HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: White Ruff
Author: Glenn Balch
Illustrator: Dick Priest
Publisher: Literary Licensing LLC, republished 2011
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 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 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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Balch, Glenn. White Ruff (Published in 1958 by TAB Books Inc.; republished in 1968 by Scholastic Book Services, a division of Scholastic Magazines Inc.). White Ruff is a big golden collie who belongs to young Chet Foster. Chet lives with his father Ace in a cabin on their mountain ranch near the Salmon River outside the little town of Big Pine, ID, where the Fosters make their living by farming, hunting, and trapping. Chet’s mother is dead. One night the collie is dog-napped, and a note is left that he is being held for ransom. However, though taken far to the east, White Ruff escapes and heads west as he starts to make his journey home. What all happens to the dog along the way? Will he survive the trip and arrive back at the Foster ranch? And is there anything that Chet can do to find his beloved pet?
I have previously read and reviewed two other books by author Glenn Balch. They are Christmas Horse (1949) and Indian Fur (1951). White Ruff has no cursing or profanity, only a few colloquial euphemisms (e.g., gee, blamed, dangedest, dad-burned, darn, gosh). Here is a good dog story with a lot of excitement and suspense without the need for a tissue or hankie at the end. One reviewer said, “I loved this book as a child. Happy to finally find a copy to share with my grandchildren.” And another wrote, “This was one of my favorite books as a child. I remember I was about 11 and as I lay reading this book on my bed on a beautiful summer morning I thought ‘does it get any better than this–a beautiful day and a great book?’ I kept it for years and just found it again and I am going to pass it on to some children I know. I think all kids should read these classic animal novels.”