Saving Maya is my first book for young readers. It’s suitable for children aged 8 and above and I’m certain it will appeal to adults too.
It tells the story of two dogs who are destined to become sisters. An uplifting tale, based on the true live stories of my dogs, Cerise, Twinkle and Susie-Belle. It not only introduces young readers to pet rescue and adoption, but also educates children about the cruel reality of puppy farms.
Readers first meet Willow, a much-loved family pet living a happy normal life with Patsy. One day, Patsy decides to get Willow a sister but, she soon finds out things are not right; she discovers that many of the puppies for sale come from mothers stuck in awful puppy farms. Maya is one of those dogs. She’s been in a filthy, dark barn her whole life. It’s written as I imagine it would have been for my dogs. I’ve based many of the scenes I describe on the research and interviews I’ve done with rescuers who go into puppy farms, both undercover and to rescue.
When readers first meet Maya, she’s in a terrible state and fears her life is nearly over. However, rescue comes and readers follow Maya’s journey to a place of safety, where for the first time in her life, she experiences kindness and eventually finds herself living with Willow and Patsy. The early days of living in her first ever home are drawn from my experiences of adopting three dogs from this background.
This tale of courage and survival will appeal to readers of all ages who love stories about animals. It can also be used in the classroom to educate children on the ethics of animal cruelty.
I’ve had the great fortune to work with illustrator Annabel Wilson. Annabel is also a primary school teacher and uses art to highlight the many injustices that exist for dogs in the world. Our collaboration on this book has been personally rewarding and mutually enriching as the creative process unfolded.
The production of the book was made possible by our hugely successful Kickstarter Campaign which was fully funded in under 48 hours. We are deeply grateful to all our many backers, without whom publication of the book would have been a much lengthier task.
Our dream is to see ‘Saving Maya’ in every library and school in the country and beyond, so that puppy buyers of the future will make the right choices in future.