I like dogs well enough, but I've never considered myself to be a dog person. Nor have I had a love for dog stories, as a child or an adult. That is, until I started reading the books of Albert Payson Terhune aloud to my children. Terhune's stories are of noble characters, exciting adventures, loyalty, joy, and some tragedy. And all of the heroes are the four legged kind! Terhune takes the adage "Write what you know" to heart, for his stories are all based upon his personal experiences with his dogs. Published in 1919, Lad: A Dog is the first of several books featuring his different pets.
Expect kids to glean some new vocabulary from reading the Lad books. It's a happy side-effect. Terhune’s books are chock full of interesting and unique word choices.
I first read these books to my kids when they were elementary age and we all loved them. Then a few years ago, when they were teens, our power was knocked out for days by a huge ice storm. I pulled out our old copy of Lad: A Dog and we read it again. It was even better by candlelight!