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Pub Date 02 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 02 Mar 2021


An uplifting and poignant story about a former service beagle named Stella who must find the courage to overcome her fears and use her special nose to save a girl’s life.

Ever since Stella was a puppy, she was trained to use her powerful beagle nose to sniff out chemicals used in explosives and warn her human handler in order to keep people safe.

But during a routine security inspection, Stella is distracted and misses the scent of an explosive chemical. The sound of the blast is loud and scary. Stella survives but her handler—her best friend in the whole world—is gone. Stella blames herself, certain she’s a bad dog.

Scared of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks, Stella struggles with her anxiety and must be retired from being a service animal. Several families try to foster her, but sometimes Stella is so scared she howls or digs or tears things up with her teeth. She wonders if anyone will want to adopt her.

An expert dog trainer, Esperanza, thinks she can help. It’s Stella’s last chance to prove she can be a good dog. Stella has every reason to love her new family, especially the young human named Chloe who smells like chocolate chip cookies, newly cut grass, the pages of books, and something else—a strange chemical she can’t quite identify.

Chloe has epilepsy, and a chemical inside her body surges just before she has a seizure. Stella’s nose makes the connection. But how can she warn Esperanza without her thinking it’s just Stella’s usual anxiety? How can she convince her new family that she can be a new kind of service dog and hopefully save Chloe’s life?

Told from Stella’s point of view, readers will experience life through a dog’s eyes, ears, and, especially, her nose. Like Babe the pig or Ivan the gorilla, Stella the beagle is an extraordinary story for kids who love animals. An endearing novel of courage, compassion, friendship, and love.
An uplifting and poignant story about a former service beagle named Stella who must find the courage to overcome her fears and use her special nose to save a girl’s life.

Ever since Stella was a...

A Note From the Publisher

Told from the perspective of Stella, a beagle specially trained and skilled in explosive detection who works in law enforcement until a tragedy forces her retirement.
Stella is a smart dog and knows many human words and phrases such as a favorite phrase from her handler, Connie: "You must do the thing you think you cannot do" and she uses human words to encourage herself to do hard things.
On a routine law enforcement call Stella is momentarily distracted and misses the scent of an explosive which detonates, injuring the beagle and taking the life of her handler. Stella experiences PTSD and has flashbacks and nightmares of the day of the tragedy. Stella blames herself and thinks surely she is a bad dog. Her PTSD causes anxiety and behavior which makes it difficult to place her in a new home.
An expert dog trainer takes her in and her new family shows her love and caring. Though sad, Stella becomes fond of the trainer's daughter, Chloe, a girl who has epilepsy. Stella realizes she is picking up a scent before a seizure happens to Chloe and tries to warn her so she can get to safety and not fall and hurt herself, but can her family understand this is a warning and not Stella's usual anxiety?
Research shows dogs can detect epileptic seizures in humans up to 45 minutes before they happen with 100% accuracy (Business Insider, April 2019).
Theme of bullying: During a walk in the woods, Stella and Chloe are confronted by two neighborhood bullies who light firecrackers to scare them. Stella is terrified and the memory of the explosion that killed Connie overwhelms her and she runs away. Scared and alone in the woods, Stella is comforted by the wise words she remembers from Connie and musters the courage to brave a thunderstorm and forest fire to find and save Chloe.
Chloe helps Stella overcome her PTSD with kindness and patience and over time Stella thinks that true love is trusting someone so much that you feel safe enough to be yourself with them. Eventually, with the help and support of her new family, Stella finds new purpose in her life of service.

Told from the perspective of Stella, a beagle specially trained and skilled in explosive detection who works in law enforcement until a tragedy forces her retirement.
Stella is a smart dog and knows...

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ISBN 9781629729015
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Average rating from 61 members

Featured Reviews

This book is so good. I could not stop crying. Maybe I'm a sucker for hero dog stories but I just loved it! I'd definitely recommend this book to kids that love dogs.

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Heartwarming story about a dog with PTSD. Stella was a working dog at the airport when a bomb goes off. Stella's handler is killed and while Stella survives the bombing, she has PTSD as a result.

Cloe is a young child with epilepsy. Stella tries to warn Cloe's mother when Cloe is about to have a seizure. It is frustrating for me, as a reader, to see the humans not paying attention to Stella when she tries to take care of Cloe.

Finally, Cloe's mother starts to understand that Cloe was trying to warn her about the coming seizures before it happened.

Overall, it is a wonderful story.

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This is a sweet story about facing fears and finding your place In the world. Stella, a bomb-sniffing dog, suffers from anxiety after a catastrophic accident leaves her without a handler. Stella spends the next few months bouncing between foster homes before another dog trainer offers to take on the challenge of rehabilitate her. Esperanza and her daughter, Cloe, work with Stella and she makes some progress towards facing her fears. However, when an accident leaves Cloe lost and in danger, Stella must “do the thing she thinks she cannot do” in order to save her new person.

