Q & A with Jeanne Betancourt: TEN TRUE ANIMAL RESCUES

Ten-True-Animal-RescuesToday I welcome Jeanne Betancourt to Dog Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written a canine story for kids or young adults.

AOB: What is the title of your book? Ten True Animal Rescues, 1998, Scholastic, Inc. Pub date and publisher? Genre? Non-fiction Targeted age group? 6-10 Illustrator? No.

AOB: Who is your key dog character(s) and what kind of dog is he/she?

Several of the stories feature dogs as a hero.  The cover of the book shows a Newfoundland puppy named Villa who saved a young neighbor who was deeply buried in a snow bank and could not get out. Feel free to list as many different breeds or mixes as necessary. Tell us a little more about him/her.

AOB: In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

The book has ten true stories about animals who saved the lives of their owners or complete strangers.  There is a dog who saves a family from a burning house, a cat who saves a baby, and much more.  These animals are more than just cute and lovable – they save lives.

AOB: What inspired you to write this story?

I read a couple of news reports about animals rescuing people and thought it would be inspiring for kids to read about them, too.

AOB: What was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it? 

My biggest challenge was to stick to the true story and not exaggerate or make things up – like dialogue. I re-wrote the stories until I got it right.

AOB: What other YA/MG books have you written? Do any of them feature a key dog character? If so, which ones?

What are these stories about?

I wrote 44 books in my Pony Pal series. One of the three Pony Pals, Pam, has a sheepdog named Woolie. Woolie is in many of the stories and is a main character in Pony Pal #27: “The Pony And The Missing Dog.”

AOB: What kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it about a dog? If so, what is it about?

I am not writing a story about a dog right now.  But my partner and I are talking about getting a dog.

DSC_6676AOB: Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

One of my favorite books as a child was, “All Dogs Go To Heaven.” I loved that book. The dogs in heaven each tells the story of their life on earth and how they died.  I read it over and over and begged my parents for a dog.  I had to wait until I was an adult to finally have a dog – Willy, a Wheaton Terrier.  I had him for sixteen years before he died.

AOB: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write, write, write.  Edit.  Read what you write out loud. Then edit some more.  Keep a journal.

AOB: Where can readers go to find out more information about you and/or your books?

My website


Thank you Jeanne Betancourt for joining us at Dog Reads!


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