THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY by Sheila Burnford

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When a Canadian family travels to Europe for six months, they must leave their three pets–an old bull terrier, a young Labrador retriever, and a Siamese cat–in the care of a friend who lives several hundred miles East of the family’s home.  While the bull terrier and the Siamese cat settle into life with their new caretaker, the Labrador is restless.  He knows that he is far from home and longs to be with his family again.  So, when the opportunity presents itself, he leads his two companions to escape from their caretaker and journey across the Canadian wilderness toward home.  But with bears, porcupines, and other hazards to face along the way, all three animals may not make it home alive.

The Incredible Journey is the book on which the film Homeward Bound was based.  The book is less humorous than the movie, but it is filled with the same adventure and heartwarming moments.  The imagery is dense and the reading level may be above the interest level.  But the book would make a great family read aloud for families who have pets or love animals and have children in grades 2-5.

If you liked The Incredible Journey, you might like Babe, the Gallant Pig by Dick King Smith.

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