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I have no words for how amazing Stella is. The titular character, Stella, is a bomb dog suffering from PTSD after an explosion and her struggles as she learns to love another human and use her skills in a different way. I coerced my own beagle to snuggle with me about halfway through reading this delightful book and then couldn't stop crying. The author clearly has a deep understanding of dogs and I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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Imagine being a dog that has lost your person. Imagine it being because you made a mistake or couldn't do what you were trained to fast enough. What would happen when the people around you tried to find you a new home? Would you be scared? Would you be aggressive? How might you behave?

I must say I am not a big animal lover, I can take them or leave them most of the time. However, I loved this story. Written from the dog's perspective, it gave some remarkable insight into what the dog might be thinking. or feeling. It takes us through the dog's training with a new family and a new purpose to help her new girl.

I fell in love with the story and the characters and loved seeing the world through Stella's point of view. I think it is something that anyone can relate to and can be a help for those experiencing grief and change.

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Heartwarming story told from the point of view of the beagle named Stella. Trained to sniff out explosives, when her trainer dies in explosion, she is fearful of loud noises. After having 3 foster homes she goes to live with a dog trainer and her daughter, Cloe. Cloe trains with Stella, falls in love with Stella which is good because through all her fears, Stella becomes Cloe's protector, even being able to predict Cloe's epilepsy seizures. Solid characters unfold in this quick read.

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Stella is a working dog that a
sniffs out bomb chemicals at an airport, when an unfortunate event occurs. Her handler goes away and she is forced to go to other people who can't handle her anxiety. Eventually she is fortunate enough to run into an experienced trainer and her daughter who want to give her one more chance. Stella proves herself in a different capacity.
I read this with my 8 year old and while it was tough in some places, both of us enjoyed the book.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book for our opinion.

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*I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

This is such a darling middle grade book about overcoming your fear, learning from your mistakes, and--of course--dogs! This book is told from a dog's point of view, which makes it a very fun and interesting read. Stella is a beagle who is now without a true home following a horrific incident with her owner. As a working dog, Stella feels personally responsible for her previous owner's death and wonders if she can ever be a good dog again. Then by an incredible stroke of luck Stella is sent to live temporarily with dog trainer Esperanza and her daughter, Cloe. Cloe and Stella hit it off from the start, but can Stella prove that she's the perfect best friend for her new human? This book has so many wonderful themes that readers will resonate with. Anyone who loves animals is sure to love Stella!

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Man's best friend is always a great attention grabber especially for young readers, but a story from a dog's perspective is engaging and a great change up from the usual. I was immediately sucked into Stella's story and her sweet doggy point of view. Her descriptions and explanations of human behavior is endearing and cute, while still conveying the frustration at the misunderstanding between humans and hounds. Why don't the humans understand something so simple, you find yourself wondering, before realizing you're 100% thinking like Stella.

The book Stella covers PTSD in a way children can understand, as well as living with a difficult condition like epilepsy. It is a great overview in children's terms for service dogs, while still being an entertaining read that captures the imagination and is a bit of a throwback for older readers to a childhood of pretending to be our favorite animals.

Adorable, engaging, and covertly educational - Stella is a great read that moves to my recommended for all ages shelf immediately.

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Simply lovely! Stella is a wonderful, heartfelt story about a dog with PTSD and the girl who helps her rediscover her purpose and her joy.

Readers will love that the story is told from the dog's point of view, and teachers will love the depth of detail the author provides about working dogs, service dogs, dog training, and facing your fears.

The steady pace and relatable characters make it an engaging and enjoyable read. A must for any library.

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This is a middle grade book told by a dog named Stella. Stella is trying to get over explosive chemical mistake and during that event her handler got killed. Stella is having some major anxiety issues, and she is going through new owners. I loved Stella has a character because I love seeing things for the eyes of a dog. I did wish Stella talked to the our dogs in this book. Stella was a great character, and this is a great book. I will be buying this book for my daughter and the school library. This is a great middle grade book from 3rd grade and higher (even adults). I think adults can learn to slow down and see things from other points of view while reading this book, and there are many other messages in this book. I loved the ending of this book so much. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Shadow Mountain) or author (McCall Hoyle) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review about how I feel about this book, and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. This book is schedule to be release on March 2-2021.

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I cried tears of joy as I read STELLA, a heart-grabbing story told from the POV of an injured service dog. The beagle has one last chance to be adopted after she develops PTSD following an explosion that kills her handler. Retired from service, she fails with one adoptive family after another. But an expert trainer has faith in her, and Stella so badly wants to be useful again.

Her match with young Chloe and her family proves a godsend. Stella can smell chemicals released before Chloe has an epileptic attack, and just as Stella’s gift saves Chloe, the girl’s love saves Stella. That precious cover captures the sweetness of their bond. A must-read for middle graders or anyone awed by the canine-human connection.

5 of 5 Stars
Pub Date 02 Mar 2021
#Stella #NetGalley

Thanks to the author, Shadow Mountain Publishing, and NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

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- thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this arc for an honest review.

this was so cute!! i love how the dog is the narrator and i now want a physical copy to give my little sister for christmas.

