My Life Among the Underdogs
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|Author||: Tia Torres|
From one of the most respected figures in the dog rescue community come the harrowing, funny, and inspiring stories of nine incredible dogs that shaped her life. Tia Torres, beloved underdog advocate and star of Animal Planet's hit show Pit Bulls & Parolees, chronicles her roller-coaster life in this heartwarming memoir featuring some of her best-loved dogs. With inimitable honesty and characteristic brashness, Tia captures the spirit and heart of these intelligent and loving canines, while carrying us behind the scenes of her TV show, into the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans, onto the soundstages of Hollywood films, and even to the jungles of Sri Lanka. Tia has devoted her life to shattering the stereotype that pit bulls are dangerous, vicious predators. As the top dog at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, the largest pit bull rescue in the United States, she and her team have rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed hundreds of animals that might otherwise have been destroyed. As she puts it, "Most of the stories in this book are about animals (and a few humans) that needed someone to believe in them and a purpose in order to show their true nobility." Each dog Tia writes about here has overcome abuse, trauma, neglect, or just bad luck to become a stalwart, loving companion to Tia and her family. You'll meet Duke, whose intelligence and matinee-idol looks made him a star in movies and music videos; Junkyard Joe, whose single-minded passion for tennis balls was channeled into expertise as a drug-sniffing dog; Bluie, the unswerving protector of Tia's daughter Tania; and a host of other unforgettable canines. My Life Among the Underdogs is above all a love story--one that is sure to grip the heart of anyone who has ever loved a dog.
|Author||: Tia Torres|
|Editor||: William Morrow|
From one of the most respected figures in the dog rescue community come the harrowing, funny, and inspiring stories of nine incredible dogs that shaped her life. Tia Torres, beloved underdog advocate and star of Animal Planet's hit show Pit Bulls & Parolees, chronicles her roller-coaster life in this heartwarming memoir featuring some of her best-loved dogs. With inimitable honesty and characteristic brashness, Tia captures the spirit and heart of these intelligent and loving canines, while carrying us behind the scenes of her TV show, into the heart of post-Katrina New Orleans, onto the soundstages of Hollywood films, and even to the jungles of Sri Lanka. Tia has devoted her life to shattering the stereotype that pit bulls are dangerous, vicious predators. As the top dog at the Villalobos Rescue Center in New Orleans, the largest pit bull rescue in the United States, she and her team have rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed hundreds of animals that might otherwise have been destroyed. As she puts it, Most of the stories in this book are about animals (and a few humans) that needed someone to believe in them and a purpose in order to show their true nobility. Each dog Tia writes about here has overcome abuse, trauma, neglect, or just bad luck to become a stalwart, loving companion to Tia and her family. You'll meet Duke, whose intelligence and matinee-idol looks made him a star in movies and music videos; Junkyard Joe, whose single-minded passion for tennis balls was channeled into expertise as a drug-sniffing dog; Bluie, the unswerving protector of Tia's daughter Tania; and a host of other unforgettable canines. My Life Among the Underdogs is above all a love story--one that is sure to grip the heart of anyone who has ever loved a dog. --Library Journal
|Author||: Chris Bonnello|
|Editor||: Unbound Publishing|
Three weeks have passed since the events of Underdogs. The British population continues its imprisonment in Nicholas Grant's giant walled Citadels, under the watchful eye of innumerable cloned soldiers. The heroes of Oakenfold Special School remain their last chance of freedom. As a result of their last mission, Grant has been forced to speed up his plans for Great Britain and beyond. Ewan, Kate, McCormick and the rest of the Underdogs must face the horrors of his new research, knowing that it raises the stakes as high as they will go. Failing this battle will not merely result in losing soldiers and friends, but in losing the war entirely. According to the odds, the Underdogs are near-certain to fail. But they have spent their whole lives being underestimated and did not survive this long by respecting the odds.
|Author||: Shorty Rossi|
|Editor||: Crown Archetype|
Luigi Francis Shorty Rossi, the tough-talking, fedora-wearing star of Animal Planet’s hit show Pit Boss, may stand only four feet tall but that hasn’t stopped him from living large, becoming a successful businessman and an outspoken advocate for pit bulls, the most misunderstood breed of dog in the world. A third generation dwarf, ex-gang member, and ex-con, Shorty knows what it’s like to be misunderstood and in this candid memoir, he shares his personal story for the first time. No one expected Shorty to live let alone succeed, and yet he has, overcoming every challenge, from an abusive home to the violent streets and gangs of South Central LA, to the notorious cell blocks of Folsom Prison where he was imprisoned for attempted murder. After 10 years, 10 months, and 10 days behind bars, Shorty gained his freedom and the chance to put his entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to the test. He cut the ribbon on his own business, Shortywood, with three goals: to turn his life around, act as a talent agent for little people and establish and fund charities that advocate for, rescue and place abandoned or abused pit bulls into safe homes. In the process, he became a reality-TV star. Now, with Hercules, his rescued pit bull and newly trained service dog by his side, Shorty continues to save pits from the basements and backyards of breeders and abusers while taking on new and even bigger challenges. And nothing is gonna stand in his way. Shorty Rossi is four feet tall—and rising.
