Another positive review! This time from Booklist


I’ve never quite known what to think of the above moment from famed actress (and former dog walking client of mine) Sally Field. On one hand, it’s kind of touching and on the other hand, it’s really sad. Then again, with all the positive praise we’re getting for MWD I’m starting to feel a little like Sally.

The latest review is from Booklist, another clearinghouse for literary reviews that help inform bookstores, libraries and other vendors pick which books they’re going to order. I feel really fortunate that now we have three positive reviews from the top 3 publications that cater to this market. Now, all we need is for a million people to buy the book. How hard could it be?

Seriously, I know it will be hard. However, I believe in the power of positive thought. With that said, here is the review in its entirety.


MWD: Hell Is Coming Home.

Johnson, Brian David (Author) and Egleson, Jan (Author) , Milevski, Laila (Illustrator), Stevens, Karl (Illustrator) Feb 2017. 160 p. Candlewick, hardcover,  $24.99. (9780763657062). 741.5.


After a tour serving in Iraq, specialist Elizabeth Mastrangelo finds it difficult to transition back into civilian life. Haunted by flashbacks, Liz only finds comfort working with a troubled dog named Brutus at an animal shelter, hoping to save him from being euthanized. This covers a lot of subject matter, from rape in the military to the treatment of our veterans at home, but at times it takes on so much the core of the narrative gets lost, and it ends up reading like a piece of journalism rather than narrative fiction. Still, it does a good job documenting the struggles of coping with PTSD, and the female perspective of the book is a welcome change of pace. Stevens and Milevski’s sketchy artwork, with heavy black ink and shading, is naturalistic, though sometimes distractingly stiff. Additionally, while this is published as YA, the lack of teen characters might limit teen appeal. In the hands of the right audience, however, this could powerfully hit home. — Peter Blenski


As a journalist I’m going to take the whole “reading like a piece of journalism” as a compliment. More to come!



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