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I absolutely adored this book! Told from the point of view of a beagle, it is full of heart and love for our canine friends.
Stella was a service dog trained to sniff explosives. She lost her handler when a bomb went off at the airport and now suffers from PTSD. She's been given several chances to be rehomed, but none of them worked out. Until she met Cloe. Cloe turns out to be just who Stella needs. And Stella is just the dog Cloe needs. Cloe has epilepsy and Stella smells the changes in Cloe's body before she has a seizure. She just has to convince Cloe's mother what her keen nose is detecting.
I'll be buying copies of this for my middle-grade granddaughters. They love dogs and reading and this is the perfect book for them.

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This sweet book was about a dog whose owner died in an explosion. The dog, Stella, is now frightened of anything that booms or thunders. Her previous owners haven't helped her much, but then she meets Cloe and regains hope. Since it's told in Stella's perspective, the book is funnier, and more serious sometimes. It's an amazing book, perfect for readers ages 9-12.

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Stella is a beagle who has worked as a sniffer dog at an airport with her handler, Connie, and we see this story from her point of view. Unfortunately, Stella makes a mistake, and Connie is killed in an explosion. We meet the dog when she is trying to settle in to her third home with Diane, but Diane doesn't understand Stella's needs. She takes Stella back to the canine facility where Connie worked, and Stella hopes to see her handler, but instead, she is almost euthanized, since she seems unable to settle into a new life. Thankfully, a friend of Connie's, Esperanza, is there, and offers to take the dog back to her sheep farm and train her. Esperanza has a young daughter, Cloe, who is used to her mother training dogs, but takes to Stella and wants to make her a pet. Her mother says that Stella is better off is she can get back to work, so puts her in a crate in the barn at night so she can be with the other animals, including sheep dog Nando. Because of her experience in the explosion, Stella is very skittish, and doesn't like storms or the obnoxious neighbor boys who have firecrackers. Interestingly, when she is out running errands with Esperanza and Cloe, Stella is able to tell that Cloe is about to have an epileptic fit, and is very restless, trying to relay this information to her humans. Esperanza is about to despair of ever training the dog correctly, when Stella saves Cloe from a very hazardous situation. When Stella's real talents are discovered, she is allowed to stay with Cloe as her new furever friend.
Strengths: Dog books are always popular with my students, and I was super excited to read a book about a girl with epilepsy. There are very few of these out there, but a fair number of students with the condition. It was interesting to see different types of working dogs, especially Nando, who herds sheep. I also liked the back and forth between Cloe, who just wants a dog of her own to cuddle at night, and her mother, who believes that dogs need to work. The plot was cleverly arranged to get some action and adventure into it, and the characters were well developed. Really enjoyed this one.
Weaknesses: I almost had to stop reading when Stella was at the canine facility and almost put down. Having lost Sylvie in September, this was just too hard for me to read. I went back to it after I finished the book, and it's very delicately done. I don't think it will upset younger readers all that much. I was just bringing too much of my own experience to the book. In the same respect, the book made me feel like I made Sylvie's life a decent one, even if she never got enough tasty treats!
What I really think: It's fantastic that the author cites Alexandra Horowitz's work, and has a background in training dogs. This reminded me strongly of Tubbs' Zeus: Dog of Chaos, and is a great portrayal of a service dog. Definitely purchasing.

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Stella is a beagle and a working dog, helping sniff out bombs at the airport with Connie, her trainer and best friend. Stella is a good dog, but she made a mistake - one mistake that cost Connie her life. After three attempts to find a new home, Stella finds she is out of time, and chances. Maybe she's a bad dog after all.

Connie's friend, Esperanza, gives Stella one last chance. She is a trainer too, and very good at her job. She lives on a farm, raising sheep with her trusty dog, Nando, and her daughter Cloe. Cloe attaches to Stella immediately, begging her mother to help train the beagle. Esperanza isn't so sure, but she decides that Cloe could help, warning her daughter that this arrangement might not work. After all, Stella has lived through an explosion and the death of her owner, and has PTSD. A dog with PTSD usually doesn't regain the qualities of a good working dog, but Cloe is determined to try -- and Stella is, too.

When Stella uses her smelling skills to warn the family of Cloe's upcoming seizure, she finds that she is useful again. "Her girl" needs her, more than anyone, including Stella knows.

This is a fast-paced, adventurous, thrilling story of the connection between humans and their dogs. Told from Stella's point of view, the reader lives the life of a beagle in training -- vying to be the best dog she can be. Readers will fight for Stella's right to one last chance, root for Cloe as she trains Stella, long for treats, and feel the love between a beagle and "her girl." Readers will cheer for Stella.

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This book reminded me why I love middle grade so much! Stella was so charming and full of heart, my heart broke and mended for our brave protagonist.

The book was told in Stella’s POV and Hoyle did a fantastic job at portraying Stella’s emotions and misgivings. She really felt like a real, fleshed-out character that you can’t help but root for until the very end. Stella’s PTSD was well-handled and researched, which is a huge plus.

Stella was a powerful tale of love, hope and bravery. Perfect for dog-lovers alike and I highly recommend!

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Stella suffers from ptsd and the loss of her human after missing the scent of an explosive at an airport. The book is told from her point of view and I think Hoyle did a wonderful job in portraying her. She felt so real and I absolutely loved her. I even cried about five times.

