Editor’s Introduction

John Pruitt, University of Wisconsin-Rock County, john.pruitt @ uwc.edu

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April means not only National Poetry Month and the occasional, strangely placed sleet and snowstorm that sounded like a billion pins dropping onto Rock County most of yesterday. It also means that my chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society holds its annual game show to raise funds or supplies for a local nonprofit. This year, contestants paid an entry fee of pet food or litter for the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin.

In the tradition of this low-stakes competition–winners receive $20 gift cards–the questions are based on bad customer reviews of bestsellers and popular classroom texts, that is, the time honored and relatively canonical. Aligned with our food drive for the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin–ANIMAL BOOKS

Let’s play a couple rounds…….Which book is this disgruntled pet owner cursing?

My dog has a collapsing trachea and I figured this book would explain how to do the surgery so I did not have to pay the veterinarian big $$$. I read the book cover-to-cover and I still have no idea how to fix my dog. Thanks for nothing, jerk.

a. James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
b. Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
c. Hugh Lofting, The Story of Doctor Doolittle
d. Fred Gipson, Old Yeller


How about this one, from a jaded animal lover making a life decision:

This book was not my cup of tea. It definatly [sic] shows that we as human can help nature. This book left me wondering if it was really worth my time.

a. Robert McCloskey, Make Way for Ducklings
b. Dian Fossey, Gorillas in the Mist
c. Tania James, The Tusk That Did the Damage
d. T C Boyle, When the Killing’s Done

Finally, let’s remember that not all animals are as docile as our pets:

A mediocre attempt of horror is really not strong enough to hold any weight at all, causing the narration to die half-way through the book. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t come back as an evil zombie at all, despite odd attempts of performing resuscitation to the corpse.

a. Stephen King, Pet Sematary
b. James Herbert, The Rats
c. Peter Benchley, Jaws
d. Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park

We also gathered much more than I’d expected:

Dry dog food- 246 lbs
Dry cat food – 55 lbs
Wet dog food – 15 cans
Wet cat food – 30 cans
Dog Treats – 12 bags
Litter – 30 pounds
Pet toys – about 20 various toys
Cash – $68

Please adopt and adapt this idea for your own fundraiser. The grumpier the reviews, the funnier the results!
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