As mentioned in many of my published reviews and bios, I really enjoy expanding my client base in terms of being asked provide feedback on various types of books. This is why I was very content when Neil Wilson provided his children’s book “Moondust” for me to review.
Written for the age group of 8 to 12, “Moondust” finds two young friends embark on a journey that is reminiscent of “Homeward Bound” and “North,” with an obvious edge. The discovery of a mysterious figure and a peculiar bag finds Ed and Bertie the new owners of two very different dogs. One of the dog is healthy and happy, clearly a representation of the thematic construct of positivity and normalcy. The other is sickly and on the precipice of death. The opposition of the health between the two animals drives the story, and the two boys, to learn about responsibility, as well as the timely topic of puppy mills and the dangers they hold.
Becoming sleuths in their journey, both Ed and Bertie manage to locate the barbaric puppy farm where their new friends were previously placed, and attempt to bring evil villain to justice.
As mentioned above, reviewing children’s books is new for me. While I attempt to find motifs and themes in everything I read, in a children’s book that identification does not apply. There is one overall moral, and along the way of that moral’s attainment, the main characters learn about responsibility and the darker components of society. Neil Wilson presents a well-crafted cautionary tale of awareness and hope, as well as the importance of bravery. His characters are catalysts to change, and with a plot that many children can relate to, the awareness of puppy mills will hopefully bring to the forefront a united opposition to their continued existence.