HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco
Author: Nancy E. Krulik
Publisher: Disney Press, 1996
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 7-9
Rating: **** 4 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Krulik, Nancy E. Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (Published in 1996 by Disney Press, 114 Fifth Ave., New York City, NY 10011). Chance the foolhardy black and white bulldog pup, Shadow the wise old golden retriever, and Sassy the nervous but affectionate Himalayan cat, live with the Seaver family—parents Bob and Laura and kids Peter, Hope, and Jamie—in the suburbs of San Francisco, CA. The Seavers arrive at San Francisco International Airport to catch a flight to Maine for a vacation camping trip, intending to take the trio of pets along with them. Unbeknownst to their owners, unfortunately, the confused animals burst out of their carriers and escape to the city. After falling in with a group of strays for a while, they tire of vagrancy and set out to find their beloved home.
However, having to deal with a garbage truck, a street sweeper, a couple of mean junkyard dogs, a house fire, some dognappers, and a large tractor trailer rig, can they survive? If so, do they ever locate the way home? Or will they never see their family again? First, there was the wonderful book The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. Then Walt Disney Studios made the book into a fairly good movie. Next, they did a film remake Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. After that, they produced a sequel, Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. This book is the junior novelization of the sequel. There are some common euphemisms (e.g., heck) and childish slang terms (i.e., “barrel butt”), but this is not a bad book.
I have read The Incredible Journey, and seen both the original movie and the remake, but have not seen Homeward Bound II. Therefore, I have no way of comparing the book to the film. One reviewer wrote that “the author butchered the original Homeward Bound II story,” saying, “But if anybody wants to read this, take into account that it’s the same story as the movie, just watered down a lot (for younger readers, I’m guessing) and that it doesn’t include some of the scenes from the movie (like when Chance rolled Sassy down the hill in the plastic pipe, inspiring his idea to outwit Ashcan and Pete).” It’s a very fast read that has some good use of vocabulary and would be useful as reading practice for younger kids.