HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Bing: the Story of a Tramp Dog
Author: Thomas C. Hinkle
Publisher: A B Publishing, republished 2016
Language level: 1
(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 and up
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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Hinkle, Thomas C. Bing: the Story of a Tramp Dog (Published in 1932 by William Morrow and Company Inc., New York City, NY; republished in 2016 by Lone Oak Books). It is in the 1880s, and Bing is a white and silver tramp dog born in the Kansas town of Black Thorn. His mother was a collie. Survival is a constant battle that depends on foraging for enough food to stay alive and fighting off the other dogs who cross his path. So he heads west to the village of Killdeer. There he finally finds love and acceptance when he meets with 16 year old Joe Harlan. When Joe had been two years old, his father, mother, and uncle Jim Harlan were caught in a blizzard while driving a covered wagon on the Kansas plains. In the blinding storm, the wagon went over the edge of a ravine. Joe’s parents were killed, so Joe now lives with his uncle and adopts Bing.
Pretty soon, however, Bing is blamed for the killings that are taking a heavy toll on the neighboring farmers’ livestock. This puts Joe into a state of anxiety. He knows better, but can’t prove Bing innocent. Who is the real killer? What will become of Bing? Is there anyone who is able—and willing—to help Joe to show Bing’s innocence? This is a great story involving adventure, excitement, suspense, and mystery that would be especially interesting for middle to upper grade boys. And there is absolutely no bad language. Publisher Delbert Beechy wrote, “As Amish schoolboys, my brothers, schoolmates, and I liked Thomas C. Hinkle’s books. Out of print for nearly half a century, these heartwarming horse and dog stories are back by popular demand.”