|Author||: Ken Foster|
Filled with inspiring stories and photographs, this heartfelt tribute to the pit bull celebrates one of America’s most popular yet misunderstood dogs. Perhaps more than any other breed, the pit bull has been dogged by negative stereotypes. In truth, pit bulls are innately wonderful family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other type of dog. Setting the record straight, Ken Foster sings the praises of pit bulls in I’m a Good Dog, a gorgeously illustrated, tenderly written tribute to this most misunderstood of canines. Founder of the Sula Foundation, which promotes responsible pit bull ownership in New Orleans, and the author of two acclaimed books about abandoned dogs, Foster has made it his mission to bring overlooked canines into the limelight. I’m a Good Dog traces the fascinating history of this particularly maligned breed. A century ago, the pit bull was considered a family dog, featured in family photos and trusted as loving companions for children. More recently, pit bulls have been portrayed by the media as stereotypes of everything they are not. Foster shatters that reputation through moving profiles of pit bulls that serve as therapy dogs, athletic heroes, search-and-rescue dogs, and educators, not to mention as loving pets. Foster also profiles many pit bull lovers, from Helen Keller and Dr. Seuss to actor Todd Cerveris, who took his pit bull on tour with him for the musical Spring Awakening. Proving that there’s much to love and nothing to fear, I’m a Good Dog restores the pit bull to its rightful place as friend, family member, athlete and entertainer.
|Author||: Sara Hammel|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)|
Who killed Annabel Harper? When a popular teen beauty’s body is discovered by the pool at an elite tennis club, the regulars are shocked—especially twelve-year-old Evie and her best friend, Chelsea. While everyone else is haunted by the teen’s death, Evie and Chelsea jump on the case, dogging the footsteps of the lead detective as he investigates. As temperatures soar over the summer, tensions rise, fingers are pointed, and a heroic act sets in motion a chain of events readers will never see coming. In the tradition of The Westing Game comes this debut mystery with a breathtaking twist.
|Author||: Jill Baker|
|Editor||: Hachette Australia|
How much do you think you could take? Try this: your husband dies suddenly and, weeks later, while you're still grieving, you're diagnosed with cancer. Would you keep fighting? Newspaper editor Jill Baker arrived home to find her husband George dead on the bedroom floor. Then - while still in shock - she was diagnosed with breast cancer and given odds on being alive in five years' time. Surgery, chemo and radiation therapy followed during Jill's extraordinary year from hell. It took a huge toll. Some days she barely recognised herself. When a doctor suggested a dog might heal her, Jill took a chance on her first wag. She needed something to make life worth living, but could that really be a crazy, snoring, howling, digging, chewing, barking, hipster 70s orange pup like Harry? Harry and Jill are an unlikely duo. Jill is quiet, Harry is loud as hell. Jill meticulously plans the day while Harry says let's wing it. She sips pinot while he's an espresso martini guy. Turns out Harry and Jill were made to be together. Theirs is a beautiful friendship, an unbreakable bond. A Dog Called Harry is the moving story of a dog dubbed Dirty Harry who helped Jill love life again.
|Author||: Jim Gorant|
An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man's best friend, in the aftermath of the nation's most notorious case of animal cruelty. Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick's brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant's Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in "restitution" to the dogs. As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope. Includes an 8-page photo insert. Watch a video
|Author||: Dr. Jan Pol,David Fisher|
The star of The Incredible Dr. Pol shares his amusing, and often poignant, tales from his four decades as a vet in rural Michigan. Dr. Jan Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised the Netherlands on a dairy farm, he is the star of Nat Geo Wild’s hit show The Incredible Dr. Pol and has been treating animals in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr. Pol’s more than 20,000 patients have ranged from white mice to 2600-pound horses and everything in between. From the time he was twelve years old and helped deliver a litter of piglets on his family’s farm to the incredible moments captured on his hit TV show, Dr. Pol has amassed a wealth of stories of what it’s like caring for this menagerie of animals. He shares his own story of growing up surrounded by animals, training to be a vet in the Netherlands, and moving to Michigan to open his first practice in a pre fab house. He has established himself as an empathetic yet no-nonsense vet who isn’t afraid to make the difficult decisions in order to do what’s best for his patients—and their hard-working owners. A sick pet can bring heartache, but a sick cow or horse could threaten the very livelihood of a farmer whose modest profits are dependent on healthy livestock. Reminiscent of the classic books of James Herriot, Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow is a charming, fascinating, and funny memoir that will delight animal lovers everywhere.
