When Ron loses control of his truck and ends up going over an embankment, he wakes up dazed to find himself and his dog, Jazz, sitting on the banks of the Animas River. Their lucky escape is almost miraculous but what follows is the strangest thing Ron has ever experienced. As he comes to, he suddenly realizes that he can understand what every animal is saying. Not only that but trees and plants too. Every living thing is talking. And they don’t like humans too much. As Ron tries to understand why the plants and animals are so mistrustful of humans, he and Jazz embark on an amazing adventure as they try to find a way for humans, animals, and the environment to coexist in harmony.
My Thoughts about Ron and Jazz
Ronald Hudkins knows how to reach his target audience with his recent young adult chapter book, Ron and Jazz. Ron and his dog Jazz are out for a ride in his truck when he crashes into a tree. When Ron comes to, Jazz can talk! At this point, I took a step back and began to think whether or not this was more of a dream and Ron would wake up in a hospital bed. Yet, the book takes a pleasant turn when you find out they are in a new world. I enjoyed all the detailed descriptions of Animas, and Ron’s initial reactions to all the plants and animals talking were humorous. You’d expect anyone to react as surprised and confused as Ron when their furry friend starts speaking complete sentences, right? Their initial meeting with mayor Oliver Owlson had a perfect balance of being serious while still keeping the story fun. It was the ideal setup for what all the animals in Animas would treat Ron like. Their mission was suspenseful and entertaining up until the end.
I couldn’t give this five stars because the illustrations/photos weren’t my favorite. They weren’t consistent with one another having both photos and cartoons. If I had to pick between the two to have a consistent theme, I’d choose the illustrations. Honestly, the story was so well-written that I don’t think any images were necessary. Nevertheless, Ron and Jazz is an excellent read for any dog lover, young or old!
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