“Night of the Howling Dogs”

night of the howling dogs
It’s eye-opening to me to consider a book based on a 1975 event as “historical fiction.” Yet, 1975 was almost 40 years ago, so I have to accept that events I remember as “current events” are indeed now historical fiction. This fast-moving gem is based on a 1975 earthquake and tsunami in Hawaii. The author’s cousin was a Boy Scout camping in the isolated Halape region during that catastrophe. He uses his cousin’s experiences to weave a suspenseful tale of the weekend. The plot of the novel revolves around a Scout troop hiking in the picturesque area the weekend of the earthquake and tsunami. Upper elementary through middle school teachers can develop many useful lessons from this novel. Characterization, foreshadowing, plot, and theme can be seamlessly taught with this. It will fit in well with science units on weather. I highly recommend this for reluctant readers, especially boys.

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