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Paws to Read: Fiction & Nonfiction About Animals

Animals are important parts of so many people’s lives, and in celebration of the Paws to Read Summer Reading Program theme, here is a selection of tales, some true in fact, some true in spirit, about animals (and their people too).

Find more reading suggestions at Books & More.

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The Dog Who Could Fly: The Incredible True Story of a WWII Airman and the Four-Legged Hero Who Flew at His Side by Damien Lewis

An instant hit in the UK, this is the true account of a German shepherd who was adopted by the Royal Air Force during World War II, joined in flight missions, and survived everything from crash-landings to parachute bailouts-ultimately saving the life of his owner and dearest friend. With beautiful vintage black-and-white photos, The Dog Who Could Fly is a deeply moving story of loyalty in the face of adversity and the unshakable bond between a man and his best friend.

Nonfiction

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Dogtripping: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure by David Rosenfelt

When mystery writer David Rosenfelt and his family moved from Southern California to Maine, he thought he had prepared for everything. But traveling with 25 dogs turned out to be a bigger ordeal than he anticipated. Rosenfelt recounts the adventure of moving his animal companions across the United States with humor and warmth, and tells the tale of how he and his wife became passionate foster parents for rescue dogs. Also available in streaming audiobook.

Nonfiction

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The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar: Living With a Tawny Owl by Martin Windrow

The story of an odd couple--a British military historian and the Tawny Owl with whom he lived for fifteen years. Windrow shares a wry, poignant, and unforgettable reminiscence of his charmed years with his improbable pet, as well as an unexpected education in the paleontology, zoology, and sociology of owls.

Nonfiction

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Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat by Kaori Tsutaya

Are your favorite sweaters covered with cat hair? This book shows readers how to transform those stray clumps of fur into soft and adorable handicrafts. From kitty tote bags and finger puppets to fluffy cat toys, picture frames, and more, these projects are cat-friendly, eco-friendly, and require no special equipment or training.

Nonfiction

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The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Streetwise Cat by James Bowen

The stars of the book A Street Cat Named Bob are back in this touching and true sequel about one man and the cat that changed his life. In the continuing tale of their life together, human James shows the many ways in which his cat Bob has been his protector and guardian angel through difficult times as well as the lessons he's learned from his street-wise cat.

Nonfiction

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Pure Joy: The Dogs We Love by Danielle Steel

In this moving memoir, Danielle Steel tells the story of how she met a dog the size of a mouse with a personality that could light up an entire room. From Minnie's arrival at home in San Francisco to clothes-shopping jaunts in Paris, her adventures provide the perfect backdrop for a heartfelt look at the magic that dogs bring to our lives, and how they become part of the family. Also available in eBook and streaming audiobook.

Nonfiction

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The Sound and the Furry: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn

In this installment of the mystery series featuring canine narrator Chet and his human partner P.I. Bernie Little, the detecting duo are handed a hard case in the Big Easy. The combination of top-notch mystery with genuine humor and a perceptive take on the relationship between human and dog will stay with you long after the case is solved.

Fiction

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Catnapped!: A Dead-End Job Mystery by Elaine Viets

Husband and wife PI team Helen and Phil go undercover as cat show participants after an argument between a celebrity couple over the custody of their cat ends abruptly when the husband is murdered and the cat goes missing.

Fiction

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Roam: A Novel With Music by Alan Lazar

Nelson is a bright-eyed, inquisitive half beagle, half poodle who wanders away from home and gets lost . . . very lost. As Nelson crosses the country searching for his family, he encounters other dogs, wolves, and humans along the way. Much more than the story of one dog's incredible journey, this is a deeply moving story of survival and enduring love, which once again confirms the unbreakable bond between humans and their best friends. Also available in streaming audiobook.

Fiction

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Chinese Whiskers: A Novel by Pallavi Aiyar

This charming fable written by an award-winning author and journalist is set in contemporary Beijing and told from the perspectives of two cats from disparate backgrounds who are adopted by foreigners. Their newly pampered lives are threatened when cats are blamed for the spread of a mysterious virus.

Fiction

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Suspect by Robert Crais

After his partner is murdered, LAPD cop Scott James is not doing well and is unfit for duty--until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott's. They set out to investigate Scott's partner's murder on a journey that will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells.

Fiction

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The Love Dog by Elsa Watson

Hired to write an expose on the reality television show "The Love Dog," Samantha Novak, recently left at the altar, goes undercover as the canine star's handler to dig up some dirt on set. Until she falls madly in love with the show's producer. Told in the alternating perspectives of Samantha and the dog Apollo, this tale is sweet and fun.

Fiction