Saturday, 22 April 2017

Hugo's Reward

Welcome to Sally's book-a-day-for-2017 blog. If unfamiliar with the blog, scroll down.

Hugo's Reward (Post 112)

Hugo's Reward (2002), opens with eleven-year-old Davy Towers being interviewed for the local newspaper. Davy introduces the reporter, Peter, to his placid cow Daff, whom he has trained himself. Peter asks if Davy is going to the upcoming junior show handlers' workshop. Davy has never taken Daff to a show, and thinks it might be fun. Why not learn to prepare her for a public appearance?

The registration form goes off but then the blow falls... Davy learns he can't take Daff with him. The young handlers are to work with untrained yearlings. 

As the youngest by far of the course, Davy has his problems, especially since the calf he's given to train turns out to be flighty, too clever and a bit of a clown. Poor Davy loses points at every turn and the grand parade at the end of the weekend finds Reward well behind the other calves in his training. And yet, although someone else wins the prize, there's a Special Effort Award for Davy; recognition of the difficulty of his task and his good humour during his trials.

Hugo's Reward has something to teach about cattle handling, about winners, losers and failures that are not someone's fault. It acknowledges that even if something looks like an equal playing field it isn't necessarily so, and that all the effort in the world can't make you a winner if you lack the basic material that others have been given. The calf Davy drew to train was a matter of luck, but the time wasn't wasted. The fact that some people have to work twice as hard for half the success would be a lesson Davy, and by extension young readers, might do well to remember.

About the Blog 

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

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