The story is very wholesome, full of love and hope. There’s an underlying message that every dog deserves another chance but I think it can also be taken into a context where everyone and anyone deserves a second chance as well. This is perfect for any readers of all age and I do think the underlying message is lovely. I plan on buying a copy of this for my shelf when it is published. I can't wait to see more from this author in the future!

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Every Dog Deserves a Second Chance

Stella is a hopeful story in a Dog's perspective. Stella ( a beagle) a retired working dog who suffered from Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the airport explosion that killed her best friend /owner Connie. Stella has the hardest time finding a new home, 3 houses tried but failed Whenever she hears a loud bang, she startled, digs, and eat furnitures. Temporary owners called her a"Bad Dog" -(but not intentionally) but she believed it, until the time she met Cloe a girl full of hope a hope that she could do something to help Stella, and it worked, Cloe showed Stella that "HOPE", Cloe showed Stella that she can do what she thought she cannot do, Cloe helps Stella to be better again and. That hope is not a dangerous thing, it is in fact a good thing.

Stella is a touching - remarkable story of hope and friendship, sometime experiences can pull us down but hope is all we have. Stella is a story that you will love, you will cherish, and will always have a special place in your heart.

McCall Hoyle writes very beautifully, it will make you feel all the feels and it will wash you and sooth you. McCall is no doubt a great writer.

Reading this brings me back to that time when I first read the book and watched the movies "The Dogs Journey" and " Old Yeller". This book joined the classics, and will be loved by many. Especially dog lovers!

If you love dogs, dogs inspiring stories this book is for you or even if you like cats, this book is for you, or even if you don't like animals at all, this book is still for you.

Stella always has a special place in my heart, such a brave dog, hopeful, inspiring story.
I really hope that this is going to be adapted as a movie,it will be so gooodd
Please don't miss this one
You should read it. You need Stella

I use a lot of hope but anyways.

Thank you so much Shadow Mountain Publishing, Netgalley and McCall Hoyle for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. I totally love it

5 Hopeful Stars!

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After a moment of distraction causes Stella, a trained explosive-sniffing dog, to make a mistake, she grapples with PTSD, anxiety, and grief over the death of her handler. Just when it seems that Stella is not able to be adopted into a family, Chloe and her dog-trainer mom come to her rescue. Can Stella overcome her struggles and rescue Chloe in return?

This is a sweet story of second chances told from Stella's point of view. Although there were areas that didn't seem to fully capture the emotions that Stella was supposed to be feeling, I enjoyed the themes of friendship, resilience, and courage in this book. Middle grade readers who love dogs will enjoy rooting for Stella.

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I really liked the book, it shows that working dogs need to work! I liked the worked with the dog and the book being written from the dogs point of view was genius, I loved hearing from Stella! Great book!

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Special thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing me with Arc.

This is the first book for me in children fiction and I really enjoyed it and also my daughter love it so much. I look forward to read many of books in this department in the future.

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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Stella is a children's book (which I thoroughly enjoyed as an adult) about love and friendship and how the two together can rescue and save people and in this case an animal too.
Stella is a beagle and the POV in this story is told through Stella. Stella is an ex-service dog who worked at the airport with her owner until a chemical blast killed her owner and caused Stella PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Stella has been placed in several adoptive homes but because of her PTSD she keeps being moved on. Stella desperately wants to survive and be with her old owner and doesn't understand why she can't be with her anymore.
Stella gets help in rehabilitation and finds another new home with a little girl with epilepsy. Stella saves her life and unbeknown to the girl, she saves Stella's too with her live and friendship.
This is such a beautiful book and so cleverly well written. It brought tears of sadness and joy to my eyes with its powerful story and message.
Thank you for such an amazing story. This will stay in my heart and mind forever.

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I cried while reading this. It’s told from Stella’s POV. Stella is a beagle who’s been trained to sniff out bombs by her trainer, Connie. But when an explosion at a local airport goes horrible wrong, Stella is out into a foster home. She is then taken in by Esperanza, a fellow trainer, who thinks she can help. There Stella finds her true calling. Esperanza’s daughter Chloe convinced her mom to let her start training Stella. The two form a bond much deeper than either realize. Great book and I highly enjoyed it!!

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Stella by McCall Hoyle is an incredible book for anyone who loves animals, especially dogs. Stella is a working dog who used to sniff for explosives at the airport. After a horrible accident, Stella is left with severe PTSD and needs a new home. Even though she misses her old life, Stella is determined to overcome her fears and prove herself to her new family.

Stella is a super sweet book about the four legged friends who love us so well. Because the book is written in Stella’s point of view, it is a fun, interesting read that kids will definitely enjoy.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy.

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What an amazing book! Stella is a beagle who has a job sniffing out explosives. While on duty she smells explosive material and is about to alert when a security guard opens a door that causes a cross draft and confuses her for just a moment. That moment is all it takes for the bad guy to arm the explosive and cause havoc. Following the explosion, Stella sees her handler, Connie, laying on the concrete and not moving. Then Connie is carried away by some men in uniform. Stella misses Connie. She is also suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident. They have decided to retire Stella, but have been unsuccessful in placing her successfully because of her behavior when left alone or around loud noises. Just when it seems Stella may be in for permanent retirement, a dog trainer who also happens to be Connie’s friend, agrees to try to help her recuperate. Stella forms a special bond with the trainer’s daughter. That bond will challenge Stella to do that which she never thought she could.

