha, who illustrated WHO NEEDS GIRLS?, happens to be one of my two daughters. My advice to those who dream of writing is that they hold on to the dream with both hands, and it will happen."Review:
Dink wants a horse, and not just any horse; he wants a cowboy's horse . So, how does he get stuck with a broken-down retired circus horse? Poor Dink. The day has finally come for him to pick out the horse he as been saving up his money to buy. He has his heart set on a real horse, a cowboy s horse , one that must be a boy. He searches the Rocking J Ranch, where Mr. Jackson sells horses, until he finds the perfect horse. It s a six-year-old sorrel gelding named Socks. But, while he s waiting for his father and Mr. Jackson to round up the horse so he can ride it, old Goldie, a broken-down retired circus horse chooses him. He has four sisters and is tired of having too many girls in his life - - all previous pets have also been girls. He wants a horse, a boy, but ends up buying the old mare because his sisters fall in love with it, and deep down, he knows it s the right thing to do. But, that doesn t mean he s happy with his choice. The story is a good one, but it left me with one unanswered question: Why is the lead character named Dink? That is never explained. His sisters all have normal names, like Ruby, Josie, Leigh and Ann; so, why is he named Dink? Anyway, "Who Needs Girls?" is a great story with lessons about making the right choices and being happy with who you are and what you have. 5 stars. --Christine Irvin
"Who Needs Girls?" is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times Best-Selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, Motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach, and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom s Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families. This book/product has been honored by this distinguished award. --"Mom's Choice Awards"
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