Teachers for Teachers | It’s Monday! This Historical Fiction Novel Steals the Show #IMWAYR #BuildYourStack
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It’s Monday! This Historical Fiction Novel Steals the Show #IMWAYR #BuildYourStack

At NCTE, we attended the Children’s Literature Assembly Breakfast and heard Candice Fleming and Eric Rohmann talk about their newest book, STRONGHEART: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen.  Candice shared how she was inspired to write this historical fiction novel when she learned about Strongheart while doing a bit of research about dogs in movies.  She became fascinated by Strongheart, who was popular with movie fans in the 1920s.  Once she had the story, she teamed up with Eric Rohmann who created illustrations that bring Strongheart’s personality to life.

In this story, readers learn how Larry Trimble, a Hollywood director, found Strongheart working as a police dog in Berlin, Germany. Candice shares how Larry Trimble helped recondition Strongheart to trust people and become playful.  She also explains how Strongheart had an innate talent for acting.

When Strongheart’s silent movies hit the screen, he became an overnight sensation. People in the theaters cheered for this dog and wanted to get his autograph.  In subsequent films, Strongheart even had a leading lady named, Lady Jule.  Strongheart and Lady Jule toured together around the country.  Don’t believe us?  Check out this clip of Strongheart and Lady Jule in this 1920’s promotional clip.

If you have middle-grade readers who love Hollywood drama, mystery, and a dog story with a happy ending, they will enjoy this book.  This book is a perfect introduction to historical fiction and pushes readers to research their own passions to see what real stories they can unearth.  Thanks, NCTE and the Children’s Literature Assembly for introducing us to this incredible text. This is a perfect read aloud in grades 3 and 4, and a text that readers in grades 3-6 will love.

6 Comments
  • Shaye
    Posted at 15:43h, 10 December Reply

    This is the first time I”ve heard of STRONGHEART: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen, so I’ll have to see if I can find it! I just love hearing about how authors get inspired to share stories. That video clip was so great! And I read in the comments below the video that some people used to purchase Strongheart dog food way back when. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for this one. Thank you for sharing, Clare and Tammy!

  • Linda Baie
    Posted at 16:49h, 10 December Reply

    This book is on my list. The dogs looked so nervous in the clip, but perhaps just waiting for the treat? Amazing what can be found when looking back in history. Thanks for the review!

  • Laura Mossa
    Posted at 18:06h, 10 December Reply

    Thank you for the reminder about Strongheart; it would be a great book for me to feature on Beagles and Books. I share a dog book each week on #IMWAYR. Thank you for sharing! Have a great week!

  • Lisa Maucione
    Posted at 22:24h, 10 December Reply

    I found Strongheart to be really interesting. I think it’s a great nonfiction book for kids since anything with dogs is usually a hit.

  • Jana Eschner
    Posted at 18:12h, 11 December Reply

    Definitely looks like an awesome book to check out! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week!

  • Elisabeth Ellington
    Posted at 13:43h, 12 December Reply

    I attended their talk and was completely entranced by this story and all the clips they showed of people really going nuts for Strongheart. Definitely on my TBR stack!

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