|Author||: Matt Keller|
|Editor||: Thomas Nelson|
Have you ever felt like an underdog? Like you don’t have the ability or confidence to pursue your dreams? The Bible is full of ordinary people the world considered underdogs. Yet God chose them to do his work. In God of the Underdogs, pastor Matt Keller tells his own story of being an underdog as well as the stories of the underdog heroes in Scripture. Men and women like Moses, Esther, King David, Samuel, Joseph, Paul the Apostle, and even Jesus. The stories and scriptures you’ll read will inspire you to face down the excuses holding you back, and you will be free to pursue your destiny as never before! Maybe you’re thinking, My past is too dark. “But it’s your past,” Matt assures you. God of the Underdogswill show you that the Creator of the universe wants you to accomplish great things for him. He wants to use your life in a way he will use no one else’s. Don’t shrink back from your destiny; lean into it. The Bible says you are a friend of God. Beloved. Highly esteemed. Known. More than conquerors. God sees your potential. It is your inability, not your perfection, that makes you an underdog worth using in God’s eyes. So rise up, underdog! God has a special plan for your life.
|Author||: Allison Britz|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A brave teen recounts her debilitating struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder—and brings readers through every painful step as she finds her way to the other side—in this powerful and inspiring memoir. Until sophomore year of high school, fifteen-year-old Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home. But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality. It started with avoiding sidewalk cracks and quickly grew to counting steps as loudly as possible. Over the following weeks, her brain listed more dangers and fixes. She had to avoid hair dryers, calculators, cell phones, computers, anything green, bananas, oatmeal, and most of her own clothing. Unable to act “normal,” the once-popular Allison became an outcast. Her parents questioned her behavior, leading to explosive fights. When notebook paper, pencils, and most schoolbooks were declared dangerous to her health, her GPA imploded, along with her plans for the future. Finally, she allowed herself to ask for help and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This brave memoir tracks Allison’s descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths.
|Author||: Melissa Fay Greene|
From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief, emotional, physical, and cognitive disability, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age twenty-four by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was “too disabled.” Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German shepherd, dragged her back into life. “How many people are stranded like I was,” she wondered, “who would lead productive lives if only they had a dog?” A thousand state-of-the-art dogs later, Karen Shirk’s service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their families to life. Long shunned by scientists as a manmade, synthetic species, and oft- referred to as “Man’s Best Friend” almost patronizingly, dogs are finally paid respectful attention by a new generation of neuroscientists and animal behaviorists. Melissa Fay Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries about our co-evolution with dogs with Karen’s story and a few exquisitely rendered stories of suffering children and their heartbroken families. Written with characteristic insight, humanity, humor, and irrepressible joy, what could have been merely touching is a penetrating, compassionate exploration of larger questions: about our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love.
|Author||: Doug Pederson|
|Editor||: Hachette Books|
How does an underdog become a champion? One of the most innovative, gutsy, and dynamic head coaches in the NFL reveals the strategies behind building the Eagles team that shocked the world by winning the Super Bowl. Doug Pederson is the very definition of an underdog. He was an undrafted rookie free agent who would go on to play fourteen years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He was cut five times, yet kept getting back up and into the fray. He would win one Super Bowl, with the Green Bay Packers. When he retired, he decided to coach, but not at the pro level. Instead, he was head coach of Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport, Louisiana. After a successful four-year stint there, he returned to the NFL as an assistant coach under Andy Reid with the Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, where he was instrumental in the development of quarterback Alex Smith and his string of 3,000-plus-yard seasons of passing. When he was offered the job as head coach of the Eagles, he jumped at it, though few thought he would succeed. In the first season, a year of rebuilding, they finished 7-9. Some doubted his abilities, and before the 2017 season, one "expert" called Pederson the least qualified coach in thirty years. Plagued by the sidelining of seasoned players and devastated by quarterback Carson Wentz's season-ending knee injury, the Eagles managed a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the playoffs. Yet they were still the underdogs in every single game, including the Super Bowl, against the New England Patriots, one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL. It wasn't until they stunned the Patriots that people finally believed in Pederson and his team. In Fearless, Pederson reveals the principles that guided him through the ups and downs and tough times of his career, and what it took to become a champion. Through it all, Pederson sustained himself with his faith and the support of his family. He shares the defining stories of his life and career, growing up with his disciplinarian Air Force dad and his tender-hearted mom, developing friendships with Dan Marino and Brett Favre, and learning from mentors, such as Don Shula, Mike Holmgren, and Andy Reid, who helped mold him into the man and coach he is today. Fearless captures Pederson's coaching and leadership philosophies and reveals the brilliant mind and indomitable spirit of a man who has entered the pantheon of great coaches.