I enjoy reading middle grade and young adult books for a change of pace occasionally. I choose this book because I thought it fit that category. Well it does, but it is so much more. It is a story about overcoming fears and having the courage to do that which we think is impossible. As you would expect from a book for the younger reader, it is clean. There are no sex scenes, no uses of alcohol and no foul language. There is a small amount of non-physical violence in the form of bullying, but is is not overly graphic. It reads like any well written novel for adults and will definitely pull your heartstrings.

The book is written from the perspective of Stella, but the writer does an amazing job with that point of view. She doesn’t attribute a lot of human characteristics to Stella, but rather puts human words to canine characteristics. This approach makes the book so realistic and genuine. It is obvious that Ms. Hoyle did her research.

I was so engrossed In the story I had to complete the book in one setting, I just couldn’t walk away without knowing the ending. This story had me in tears more than once and I laughed out loud several times. I know if you give it a try, you will likely love it as much as I did. I recommend this book to everyone, especially those who have a love for animals.

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#BookReview: STELLA by McCall Hoyle 5 stars

“Do the thing you think you cannot do, girl.”

Wow! The story is brilliant. I know a lot of research has been done to make this book possible. This is Stella’s story. She is a beagle and a working dog. Beagles are scent hounds. She was good at her job until the incident with Connie. She is so pitiful when events trigger her PTSD. I learned so many things about dogs in this book.

The way the story is written in Stella’s point of view is amazing. I can see what she sees, smells what she sniffs and feels things with her. The words are written beautifully and with humor. Stella says things like, “ I wag my tail when I’m happy.” or “Books are good. I know a thing or two about them. One, don’t eat them.” That made me laugh. I love how Cloe handles Stella. I enjoy their play time. Stella’s issues are overpowered by her concern of Cloe. She knows her scent and it is so heartwarming that she wants to do anything for her human. I may have shed a tear or two. I highly recommend it for animal lovers or if you want a very sweet and uplifting story.

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing and #netgalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

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My Rating: 5 Stars

Following an explosion at an airport, Stella the beagle is retired from her service as a security dog, only to be passed from home to home. Just when it seems that Stella has no hope of a happy future, a dog trainer named Esperanza decides to take Stella in so she can help Stella heal from her psychological trauma. The true healing comes when Stella bonds with Esperanza's daughter Cloe, who needs Stella just as much as Stella needs her.

This was a very cute book, and perfect for children and youth from late elementary through middle school grades. The story is told from Stella's perspective and you see how she yearns to love and be loved following the traumatic incident in the airport where she used to work. Her perspective is fairly naive, but very sincere. I think young kids would connect with her and her new owner, Cloe.

Content Guide:

Sex & Affection: None

Language: None

Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse: Coffee is consumed

Crime & Violence: Some delinquent youth cruelly hunt squirrels, try to intimidate another youth, and misuse fireworks.

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I received this e-ARC from NetGalley and Shadow Mountain in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Stella, a former bomb-sniffing beagle, is suffering from PTSD after a mission went terribly wrong at an airport and her handler died. She has been to several foster families with no success – that is until Esperanza brings Stella home to her farm and where she meets the other working dogs and Esperanza’s daughter Chloe. Being a beagle, Stella has an acute sense of smell and picks up on the strange chemical smells emanating from Chloe, especially just before Chloe has a seizure. As Esperanza and Chloe work to rehabilitate Stella, the beagle forms a strong bond with “her girl.” Will it be enough to overcome her trauma?
This is a wonderful story dealing with very real issues. It is told from Stella’s point of view as she doesn’t quite understand what happened on that dreadful day. As she bonds with Chloe, she finds new purpose. Every dog deserves a second chance. The book is a short, quick read and I highly recommend this book for grades 3 and up.
#Stella #NetGalley

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What an absolutely HEARTWARMING story.

I loved reading Stella’s inner monologue—she’s the goodest girl, filled with love and loyalty for her humans. McCall Hoyle also writes Stella’s POV in such an interesting way: with descriptions that are unconventional for a human but perfect for a dog. (For example, when someone dies, Stella says that they smell like the “outside” of themselves; a sheep, on the other hand, smells “vaguely like Connie’s old sweaters.”)

The language in this novel is accessible and uncomplicated without diluting the complexity and emotion of Stella’s experiences. Hoyle deftly writes about coping with trauma, grieving one’s human, and trying one’s best to be loved despite recognizing one’s own shortcomings. Stella’s blossoming friendship with eleven-year-old Cloe was an especial highlight for me.

Shout out to my good friend Sheena for recommending this to me! She warned me that I’d be needing a box of tissues on hand… and she was absolutely right.

Bottom line: Stella may be a dog—a very, very good dog—but her experiences, her story, transcend species.

Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a book that every body needs to read!! If you want a well written heartwarming story, grab this book. Chloe and Stella's story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. I loved this book! Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This is a heart-warming gem told from a dog’s perspective and her experiences with humans, other animals, feelings, and smells. The writing is very easy to understand but does not take away from the complexities of emotions Stella is feeling throughout the book. Hoyle does an exceptional job at addressing topics of death, grief, PTSD, trauma, trust, and healing. Stellas relationship with Cloe was especially heart-warming because it doesn’t happen overnight, instead it develops through trial, error and learning to trust one another. This is a must-have book in everyone’s bookshelf!

Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for the complimentary ARC. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.

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This story was absolutely adorable. It is written from Stella's point of view and that makes it such a fun read. I think readers of all ages would love this book, even my 1st graders! Stella was a bomb sniffing dog that had some PTSD from a bad explosion that killed her handler (all explained in VERY kid friendly terms and not too scary). She is getting rehabilitated by an 11 year old girl and her dog training mom. Together they learn how to become more than just a mini trainer and traumatized dog. It was so heartwarming and lovely.

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Stella is a trained bomb-detection dog whose handler was killed when a bomb exploded at the airport they worked at. Stella now struggles with anxiety and fear of loud noises, sudden movement, and doubts her ability to do things correctly.
When she meets Connie and Cloe she knows that this is her last chance. Cloe lives with epilepsy, which Stella can sense because of the change in how Cloe smells when an attack is near. Stella is struggling with how to help Connie understand what she's trying to communicate because Connie assumes she's having an anxiety attack.
Cloe and Stella bond while Cloe trains Stella and helps her overcome her fear. Eventually, Stella is able to make a difference and see's herself as a good dog.
This story is told from Stella's perspective and is such a fun read. This would be a great story for 7 or 8-year-olds and older. If your child loves animals, specifically dogs, this would be a wonderful read for them.

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I highly recommend this book to anyone who is as obsessed with dogs as i am. Your age does not matter, you are guaranteed to enjoy this book.

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My name is Stella. I'm a beagle, and I was born to sniff. And that's what I do.

Sometimes are pets can show us how to be human in a good way. We had a dog that like and reading about Stella, I thought about our dog KC. Because of that, this was a difficult read at times because Stella was having a difficult time after her handler was killed doing the work of sniffing out bombs, chemicals, etc at airports. Told by Stella's perspective, she was having a hard time adjusting to being a dog because she failed her human. Let me tell you again, sometimes our dogs reveal what weighs heavy on our heart. Stella's handler Connie was well liked in her community so others were concerned about Stella. Again, it was emotional read on how Stella wanted to be the good dog that she knew she was.

Friends of Connie, mother and daughter Esperanza and Cloe have a sheep farm that they tend to. Esperanza knows the task of curing Stella will take a firm and loving hand to cure Stella of her fears. Cloe and Stella bond right away and their adventure brings healing to both of them.

If you love a good dog book and people book, this will give you the emotional coaster ride that is hard to forget. Hard to forget because it is so close to the heart! Highly recommend.

A special thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Spoiler/Trigger Warning: They almost put Stella to sleep. They don't but the threat is credible and I hate a sad dog book. I got over that though and really liked this story. It has real dog training facts, a little adventure, and Stella is re-trained into another kind of service animal and lives happily ever after.

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I got this for my 11 year old daughter. Here is her review:
I LOVED this book!! It was sometimes sad, sometimes funny and sometimes sad. It had a little bit of everything in it. I liked how it was told in the dogs point of view- I thought that made it fun and unique. It was easy to read and it kept my interest the whole time. I liked the ending because it was happy. I would recommend this book to all my friends.

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Stella is a sweet story about redemption and recovery from a dog's point of view. Stella was a bomb-sniffing pro until she made a mistake and her handler was killed. Since then she has been shuffled from one trial home to another, but her anxiety and PTSD make it hard for her to adjust. When she gets one more chance, she begins to bond with 11-year-old Cloe, who has epilepsy. Stella's powerful nose can tell when Cloe needs help, but can Stella learn to communicate Cloe's needs?
Readers will fall in love with Stella and Cloe, and cheer for these two and their family on the sheep farm. Full of humor, suspense, and tenderness, it's a book that is hard to put down.
Thank you to #NetGalley and the author for an eARC of this book. Opinions are my own.

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So wonderful! Hoyle tackles some really difficult, intense topics with care and love. Stella is a delight--both my 10yo daughter and were fully engrossed. This is a perfect fit for classrooms, libraries and bedtimes!

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Stella is a middle-grade book about a bomb-sniffing beagle who makes a mistake at the airport, and it leaves her homeless, and results in Stella struggling with anxiety and PTSD.

It is told through Stella’s POV, and for lack of a better word, it was super cute! McCall Hoyle really captures what might be a dog’s thoughts. I related well to this dialogue that Stella carries throughout the book because I think as anyone who’s ever owned an animal, well you speak as you would imagine they are thinking.

I have read Ms. Hoyle’s two previous novels, and I was curious about Stella. I was not disappointed, even though I am not a regular middle-grade reader the story kept my interest, and I even forgot that Stella was just a bomb-sniffing beagle!

My gratitude to Shadow Mountain and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for sharing an advanced e-copy of Stella with me!

