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|Barnes & Noble Review:
A.J. (Angelina to her family) spends a summer discovering that our imperfect world is glazed with wonder when seen through the eyes of a ten year old child. Her family, the boisterous DeGuilios, take a vacation on a secluded island, which expands to include another family, the Morgans, who are facing some hard times when it is discovered that their dad is having “sleepovers” back home while mom and the kids are at the lake. A.J. also gets rescued in a dramatic episode by her heartthrob Danny, who turns out to be just a good guy with no ulterior motives.
|Saving Sailor, Renee Riva|
|The dog, Sailor, really gets saved from the pound’s death row, after A.J. pitches a fit when they go to allegedly pick out a birthday-dog for her older sister, but A.J. gets a big galoot dog instead. Sailor figures into a couple of the important scenes, but does not die—a relief to this reader who is tired of dog-heroes dying—although he is left behind at the end of the novel when the grown-older A.J. goes to Europe for years and leaves Sailor behind with Danny. While there are casual discussions of God, heaven, and other religious topics throughout several episodes, it is in the pivotal scene of the philandering father “coming back to Jesus” that the book earns its gold-star as a religious novel. There is a very long acknowledgements page, an introduction, a prologue, an epilogue, and an author interview included in this paperback edition, all of which articulate that the novel is actually based in the real-life adventures of the author. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer|
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