Roscoe Jack of Gateway Farm by Ken Bangs
Imagination and a curious Jack Russell terrier run wild in Ken Bangs’ inspirational novella, Roscoe Jack of Gateway Farm. Just as the hot woods of East Texas can be cruel, the land once served as a beautiful dream thanks to the work of Ken Bangs and wife Trudy. The loving couple rescued endangered dogs and watched as they learned valuable life lessons about fear, trust and faith on Gateway Farm. Roscoe Jack has been abandoned by his owner and must find a way to survive after the death of his sister. A simple twist of fate transforms the life of the Russell Terrier and he finds himself at Gateway Farm amongst new furry and curious friends. However, Jack is not yet a member of “the posse” or “Gateway 6-pack.” He must pay some dues and learn the laws of the land. Ken and Trudy watch over strong-willed Roscoe as he encounters a talking Catfish named Blue, shadows “The Master” and proves that it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.
The 92 pages of Roscoe Jack offer a message of hope and strength during adversity, however Bangs injects plenty of comedy along the way, which gives the novella a wider reach. The author knows how to poke fun at himself (The Master!) and creates sparkling personalities for his characters. One can only smile at the antics of little Roscoe, the mischievous Blue and a self-described “pirate” pup with the propensity to call others “dude.” The life lessons are often spelled out for the reader, sometimes too much, but the style is perfect for a young audience. However, given the amount of violence, albeit the harsh truth of farm life, the text may not be for everybody. The talking animals allow Bangs to expand the world of Gateway Farm, however the rules of the game may need to be tweaked for future stories. Despite the flaws, Roscoe Jack of Gateway Farm is a brisk, easy read and somewhat of a breath of fresh air. The beauty of life shines bright by acknowledging the dark aspects as well.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.