By Ruth G. Zavitsanos
51 pages – ages 7+
Published by Wild Child Publishing on November 23, 2010
Leonidas was the dog of a man who gave tours at The Old Fortress on the Greek Island of Curfu. The Fortress was built in ancient times to stop attackers that wanted to invade Greece. One day Leonidas’ master’s grandson, Nikos, came to stay with his grandfather for vacation. Nikos was from America. Leonidas liked Nikos and helped Nikos give tours of the Old Fortress. During one tour that Nikos was giving an Australian family, a boy from the tour wandered off and Leonidas had to save him from falling off a cliff! Leonidas really liked Nikos but he could tell Nikos was sad about something. When Leonidas figures out what Nikos was sad about he decides to help! Leonidas hopes he can help Nikos be happy before he has to leave to go back to America. Can he?!? Read the book to find out!
The story of the Old Fortress Dog takes place in modern time Greece, but it is set in an ancient setting, which makes the setting super cool! The story is serious but has some funny parts to it that makes it really enjoyable. I really like how the story is told from the dog’s point-of-view. Leonidas is a great main character. He is strong, brave and very loyal. The book is suggested for readers 9-12 but I think young advanced reader would really like this book. It is a clean story that is a little more challenging than early chapter books (the worst thing that happens is Leonidas gets scratched on the nose in a dog/cat fight). The book was a quick read for me, I would like to have more details to the story and to have the story a little longer. In the back of the book there is a section about Corfu Greece that has all sorts of facts and I thought this was a nice addition to the book. There is also a section in the back of the book about Ms. Zavitsanos and it says that she has family that lives in Greece. You can tell that she has visited there because her descriptions of the places in the book are written so well you can imagine what they really look like. The Old Fortress Dog was a good story and has made me want to read the two other books by Ms. Zavitsanos. “The Villa Dog” is set in Tuscany Italy and “The Kona Dog” is set in Maui Hawaii.
I met Ms. Zavitsanos at a book signing at The Chester County Book and Music Company (Chester County, PA). She is a huge dog lover! Here’s an interesting fact, she told me that the dogs on the cover of the books are dogs that she knows or one’s that she saw while traveling. To learn more about Ms. Zavitsanos and her books, please visit her website HERE.