Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head

Sheila's favorite books »

2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 6 books toward her goal of 90 books.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Stella By McCall Hoyle-Book Review and Special Art Work of Stella by my 2nd Grade Class


Product Details

  • Title: Stella
  • Author: McCall Hoyle
  • Publisher : Shadow Mountain (March 2, 2021)
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1629729019
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1629729015
  • Reading age : 8 - 11 years
  • Grade level : 3 - 4
  • ***I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own***

Book Summary
"This empathetic read is also full of important themes and lessons for young readers bravery, how to overcome fears, and that mistakes don't have to define us." --School Library Journal

Told from Stella's perspective, this story is about a special dog who must find the courage to overcome her fears in order to help save a young girl with epilepsy.

Ever since she was a puppy, Stella was trained to use her powerful beagle nose to sniff out dangerous chemicals and help her handler keep people safe. But during a routine security inspection, Stella misses the scent of an explosive. The sound of the blast is loud and scary. Unable to go back to work because of her anxiety, Stella is retired as a working dog.

When a young girl name Cloe wants to adopt Stella, the beagle knows this is her last chance to prove her worth. But how? When Stella smells a strange chemical inside Cloe's body, a scent that surges just before the girl has a seizure, Stella's nose makes the connection. But how can Stella warn her new family without them thinking she's having an anxiety attack? How can she convince others that she can be a new kind of service dog and hopefully save Cloe's life?

Even dogs deserve a second chance.

My Review
Stella was such a touching story. I read this to my 2nd grade class. They absolutely loved this novel. I had 8 of my students buy their own copy before we'd even finished the novel in class.They could hardly wait every day until it was time to read from Stella. This group of kids loves animals, especially dogs. They were particularly fascinated with the fact that this story was told from Stella's point of view. Most had never read a story from the animal's perspective. As an adult, I even enjoyed hearing the story from Stella's POV. 

This story does have some sad elements where Stella's original "human" Connie was killed in an explosion at the airport. Stella's former job was to sniff out dangerous chemicals at the airport. Something went wrong and Connie's life is lost and Stella is left with emotional and physical wounds. Readers learn of this from Stella's memories and nothing graphic. The beauty of this story is how Stella overcomes her past fears but she finds a girl who believes in her. Chloe and Stella's relationship is so sweet. They bond immediately and Stella ends up being a huge part of Chloe's life too. I also love the message to kids that even though you make mistakes in your life you still can overcome them and be successful. 

I highly recommend this book to younger kids to read with a trusted adult and older kids and adults will love reading this too. 

Meet Author McCall Hoyle

McCall Hoyle lives in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains with her husband, children, and an odd assortment of pets. She is a middle school librarian and teacher. When she's not reading, writing, or teaching, she's probably training one of many dogs. You can learn more about her at 

Purchase your copy of Stella

Art from Stella: drawn and colored by my 2nd Grade Class
Here is the art work done by some of my 2nd graders. They wanted to color pictures of some of their favorite scenes from the book. They did a fantastic job and
truly show the heart of this story and what it meant to them.

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