Stella is a beagle who is trained to sniff out chemicals in explosives. One day she gets distracted causing her to miss a scent and an explosion occurs. Her handler passes away in the incident and Stella is traumatized by the event. She is passed on to many foster families who can’t handle her anxiety, until expert dog trainer, Esperanza, and her daughter, Cloe, decide they want to try to help. Cloe has epilepsy and also a unique scent that Stella connects to Cloe’s seizures. Stella tries to convince her new owners that she can be a new kind of service dog for Cloe.

I loved that this book was told from Stella's point of view. Typically I don't enjoy books written from animals' perspectives, but knowing Stella's thoughts, feelings and frustrations added a lot to the plot and the theme.

The story follows a timeline that middle grade readers will be able to read and follow easily. There were a few flashbacks/memories and some foreshadowing that make it perfect for a 2nd-4th grade audience.

Stella and Cloe are lovable characters and readers will be caught up in the action with them. I found that even though the story was predictable, I still felt some suspense and wanted to know how everything turned out.

Even though the story is told by a dog, I think Stella's anxiety and fear from a traumatic experience is something kids can relate to. I also think that her bravery, loyalty and perseverance are traits that readers can learn from and apply to their own lives.

Stella is perfect for animal lovers and middle grade readers and I'm very excited to add it to my classroom library!

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Stories of anthropomorphized animals are as old as Aesop’s Fables. McCall Hoyle adds a lovely voice to the mix with the story of Stella, a beagle who must overcome trauma from an unfortunate incident during her bomb-sniffing days and learn a different way to serve. Told from the dog’s perspective, this is wonderfully written and poignant.

This beautiful story will appeal to dog lovers and those who are fond of animal stories. It is perfect for the target audience. Despite its serious tone, it gets neither too sad nor too scary. My little 4th grader will really enjoy this one.

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This story is told by a dog named Stella. After making a mistake sniffing out explosives, she is too anxiety ridden to continue as a working dog. She has trouble settling into a new home. She's just scared and unhappy. Then Stella meets Cloe, a human little girl that adopts her. Then she smells something wrong about Cloe....maybe she can become a new kind of service dog if she can just figure out how to get Cloe's family to understand there is something wrong.

What a lovely middle grade book! I loved having the story told from the dog's perspective. It would be frustrating to know something so important and not be able to easily communicate!

Wonderful book! I'm going to buy this for my granddaughter! She will love it! Such a heartwarming story!

This is the first book I've read by McCall Hoyle.I definitely want to read more!

**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

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Stella, a beagle, used her strong scent skills in her job as a chemical sniffing dog at airports until a mistake cost the life of her handler and best friend. Traumatized and suffering from ptsd, Stella is moved between different foster family as they try to help and rehabilitate her. Given a last chance on a farm with a mother and daughter, Stella must try her best to be a good dog, despite the fears that keep tripping her up.

Told from the perspective of the dog herself, Stella is a curious, friendly dog who blames herself for her human's death. It's fascinating to read the book from Stella's perspective. She views the world through her strong nose and through her attachments to the humans she loves. Stella also drops tips throughout the book on the best ways to communicate with, interact with, and train dogs. Life is simpler for dogs, but Stella needs to overcome her fears, find a new purpose in life, and try to communicate with humans who don't understand her.

Stella's new human is a young girl with epilepsy. Chloe doesn't have any friends, but has lots of time to spend training, playing with, and loving Stella. Given all her help, perhaps Stella can do the impossible and help Chloe in return.

There were some parts in this book that had me near tears. They were good emotional moments. Stella is so sweet and innocent and needs such a big hug. This is a book for dog lovers of all ages. The story touched on some sensitive topics, like death, euthanizing, and epilepsy. Not in too much detail on any topic, but enough to bring up the topics on a children's (and dog's) level.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. It's a perfect, sweet, heartwarming read.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Today is a FANTASTIC day! "Stella" by McCall Hoyle has been released today. I was THRILLED to have the opportunity to review an advanced readers copy and post my review today. I think finding books for use in the clinical setting is often hardest in the middle grades age range but Stella is certainly an exception. I have been chomping at the bit to share this book with you and ideas for use in therapeutic bibliotherapy.

Stella is a service dog who is extremely attached to her handler, Connie. After a terrible explosion, Connie is injured and Stella is left alone with a new diagnosis of PTSD. Every new placement Stella moves to is quickly disrupted due to her digging, aggression, and anxiety-related behaviors. Stella wants to have a purpose again but begins to lose hope in herself. As a last chance, Stella is sent to live with an experienced dog trainer who also happens to be the parent of a girl named Chloe with epilepsy. Stella discovers that she is able to smell oncoming seizures and, through this service to Chloe, discovers hope, confidence, and a second chance.

The book is engaging, exciting, and beautifully written. I'm confident that many readers will find themselves rooting for this little beagle hero. In the clinical setting, Stella is an ideal illustration of trauma from acute stress symptoms to disruptive and intrusive symptoms and, finally, through the discovery of a way forward. There is no magic wand as Stella has to slowly learn awareness and forgiveness. Stella's journey to recovery is not always linear, as is often the case with trauma recovery. I found myself dividing the books into sections that correspond beautifully with the typical progression of TF-CBT modules. I highly encourage trauma therapists or those who love a middle-grader struggling with PTSD-symptoms, to explore Stella. By using a beagle as the main character, the author is able to introduce more mature concerns related to trauma symptoms in a manner that is developmentally appropriate and palatable.

