#BookReview: Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon

Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon is a beautiful story that tells of the healing power of nature, the love between family, and the ties that bind our ancestry. Tom Olson is heading out on a backpacking trip in the Olympic Peninsula Wilderness in Washington State with his friends when a knock sounds at his door. On the other side of that door stands Sarah Cooley, an abandoned thirteen year old girl. Come to find out, that thirteen year old isn’t a runaway or a foster child but his long-lost granddaughter. Along this trip comes a story that is a coming together of both Hatchet and A Call In the Wild as the story proves that no matter where you go, it’s what you’re made of that shows when your only choice is to survive.

While reading the book, I found myself instantly enthralled with Sheldon’s writing style. How it sweeps you in like a breeze along a hiking trail. I reminisced about reading books that had similar storylines and plot points in my youth, and what it felt like to escape inside a book again. Reading this book made me love reading again, and for that was the biggest aspect of all. There are few books that I read as an adult and thoroughly enjoy but this one kept me reading, I enjoyed learning nature and geological facts while reading as well as being swept up in the storytelling of the Native American ancestral stories.

Some aspects of the book were two overwhelming with geological facts and I found myself not being able to stay focused in those parts. The emphasis of the strong main characters were what would pull me back in and remind me why I began to read this book and fall in love with this story: Tom and Sarah’s bond was definitely something I connected with on many levels, and felt anyone could find a connection with when reading this book.

I rate this book four out of five stars because while it helped me fall in love with reading again because it reminded me of the stories of youth, it also contained a lot of detail within the geological fact parts that made me lose my focus while reading and actually struggle with certain levels of sensory overload.

My recommendation is that those who go to read this book are aware that a good ten to twenty chapters of the book are geological and nonfiction in writing, they do not read like fiction but instead contribute a lot to educate the reader of real life issues with the ecosystem, etc.

I found no errors while reading but am unsure if I would read the follow-up books in this series because of the geological memoir like sections of the book.

How You Treat Your Dog Helps Teach You How To Relate Better With People

This post is sponsored by WellPet but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We’ve all been misjudged, misunderstood, heard a rumor about us that upset us, or even felt like the odd person out.

Heck, that’s why I created The Smart Cookie Philes in the first place. Yet, I think it’s why I love spending time and being around my dogs a lot.  I even have nicknamed my dogs and I “The Squad.”

You had a bad day at work? They love you.

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You just got rejected or broken up with? They love you.

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You just got let go from your job and don’t know how you will make your bills? They love you.

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My dogs are always there for me, in the good and the bad, and it’s why I search high and low to find the best treats for them.

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Treats that have all-natural ingredients.

Treats that are made in the USA.

Treats that have a variety of flavors so I always surprise their taste buds with a brand new experience.

It’s why I love that I was recently shopping at Wal-mart and came across Old Mother Hubbard’s dog treats.

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They come in small and mini size, and in a variety of flavors.

Flavors

Founded in Gloucester, MA, Old Mother Hubbard’s dog treats are all-natural and never artificial, and have been around since 1926. Each home-style recipe is carefully crafted from wholesome ingredients that allow you to feel good about giving your pup a reward that is healthy and heartfelt., and all the fun flavors in between, there is a natural choice for every taste that dogs drool over. And while still based in Massachusetts, Old Mother Hubbard is now available at Walmart nationwide!

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You can actually add them instantly to your Walmart cart here or here.

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The cool thing about biscuits is they look good on top of these Carrot Pineapple Mini Muffins recipe that I recently found and tried out. You can find the recipe in the video below and be sure to watch until the end to see “the squad” strutting their stuff with some nifty tricks in order to get their paws on another tasty Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuit.

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At the end of the day, it’s all about how you treat others and THE golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

Dogs treat me like I’m worth a million dollars. It sure doesn’t hurt my wallet or my heart to give them the best of the best in dog treats in order so they know how much I love them.

Maybe we as humans can take a few pages from their life handbook too and be quicker to love and understand those around us instead of judge them or throw them to the curb.