|Author||: Barbara O'Connor|
|Editor||: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)|
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all. From award-winning author Barbara O'Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places. This title has Common Core connections.
|Author||: Mike Lupica|
#1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica tackles football! Will Tyler can fly on a football field. He may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in hand, he may as well be flying for real because life can't touch him - his dad isn't so defeated, his town isn't so poor, and everyone has something to cheer for. All of which does him no good if the football season is canceled. With no funding for things like uniforms and a cared-for playing field, with seemingly every other family moving to find jobs, there simply isn't enough money or players for a season. Unless one kid can rally an entire town and give everyone a reason to believe . . . For fans of his bestselling novels Travel Team and Million-Dollar Throw, Mike Lupica delivers a feel-good sports story that will have readers cheering where they sit. “There's plenty of action for sports fans, and readers will root for Will and his teammates till the very last page.” –School Library Journal “[F]ootball fans will…respond to the detailed and exciting game action once the season gets rolling and find inspiration in Will and his teammates' tenacity.” –Publisher’s Weekly “Will's ingenuity and loyalty are encouraging, causing readers to want to cheer him on as he makes his dream come true.” –VOYA
|Author||: Jon Katz|
|Editor||: Ballantine Books|
No one brings to life the remarkable bond between humans and their dogs like New York Times bestselling author Jon Katz. He has warmed our spirits with enchanting tales and keen observations of his animal menagerie—the dogs, sheep, chickens, and other residents of Bedlam Farm. Now, Katz is back with what he does best in his first collection of short stories, Dancing Dogs. With his signature insight and gift for storytelling, Katz shares sixteen stories about one of life’s most unique relationships: In the title story, a housekeeper loses her job, but discovers her four-legged “children” have some toe-tapping talents that just may get the whole family back on its feet. In “Puppy Commando,” a shy grade-school outcast forges an instant connection with a beagle puppy she meets at a shelter—and risks everything to keep him. “Gracie’s Last Walk” features a woman who must find a way to say goodbye to her beloved golden retriever—but ends up saying hello to someone unexpected. “The Dog Who Kept Men Away” shows that not all humans pass the “sniff” test when it comes to canines, who possess an excellent judge of character. And in “Guardian Angel,” a widower going through a painful transition finds the greatest comfort in the unlikeliest of sources—a funny-looking pug named Gus. Whether sitting, staying, and rolling over, in the barnyard, shelters, or home, sweet, home, the creatures in Dancing Dogs are genuinely inspiring and utterly memorable. Praise for Dancing Dogs “Funny, keenly observed short stories illuminating the bond between man and his best friend.”—People “Jon Katz writes with passion and humor about the connections between animals and humans. . . . Animal lovers are sure to want to add this book to their collection.”—Examiner.com “Katz’s stories, sometimes warm and sometimes funny, are smooth, light reads that are easy to pick up and enjoy and will appeal to dog lovers everywhere.”—Booklist “Insightful, moving . . . a tissue-box-worthy collection of animal tales.”—Kirkus Reviews “[A] heartwarming book.”—The Dallas Morning News
|Author||: Kathy Callahan|
|Editor||: New World Library|
Over the past decade, Kathy Callahan's family has taken in more than a hundred rescue puppies. This delightful photo-filled book features the wonderful stories that emerged as these foster pups were suddenly surrounded by a nurturing family complete with patient adult dogs and curious cats. With a gift for capturing the moment in both words and images, Callahan brings readers inside the poignant and ultimately uplifting work of fostering. This inspiring read is indeed about puppies, but it's also about family and human connection. It's about finding your own way — through that one special thing you can do to light a candle, instead of cursing the darkness.
|Author||: Mariano Azuela|
|Editor||: Courier Dover Publications|
Renowned as the greatest novel of the Mexican Revolution, The Underdogs recounts a young peasant's recruitment into Pancho Villa's army. Demetrio Macías is compelled to defend his home from attacks by the Federales who serve Mexico's hated dictator. Forced into a fugitive existence, he encounters a rebel band and becomes their charismatic leader, shaping the vagabonds into a dynamic guerrilla force. The unit is further strengthened by an unlikely ally, the aristocratic intellectual Luis Cervantes, whose revulsion at the country's rampant social injustice has turned him against the government. But the escalating violence and harsh realities of war erode Demetrio's and Cervantes' idealism, undermining their alliance and leading to their ultimate disillusionment. Mexican author and physician Mariano Azuela González (1873–1952) drew upon his experiences as a medic with Villa's troops to create this iconic work of Latin American literature. Prized for its authentic representation of Mexican peasant life, the novel offers a timeless portrayal of revolutionary zeal and disenchantment.