Happy book release day to McCall Hoyle and her amazing new release Stella! As always, I appreciate Netgalley for providing the opportunity to write an honest review.

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If you are a dog lover, you'll enjoy this look at life from the view of a beagle. From a puppy, Stella was trained to sniff out chemicals/bombs. When she misses one and there's an explosion, she suffers from the trauma and has severe anxiety with loud noises.

After moving through 3 homes, she is still a mess and they have almost given up on her. When Cloe takes a chance on her, things begin to change. Her anxiety begins to drop and she comes to learn that Cloe's body gives off a certain smell before she has a seizure. But she has to find a way to alert the family to this, as they don't know her "alert" cues. When a disaster on the farm almost becomes tragic, Stella gets the chance to overcome her fears and anxiety and possibly save Cloe's life.

This was a fun look from the view of a dog. I'm not really a dog person, but I still enjoyed this sweet story. I will share this one with my kids as well. Clean and uplifting story.

Thank you NetGalley and Shadow Mountain for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This sweet novel is told from the perspective of Stella, a service dog. Stella is a beagle and has a hard time when she misses the scent of an explosive that kills her handler. Because she is so traumatized, Stella bounces from Pet foster home to foster home. Eventually, Stella is given one last chance a service dog when she is paired with Chloe a young girl with epilepsy. Stella knows that she must figure out a way to help Chloe. Can she help stop the seizures, help the girl’s family understand when one is coming or will she end up in complete retirement? This is an emotional novel, one that helps readers understand that there are many things service dogs can be trained to do. This is a wonderful book to teach empathy, overcoming anxiety, and friendship. It is a must read!
I received this book as an ARC through Netgalley as well as had the opportunity to read via the author & publisher as a part of #BookPosse. Thank you!

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Told from a dog's POV, Stella is a beagle service dog who uses her sense of smell to locate explosives. When the unthinkable happens and she loses her handler Connie, Stella has no choice but to be re-homed. Not only is she missing Connie, but she has PTSD and is confused why she is being moved to different places with different people. When Esperanza, a close friend of Connie's, decides to take her in for rehabilitation, Stella quickly forms a bond with her young daughter Cloe. With her help, Stella manages to battle her fears of doubt and loud noises. When another tragedy occurs, will Stella be able to overcome her anxiety and despair to get the help Cloe desperately needs?

I thought the author did a great job with showing the reader an animal's POV through a difficult time. The book was emotional and sad at times, but it also brings hope that Stella will eventually find her way back to her purpose in life.

Thank you Netgalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

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Absolutely powerful story. As a dog lover, it showcased so many reasons why dogs are amazing. I would recommend this story to anyone who's a dog lover. Hell, I'd recommend this to anyone who's not a dog lover.

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My Review: Being an animal lover and a rescue dog lover, I could not resist this book. This was a much more emotional journey I ever expected, especially being told from Stella, the dog's, point of view. Poor Stella goes through quite a bit in her little life, but she never looses that love of people and that wanting to be a good dog. I also love the way Hoyle was able to bring in a bit of diversity with a character with epilepsy into the story, some young readers will really be able to connect with her. We also get a bit of a connection with mental health issues through Stella herself, another wonderful way to connect to readers in a different way. This was really a beautiful story and I hope so many other readers will give it a chance and pick it up, young and old alike.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book and can't recommend it enough, it hits you with all the feelings and gives such hope. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

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Hey folks, daddy Steve here with some doggiebooks talk. Been a while since my last report, over a month really, but it’s not because I’ve stopped reading. I have seven books finished that I need to write about. I just decided to keep on reading during my free time instead of reporting back here, heh. 🤷‍♂️

Here’s a very sweet one, Stella by McCall Hoyle. This book is for young readers, recommended to young ones between 8 and 11 years of age but often, these are my favorite book. Young readers doesn’t mean stupid readers. This story about a retired bomb sniffing dog is simply endearing and oh so sweet.

It’s all written through the dog’s point of view. Poor little Stella, she feels so bad about letting down her handler and she tries to show that she can be of use to this new little hooman.

Read the synopsis and tell me you don’t want to read this book. Read it with your young ones. Little girls will especially fall for the bond between Stella and Cloe, her new little human...

This one is a highly recommended read for any dog lover and especially with people who love working dogs...

Huge thanks to NetGalley who provided a free eBook advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review. This is as honest as it gets...

#Malcolmstories #doggiebooks
#Stella #NetGalley

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Really enjoyed reading this book with my 7 and 9 yr old advanced readers. We loved the emotional ups and downs of the story and how Stella had to battle her own fears to be the best dog she could be. The connection between Cloe and Stella was so sweet. We loved the progression of friendship and trust that was formed between the two characters. My children loved the various plot twists and the uncertainty that kept popping up whenever Stella found herself in a precarious situation. We all wished that Vern’s nephews would have been handed severe punishments in the story vs it being eluded to.

Overall this was a wonderful read that we really enjoyed together. It reminded of us what a special bond there is between animals and humans.

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