The other day I received “Everybody Loves Grace: A True Story of Grace’s Adventure to the Grand Canyon” by Katy McQuaid. The target audience is ages 6 to 10.
A number of decades have passed since I was of the target audience age, but I read the book anyway. A dog named Grace narrates the story of a Western road trip with her owner ending with a visit to the Grand Canyon.
A paragraph I love is this one:
“I started to understand that almost everybody that walks by stops to pet me. I’m not sure why this happens. I just look at people in their eyes and let them pet me. Sometimes I give them a paw and look deeper into their eyes. The young man at the red brick building taught me that Everybody needs Grace.”
I have often been asked about writing a book — not actually been asked by a publisher understand, but I am a member of a writer’s group and many of the other members have written books. My book? I’ve always said my life hasn’t been exciting enough to fill a book.
But in reading ‘Everybody Loves Grace, Book Two”, I had second thoughts. I have three dogs and I suppose I, too, could imagine their thoughts if we all went on vacation, though if truth played a role….
“Momma lifted me up to put me in the back of the car and she made a funny grunting noise as she did so. She makes those noises a lot these days, especially when she gets up from the lounge chair. I hold my ears.”
Unlike the author of the “Everybody Loves Grace” books (two have been published thus far), I would never come up with a resume similar to hers.
“Katy McQuaid graduated from Penn State University on a full athletic scholarship, achieving her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. She was a top finisher in the Martha Vineyard Open Water Swim and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swims. Katy is also a graduate of the Vanguard Executive Development Program at Duke University and the Pinnacle Executive Leader Program at Kellogg’s School of Management at Northwestern University. Serving as a Senior Executive in the Central Intelligence Agency (for more than 30 years) Katy developed the CIA’s Executive Skills for Today’s Leaders. She was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Metal for Manager of the Year and the Central Intelligence Medal.”
Two things I’m not good at are swimming long distances and math. Nor have I ever won anything that had “intelligence” associated with it. If other executives in the company where I worked relied on my leadership skills, that would have been news to me.
However, I still could have written a book “like” Everybody Loves Grace. I would not have had the world-traveler status that author McQuaid had, but I could have come up with something…..
“Mommy likes to take naps, but not when she’s driving, so she drinks lots of water (we know all the rest stops) and sometimes she even hits herself in her leg to keep from falling asleep. We hope that works.”
Hopefully (and seriously), the youngsters in the Everybody Loves Grace target audience could use these books to practice their reading skills. I suppose reading about animal love would also be extremely comforting. The book’s illustrations by Susan LaValley are charming.
I would not give this book to families who don’t own a pet because the inferred kindness of Grace might inspire a relentless campaign FOR a dog.
But for children who know and love animals, the Everybody Loves Grace books might be good additions to a young library. My book had just 54 pages.